Growing wasabi in hot climates
The other day I was asked if Wasabia japonica could be grown in India, or was the climate too hot? The temperature was quoted at reaching 40 deg C on a regular basis throughout the year. This is certainly a challenge for a cold weather, slow-growing plant like Wasabia japonica.
My answer was Yes, and Yes.
It was really two questions rolled together into one.
Can Wasabia japonica be grown in India or anywhere else with a Hot Climate?
The answer to this question is definitely yes. Wasabia japonica can be grown anywhere where its growing requirements are met.
Is the climate too hot to grow Wasabia japonica in India?
If you are going to attempt to grow Wasabi outside without any sort of structure or environment control, then you will lose the crop. You must understand that the Wasabi plant is a cold weather plant that will survive under snow, but dies when the air temperature gets beyond 24 Deg C. However, once you get your head around the fact that these plants have very specific growing requirements, and you can supply them then the plants will grow.
The interesting thing about this sort of question is that most people always think the way of growing anything is to use the traditional method that has been used for millennia. Namely, putting the plant in the ground and helping nature a little bit with fertiliser, water and weed control to produce a crop. While in some places this ancient method is still used because it works, when you take a cold weather plant and attempt to grow it in a hot climate there are all sorts of problems.
How do you overcome these problems?
Firstly, you need to understand the specific requirements of the plant you want to grow. For Wasabi a book has been written entitled “Wasabi Growers Primer” which gives the information you need to determine how and where you can grow Wasabia japonica.
Secondly, you have to look at the economics of setting up an operation in a hot climate taking into account the cost of setting up some sort of structure that will supply the environment needed for the plants to flourish. This also requires investigation on how you are going to supply the energy required (normally electricity) to maintain this internal environment against the outside hot climate.
Wasabia japonica can be grown anywhere in the world irrespective of the climate, hot or cold, humid or arid, so long as the growing environment meets the plant requirements. We personally have grown Wasabia japonica in places where the temperature drops well below zero for a significant part of the year, to growing Wasabi at the Equator.
If you want to do it hard enough, then you can make it happen, but I need to warn you that it is unlikely to be cheap. 🙂
Michel Van Mellaerts (The Wasabi Maestro) is the recognized World authority and expert on the practical Growing, Processing and Marketing of Wasabia japonica. He and his wife have been commercially growing Wasabia japonica longer than anyone else outside Japan.
Trained as an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer he has invented and installed many improved growing systems into their farms. These enable high quality Wasabi to be grown anywhere in the World.
The Wasabi Maestroes have set up commercial Wasabi growing farms from the Arctic Circle to Southern New Zealand, including the Equator. They have worked with individual growers, national governments, and investment groups on four continents.
These growing systems have reduced growing times by nearly 67%, improved yield and quality of the Wasabi rhizome, and increased the levels of active ingredients by nearly 100%. It is these active ingredients that independent scientific studies show kills cancer cells and improves human health.
They pioneered the use of Wasabia japonica in the Nutraceutical and Medical industries. They are at the leading edge of research into the benefits of Wasabi on human and animal health.
The Wasabi Maestroes offer a Training and Consultancy service for potential and actual Wasabi growers who only want to learn from the best. Others spend their time floundering around trying to find out what information is useful and what isn’t.
The Training has been proven and improved over the last 25 years plus of personal commercial Wasabi growing. This has been hands on, getting wet and dirty work – not guesswork from behind a desk.
More information on the Wasabi Growers Club 70+ Training Modules can be found here.