How to grow bok choy


I wrote this guide on growing bok choy to freshen up my knowledge of cultivating this cold-hardy plant from the brassica family.

What is bok choy?

Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable commonly grown in China. It’s known as Chinese cabbage and has a mild flavor that tastes great in a stir fry. It grows the best in cool weather.

Difficulty? How long until harvest?

Bok choy is easy to grow. It’s also fast growing. After planting, it takes 45 to 60 days until harvest time.

What hardiness zone?

4 to 7

Grow from seed or cutting?

Bok choy seeds are commonly available in the US because they are distributed by big seed companies like Burpees. I just started some and had a germination rate of 9 out of 10. It’s also possible to grow it from cuttings. You can regrow bok choy after harvesting by cutting off the leaves and setting the hearty base of the plant into a bowl of water. It will start new roots and vegetation will grow out from the center.

What type of soil?

Bok choy grows best in soil that is rich, well-draining, heavy in nutrients, and with a PH range of 6.5 to 7.0. Standard potting soil holds a little too much water, this could encourage root rot.


Bok choy comes in two major varieties, green and white. Within green and white, there are sub-varieties. I noticed 9 different kinds listed on Johnnys Seeds store.

How much sun?

Full sun is best, but partial shade is ok.

Containers or in the ground?

Bok choy does well in containers because of its size, but I prefer to plant in the ground for a bigger harvest.

Common pest?

I haven’t had any issues with pests, but according to this article from gardeningknowhow, these are the most common:

  • Cabbage maggots
  • Flea beetles
  • Tarnished plant bugs
  • Cutworms
  • Leafminers
  • Aphids
  • Seedcorn maggots
  • Slugs
  • Whiteflies
  • Vegetable weevils