We all know that chia seeds are a leading food in essential nutrients. However, did you know that it is easy to plant and grows faster than bean sprouts?
The chia plant is similar to sage and mint, gives a purple flower, and does not require special care. When planted in the open ground, it provides seeds in a year. At home, it can be grown in a pot.
Below you will find step-by-step instructions for planting chia at home and obtaining its seeds.
Chia plant – how does it grow?
The chia plant (salvia Hispanic or Spanish sage) is an annual flowering herb that reaches a height of up to 1 meter. The familiar plants are peppermint, basil, rosemary, and medicinal sage. When grown properly, chia blooms in midsummer with white and blue flowers.
Sprouted chia seeds can be consumed at home. They are a plant source of Omega-3, plant fiber, and other beneficial nutrients for the body. The dried leaves of the chia plant can be used to make tea.
Like bean sprouts, chia seeds can germinate at home. In this case, young shoots appear in 3-4 days, and after a few weeks, they can be used as food.
After germination, the chia plant can grow in the ground or in a pot.
How to germinate chia at home?
Growing or germinating chia at home is pretty simple. First, you need to wash the seeds, spread a thin layer on the bottom of a tank or container, and add water daily.
You can also germinate chia using a filter or metal plate with holes (as in the photo above).
The shoots of the plants appear 2-3 days after placing the seeds in the water. Keep in mind that germination requires chia seeds that have not been exposed to high temperatures.
The seeds of chia seeds are obtained from flowers and can be consumed after it reaches a height of 4-5 cm.
// How to plant chia:
- Put the seeds in a plate or container with holes.
- Add water
- Let the shoots grow and transplant them.
How to grow a chia plant?
If you want to grow a chia plant at home without preliminary seed germination, you can immediately place it on the ground. This technique may take longer but is just as effective for growing a plant.
Since chia initially grows in the mountains, the plant does not demand a high quality the soil. However, it does need a lot of sunlight.
The seeds can be sown in small containers with soil in a pot to grow a chia plant. To develop a chia plant, it is recommended to use a pool with drainage holes. Otherwise, its roots may rot.
// Tips for growing chia at home:
- moderate humidity
- plenty of sunlight
- no need to add a lot of fertilizers
Chia plant history
The chia plant was cultivated in significant quantities by the Aztec civilization. Before the Spanish colonial invasion, chia, along with beans, corn, quinoa, and even amaranth and spirulina, were one of the foods that made up the diet of the Aztecs and indigenous peoples of Mexico.
Chia seeds were a way of paying taxes, and they were the central part of religious ceremonies. The capital of the Aztec empire received chía annually from the conquered peoples. When going to combat, the warriors carried a bag of chia seeds with them.
After the Spanish colonization, chia was banned, and the plant was considered lost. It was only in the 1980s that it was discovered in remote areas of Paraguay, and in the early 1990s, crops were restored.
Today, the chia plant is grown worldwide, and the seeds are extracted from the flower for human consumption.
Chia plant uses
The chia plant is used not only to extract its seeds for human consumption.
Chia oil is obtained from the compression and processing of the plant. An oil with potential medicinal uses and benefits.
Chia oil is similar in properties to flaxseed oil, and it is one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s.
The Aztecs believed that ground chia seeds could cure respiratory diseases and had an expectorant effect. Unfortunately, this is one of the uses that the scientific community has not confirmed.
- The chia plant produces a beautiful flower with fragrant leaves, from which its seeds are extracted.
- Growing a chia plant at home is easy, requiring minimal care. It is best to increase the sprouts in water with the help of a metal container and then transplant it into a pot.
- An entire chia plant can grow in about a year.