Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wasabi, Japanese Horseradish
Wasabia japonica

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Wasabia (wa-SAH-bee-a) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Cochlearia wasabi
Synonym:Eutrema japonica
Synonym:Eutrema wasabi

26 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive pigneguy On Dec 20, 2012, pigneguy from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

i purchased a packet of seeds from somewhere. Just a few seeds inside. Only one of them germinated. It's about 6 months later now, mid December, and it's thriving in a Southern California winter. Really enjoys the rain and low temps.

Neutral Silphion On Jul 11, 2006, Silphion from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a hard plant to keep happy but (so far, for me at least) it has proven resiliant to several lapses on my part. There is a lot of conflicting information, even taken directly from the mouths' of the growers.

I got my first Wasabi from "The Frog Farm" in Seattle; I was in town and the owner graciously allowed me to drop by and see his set-up: deep beds of heavily composted soil covered with a shade cloth, watered regularly (I believe he said first thing in the morning then again in the hottest part of afternoon.) He told me that they had never had disease from repetedly deviding the roots which is a common story you hear from Wasabi pureists. I got a mature specimin that would eventually devide into 3-4 seperate plants and almost as soon as he had it out of the ground it started to look like a wilted lettecue. Watering did pep it up a bit but, over time, most of the old growth died off and regrew later after planting.

My second Wasabi came from a local OR nursery who just gave it too me (They had had enough of the demanding nature of Wasabi's and it was a kind of "Thankyou" for a big purchase "Here," they said, "It's free if you can bring it back to life.")

I put them both in full shade along the North side of my house. Unfortuantly I picked the most clay ridden spot in my yard and the compost I added was only enough to keep them alive; they never thrived. They were unmulched over the 04-05 winter and they actaully seemed to grow in December (they sure love cool temps and lots of rain.) The 05-06 Winter was much colder and I panicked a bit; dug them up and brought them inside with about 50% compost and 50% sand in the pots...then I forgot about them = no water for god only knows how long...they were brown nubs peeking out of dry sand when I finally noticed them. This spring I brought them out with the rest of my Over-Winterers and could not have been more thrilled to see new growth after a cold rainy April.

I also tried to grow Wasabi from seeds purchsed from and though I followed their growing instructions to-a-t not one of them sprouted. Note: a member of thier staff told me they tried to root-devide thier Wasabi stock only to have severe problems with disease.

In Nature Wasabi grows along the gravely banks of cold mountain streams and can therefore take more sunlight. I've read horror stories about hydroponic exparaments failing because of recycled water but cannot confirm them personally. Good luck to anyone who attempts to grow Wasabi...I feel your pain.

Neutral Terry On Nov 11, 2005, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grown mainly for its edible, pungent roots that are used like Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana). The long, finger-thick roots lose their pungency once cut. This is not a quick-cropping plant - it can take 3 to 5 years from seed to harvest and the seeds are reported to be reluctant to break dormancy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jáltipan De Morelos,
Nipomo, California
Portland, Oregon
Mukilteo, Washington
Sequim, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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