Plant Care Basella Alba

Basella Alba

About Basella Alba

Malabar Spinach is a vigorous climbing vine native to tropical regions in Asia. It can grow to a six-foot vine, but can often reach 30 feet in length. It needs a well-drained moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter and a warm sunny sheltered position. It tolerates high rainfall and fairly poor soils but does better in rich soils.


Basella alba

Also known as

Malabar Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Vine spinach and Ceylon spinach

How to care for Basella Alba

💦 Water

How often to water your Basella Alba

Water needs for Basella Alba
0.5 cups
every 9

Basella Alba needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Basella Alba

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Malabar Spinach in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Basella Alba: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Basella Alba love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Basella Alba does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Basella Alba in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Basella Alba

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Basella Alba: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Basella Alba after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Basella Alba is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!

Benefits of Growing Malabar Spinach →

Common Malabar Spinach Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Basella Alba prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Malabar Spinach Water Frequency →

Malabar Spinach Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Basella Alba requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Malabar Spinach Light Requirements →

Malabar Spinach Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.

🪴 Soil

Basella Alba does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Malabar Spinach →

When and How to Successfully Repot Malabar Spinach →

💩 Fertilizer

Basella Alba is a fast growing plant and may deplete the nutrients in its soil over time. Replenish them with a gentle organic fertilizer or compost every 1-2 months depending on your location and season. Fertilize more often during the growing season and in warmer and brighter climates.

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Basella Alba is a naturally climbing plant and can be trained to climb indoors if you provide a moss pole or trellis. The newest growth will emerge from the end of the stems.

How and When to Prune Malabar Spinach →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Basella Alba can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9a-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Malabar Spinach Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

The seeds of Basella Alba can be used to grow new plants! After your plant flowers, any seeds that formed can be collected and germinated in potting soil.

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

Care Summary for Basella Alba

Basella Alba

Basella Alba

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 9 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

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