Growing Rice Paddy Herb (Ngò Ôm)

Zone 9B FL: This is a plant documentary on how I grow my favorite herb, rice paddy herb, an essential Vietnamese herb known as ngò ôm available at any Vietnamese markets and most Asian markets. I do sell this plant locally and offer to ship out within the United States except in Hawaii and Alaska.

  • Latin name: Limnophila aromatica
  • English name: Rice Paddy Herb
  • Vietnamese name: rau ngò ôm

Propagation: For me, it’s just easier to go to the Asian market and buy me a tray full of ngò ôm’s cuttings to start a fresh pot every year around this time in March when the weather warms up.

I would select about 8-12 thickest stem cuttings and stick it in a jar of water. I place the jar near a window for about a week or until I see roots starting to form.

insert rooted herb image

Choosing the right planter: Rice paddy herb needs constant wet soil; therefore, I grow this herb in a plastic barrel planter with holes drilled at the soil line at the top. I used a half-inch drill bit to drill the holes. It is important not use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom since the soil needs to be wet at all times. Drilling the holes on the top side of the pot where the soil line is helps prevent too much water building up on top of the soil and attracting mosquitoes to breed in the water. I like to use the 16 in. Dia x 11.5 in. H Kentucky Walnut Resin Wine Barrel purchased from Home Depot or the 19.3-in x 12.13-in Whiskey Barrel Brown Resin Planter from Lowes.

Potting Mix: In the plastic planter that I prepped for the rice paddy herb, I learned to use just regular potting mix. No peat moss and/or fertilizer needed. The herb did not grow well when I added peat moss to my potting mix. It did not grow well with added fertilizer either. I use Home Depot’s Kellogg’s Potting Mix or Lowe’s Sta-Green Potting Mix.

Sunlight: Rice paddy herb grows well in full sun to partial sun.

Harvesting: Ideally, you want to harvest the young tender stems before it becomes a bit tough with a light pinkish color for cooking and before it starts bolting and flowering. Pinching off the mature stems will slow down the bolting of this herb to allow new young growth to form on the cut off parts. This will ensure you have all season long of rice paddy herb to harvest for your culinary needs.

Culinary Connections: Just search for rice paddy herb in the “Search” tab and you will find my recipes that uses this herb.

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