Fresh Wasabi is a highly prized culinary ingredient used mainly in elite restaurants and sushi bars in Japan. What is often sold as Wasabi is not. This is your chance to grow and market your own, especially if you have the proper conditions for it. Normally found growing along streambanks in Japan, this semi-aquatic plants needs constant flowing groundwater to thrive. Mine is planted in spring fed gully on a hill, so it is happy as it can be. Cultural needs are flowing water, well drained gravelly river soils and part shade. Please read the following if you are interested in starting an alternative crop and have the water for it ... and yes it will grow in the East Coast to ZN 6 for sure as well as the Pacific Northwest. Have fun.
I must also add that I have
sold these plants to Oklahoma and Minnesota. Neither location are regions I
would attempt to grow them in. Always consider the source of origin.
Japanese/Coastal Chinese or Korean plants have a climate much different than the
U.S. It is more than climate zone COLD differences! Japan has wet summers and
rather dry but crisp and clear winters. That is the total opposite of Sequim WA.
With serious mitigation's I have more hope for the colder Minnesota placement
than I have for the Oklahoma one. Please contact me before buying these plants
for a climate zone that is questionable. Some mitigations follow. Snowfall
coverage etc. can make a huge difference, but in a Nov. deep freeze without
snow, I think the plants would be toast. They are after all surface rooted and a
12" soil freeze will kill them. A dry Oklahoma/Texas freeze is much different
than one in the Great Lakes region!
Mitigations: Save one plant and re-plant into a pot for spring planting. Keep in a cool greenhouse! Do what you would normally do for the second. For the third plant. Create a semi-pond area (slope area being preferable) Put the plant into this bermed planting area (mulch) and before a good freeze .... FLOOD (six inches) it with water so it freezes over permanently. Snow cover over that should protect the roots until spring. In Spring, break down the berm to allow better drainage and hope for the best.
had many questions about this plant. Here are some of my responses. "I'm in
central Ohio. I seriously doubt the plant would survive our winters. I do have a
good sized greenhouse and grow rare tropical fruit trees. I don't let winter
temps dip below 68 degrees. A good sunny day will jack the temps up though. I
just wondered if it would be possible to raise some plants say under the benches
to keep in mostly shade? Could I just water more often? Trying to set up
something elaborate to simulate flowing water is out of the question. So this is
mainly to satisfy my curiosity and I'm always looking for something new and odd
Answer: I live on the Olympic Peninsula, western WA. I have been growing them for ten years and they have survived perhaps single digit temperatures. Yes your suggestion sounds good. Here was my answer to a similar question that never made it to the listing. "They naturally grow in riparian soils, gravelly with silt, yet humus enriched from decomposed leaves. My patch is a hill seepage that has decomposed basalt rock and is well mulched by maple and alder leaves. This is IDEAL! I have also grown them in regular nursery pots so that does work as well. My recommendation would be DEEP tree pots that have more or less an open bottom. These go into special flats that have a screenlike base. Hard to explain. Shallow pots with side holes drain more poorly than those that have bottom holes and "legs." (a space between the pot and the flat.) I added sharp grit, basalt, pumice -- anything that retains some moisture yet drains. Very coarse Perlite might help as well. Another suggestion and cheap pot idea. Use a 12 corrugated drainage pipe they use in culverts. Public works people often have scrap left around and they can be gotten cheaply. Place on base, made of 1/4" screen and 1x4 wood. Set this on top of some bricks so there is air beneath."