Growing Silverbeet, also Swiss Chard or Mangold

Beta vulgaris var. cicla : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family

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

(Best months for growing Silverbeet in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 7-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, brassica sp. (cabbage, cauliflower, etc), tomato, allium sp. (onion, garlic, chives), lavender, parsnip
  • Avoid growing close to: Corn, melon, cucurbit (cucumbers, squash, melons, gourds), most herbs, potato.
  • Multi-coloured variety
  • Silverbeet

Edible dark green glossy leaves with wide white or cream stalks produced over a long period. Some varieties have red, yellow or orange stalks. They are all edible. Both leaves and stalks are eaten. This is a cut and come again plant, providing leaves for some months before going to flower. Can re-sprout from around the base if cut off when it starts to flower.

Reasonably frost and heat tolerant. Grows well in most soils. For prolific growth apply compost, or well-rotted manure. Resistant to most plant diseases. The multi-coloured ones look good in a flower border.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Silverbeet

Wash thoroughly and inspect the back of the leaves for insects.
Chop and put in a saucepan with very little water (or just what is on the leaves).
Cover and cook over a low to medium heat until the leaves collapse.
A small amount of nutmeg enhances the flavour.

Your comments and tips

16 Sep 23, Lea (pakenham ) (Australia - temperate climate)
What bugs attack silverbeet leaves, I have spread crushed egg shells around the plant. Really don’t believe in poisons but happy to try anything organic or natural. Would pyrethrum assist at all.
08 Jun 23, Jen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi I have many self seeded silverbeet the heirloom varieties all different colours that are growing too close together in one large HDPE Planter...Can I not dig them out and re plant now??? IF not all I can do is cut the leaves as greens to go into salad??
10 Jun 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant out in the late afternoon. Water each day. Provide some shade if possible for a few days,
13 Jun 23, Cool Climate gardenerJen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Thank you the two fellow gardeners that gave their tips re my seeded heriloom silverbeet seedlings... I had to smile when I read to shade the new transplants.. normally I agree BUT in winter in Tassie...hm. every bit of sun is being thanked!!! Now 11:00 fog only just lifting.... !!! But thank you as I have plenty I shall transplant some and maybe even some into pots to give away. Happy gardening... I am trying to convert reg gardeners to chem free / organic gardeners ... Thank you
13 Jun 23, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Re my advice to shade the plants. I reply to comments here for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and South Africa. Temps probably vary from 0 to 40+C degrees. Good luck with the organic gardening. I just left a volunteer garden place for health reasons and they were going/trying to go organic. Their crops this year so far, are very under nourished. I generally don't spray, use some compost, pigeon poo, worm juice and a bit of chem fertiliser if I need it. When transplanting - plant out when 4-8 leaf stage.
09 Jun 23, Sara (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I transplant silverbeet (rainbow chard) regularly. Some of my plants have been moved about 5 times and they always pop back up pretty quickly. Try to minimise root disturbance, but it's not essential - I have been very careless (snapped off roots, let them dry out for a couple of hours) and they survive, they just take a little bit longer to look happy again. Although I would not suggest being careless! If the plants are larger than seedlings it might be worth removing the large outer leaves before transplanting to reduce wilting.
10 Mar 23, Alex (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the large curly leaf silver beet name
16 Mar 23, Berylee Lay (Australia - temperate climate)
It's usually called Fordhook Giant on the punnet labels.
10 Mar 23, Birgitt (Australia - temperate climate)
If you're after the Latin name, my label says Beta vulgaris var. cicla : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family (It's on the silverbeet page of Gardenate - Editor)
02 Mar 23, chris fox (Australia - tropical climate)
do you need to soak seeds in water before planting ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 186 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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