Other common names: Chinese Water Chestnut, 马蹄, 荸荠
Water Chestnuts are an aquatic crop that produce starchy roots often referred to as tubers, which are eaten raw, steamed, or processed into flour. The tuber flesh has the interesting property of maintaining its crispness even after cooking or canning, making this an important ingredient for providing crisp textures in food. This plant is also native to Singapore and is naturally found growing along coastal and inland marshy areas.
A small perennial crop, Water chestnuts are grown in ponds as part of edible gardens and permaculture gardens.
Sun and soil needs:
Water Chestnuts are a hardy crop that grow rapidly in 4-8 hours of direct sunlight in water bodies that are 100mm-300mm deep with loamy soil. This makes it suitable for ponds in both containers and true ground.
Water Chestnuts are rapid growers and generally does not need fertilizing. Plants will rapidly put out additional tubers and drop mature seeds if not harvested and can quickly overtake shallow water bodies if left unmanaged.
The plant can be harvested for the tuber around 7 months after the initial planting. Gently grip the base of the stem and pull up the whole plant to harvest the tubers.
Water chestnut tubers can be sprouted in loamy soil and allowed to grow leaves up to 20cm tall before being transplanted into a water body. The plant will rapidly put out additional tubers after 7 months, which can be divided for harvest or additional propagations.
Common problems & solutions:
This plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
This plant is vulnerable to being consumed by aquatic snails. Regularly check your plants for snails and remove them by hand to prevent damage.