How to Grow Epazote – A Beginner’s Guide

epazote plant growing in garden
Epazote, which are known botanically as Dysphania ambrosioides, are a type of herb that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing epazote as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Epazote

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the epazote seeds directly outdoors in spring or early summer. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when epazote are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Epazote the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing epazote in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your epazote grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile, with added organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.5.

1/4″ deep, 6″ apart in rows 12″ apart. 1/4″ deep, 12″ apart in rows 18″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 6-12″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your epazote seedlings 12-18″ apart when seedlings are 2-3″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Epazote

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your epazote. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your epazote should be getting full sun to partial shade

How Much to Water Epazote

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your epazote do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your epazote begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Epazote to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your epazote grow.

It takes approximately 10-14 days to germinate, and a total of 45-60 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Epazote

The best time to harvest your epazote is when the plant reaches 12-18″ tall.

Epazote can grow up to about 2-4′ tall.

What Can Epazote Be Used For?

Food Use: great for seasoning Mexican dishes, especially beans.

Flavor Profile: pungent, earthy, and slightly bitter.

Can Epazote Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant 1 plant per 12″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your epazote around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Epazote Safe for Bees?

Yes, epazote are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing epazote is bee-friendly.

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