Other common names: Laksa Leaf, Laska Plant, Daun Kesum, Daun Laksa, Vietnamese Coriander, 水蓼, 辣蓼草
Laksa is an aromatic herb that is used to flavour soups and is the most important spice in its namesake dish. It is highly tolerant of heat and heavy rain, making it an easy herb for most gardeners to grow in Singapore.
Sun and soil needs:
Laksa thrives in 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, but plants can also tolerate about 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight. Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 15cm deep, or in true ground. These plants can tolerate waterlogging and can be planted in garden areas prone to ponding. Keep your plants cool with mulch and plenty of water to encourage growth.
Laksa plants grow rapidly, especially with regular harvesting and the use of high nitrogen fertilisers will encourage the plant to grow more leaves. Plants can be fertilised once every two weeks or after hard pruning.
Laksa plants will grow leggy and untidy as the plant gets older. Encourage new growth by regularly hard pruning the plant.
Plants can be harvested for leaves at any time. They are typically harvested continuously via the cut-and-come-again method. Regular harvesting via hard pruning will encourage bushiness and keep the plant productive.
Laksa is typically propagated via stem cuttings rooted in water.
Common problems & solutions:
Like most strong-smelling herbs, this plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
Wilting leaves during hot weather is a sign of heat stress. Increase the number of times the plant is watered daily or move it to a shadier part of the garden.
Aphids, Mealy Bugs, and Whiteflies often infest the plant if it has underlying problems like repeated wilting from heat stress. Mechanical pest control methods like pruning the infested parts are the best methods for managing these pests in the short term, but resolving the underlying problem will prevent them in the long term.