Growing Chinese cabbage, also Wong bok, wong nga pak, napa cabbage

Brassica rapa (Pekinensis Group) : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Chinese cabbage in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow direct in the garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Harvest whole head or you can take a few leaves at a time.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, coriander), lettuce, potatoes
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Chinese Cabbage ( - Sous Chef Photos - CC-BY-2.0)

Large oval shape with crinkly light green leaves and white stems. Wider at the base. Grows easily from seeds. Prefers cooler weather. Best grown fast with plenty of fertiliser and water.

Watch for slugs and snails.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chinese cabbage

Use in stir-fry . Has a milder flavour than regular cabbage.
Shred the inner leaves and stems to use in coleslaw salad.

Your comments and tips

15 Jun 22, john millington (Australia - temperate climate)
one web site says avoid growing wong bok in cold times of the year. this site says sow in soil temp 10 to 20, the packet i bought says all year on east nsw what is right
17 Jun 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm sub tropical and have grown these into the winter. Plant April to June after the rains/pests. You may be able to have a crop from Sept depending on how cold it is where you live. Or how hot it becomes after winter. Plants slow down growing in the cold months. The thing is have a go and see what works for you.
08 Mar 22, Kelly Soo (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Looking at the weather this year in Coffs Harbour, do you think I could sow direct for the Napa Cabbage this outside in July?
11 Mar 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Chinese cabbage germinate very quickly. I have them germinating now. You could do it in May June July outside. If now make up a little tray of light soil, plant and keep moist - not really wet. They will germinate in 3-5 days.
13 Dec 21, dave clark (Australia - temperate climate)
I am growing bok choi but this one is different. it is dark green crinkly leave has anyone else grown it. Also can you eat it without cooking
27 Oct 21, Marion (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I want to make kimchi and I want to grow my own cabbage.were can I get seeds or ready sprouted plants
28 Oct 21, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try an online seed supplier, like Egmont Seeds or else garden shops - Bunnings, Mitre 10
17 Oct 21, Mary Boynton (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I want to grow chinese mini cabbages and chinese brocolli over summer.
11 Apr 21, Deborah (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I want to grow this variety of cabbage. Can I plant it in autumn/winter?
12 Apr 21, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
If you are likely to get frosts then it is best to leave starting the seeds till late winter/spring time
Showing 1 - 10 of 35 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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