USDA Zones: 9 - 11
Height: 24 - 36 inches
Bloom Season: Late summer to early fall
Bloom Color: Blue
Environment: Full sun
Soil Type: Sandy or loamy, well-drained soils
Often House Plant: Yes
Latin Name: Salvia Hispanica
Chia (Salvia Hispanica) - Chia is a member of the mint family and it has been cultivated for nearly 5,000 years. The seeds are very nutritionally dense containing high levels of easily digestible protein, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron, and many more nutrients.
Although North Americans began learning about Chia from the "Cha-cha-cha Chia," Chia Pet television commercials in the 1980s, we are only now beginning to explore the dietary uses of this very nutritious herb. Chia plants grow twenty-four to thirty-six inches tall and produce many clusters of white or light-purple flowers in mid to late summer. Chia prefers a location providing full sun and that has sandy or loamy, well-drained soils. Be careful not to over water chia plants. It is a tender perennial that is hardy in USDA climate zones 9 to 11 and will not tolerate frost. Since it requires a fairly long season to produce seed, starting indoors and transplanting after all danger of frost has passed is required. Germination occurs in seven to fourteen days at soil temperatures between 70F and 77F.
Chia seeds can be sprouted and added to salads, ground and added to almost any recipe from energy / smoothie drinks, used as a thickening agent to replace corn starch, or used in place of bread crumbs in meatballs, meat loafs, or coating chicken. You can even use them to replace eggs in recipes by simply dry grinding Chia seeds into a powder and using one tablespoon along with three tablespoons of water for every egg your baked recipe calls for.
Grown for Seed
While the chia plant itself may not be particularly famous, its seeds are! Chia seeds have become a legend in healthy eating.
How to Grow
Chia plants require a fairly long season to produce seed, so it is best to start these seeds indoors in the winter to get a jump on the growing season. Sow 2-3 seeds per plant at depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Keep the seeds moist until germination, which will occur in 1-2 weeks under proper conditions. Chia prefers a location providing full sun and that has sandy or loamy, well-drained soils. Be careful not to over water chia plants. It is a tender perennial that is hardy in USDA climate zones 9 to 11 and will not tolerate frost.
- Environment: full sun
- Soil: well-drained & loamy
- Sowing rate: 2-3 seeds per plant
Chia is a perennial flowering herb that grows in USDA zones 9 through 11. It is often classified as a "fire follower", as it is usually one of the first wild plants to spring up immediately after a wildfire. Chia seeds are highly nutritious.
- Bloom color: blue
- Bloom season: late summer to early fall
- Plant height: 24-36 inches