How to Care for Sinapis Arvensis (Wild Mustard Plants)

Sinapis Arvensis plant is also known as the Wild Mustard, Charlock Mustard, and Field Mustard plant is a species of annual flowering plants from the Brassicaceae family, well known for their yellow flowers. They are small in size and can be grown indoors for decoration. They are a well-established species in the fields where they are commercially grown for their seeds that are used for making mustard and extraction of seed oil.

This one of the most ancient plant species that humans have been growing for almost the past 5000 years. They were grown for their flowers, seeds, and leaves. The leaves of the Wild Mustard plants are cooked and eaten as food while the seeds are used for extraction of oil and the flowers are used for ornamental purposes. Wild Mustard plants can be grown anywhere in the world, but grow extremely well in slightly warm environments. You can also grow them in very cold regions as well, just sow the seeds in the soil during March.

They require very low maintenance and low care. Wild Mustards are mostly known for their use in herbal medicine, the dried leaves are considered a great remedy for stomach problems and aches. There are a lot of varieties of the Wild Mustard plants depending upon your location. All of these are edible varieties, some varieties are especially delicious. They are considered regular food during the winter days in South Asia and China.  Wild Mustard plants produce small seeds, these seeds produce a kind of mustard. Apart from this, the seeds are also used for the extraction of oil. This natural oil is used as a hair tonic and also as a commercial lubricant for machinery.

  • Water Requirements

There are different water requirements for the Wild Mustard plants in the field or a garden and a plant in a pot in indoor environments. Water them once every 7 to 10 days and make sure not to keep the soil moist all the time. Wild Mustard can survive drought conditions as well and like to be watered once the soil becomes dry.

Follow the instructions below for watering the Wild Mustard plants:

● Do not keep the soil moist all the time, this badly impacts their growth and sometimes it can even kill the plants as well. Only water them when you feel that the upper layer of the soil has become dry.

● If you have planted them in planters, make sure the water reaches the bottom layer of the soil while watering. In fields, make sure to provide them enough water. In hot and dry climates, the Wild Mustard plant requires frequent watering while in cold climates it requires less frequent watering.

● You can prepare a watering schedule based on the area, climate, seasonal factors. In most of the places watering them once every 10 days is considered enough for their proper growth.

● Watering also depends on the soil type, for example in clay type of soil that traps water, often watering will damage the roots of the plant and will impact the overall growth of the plant as well.

Lighting and Temperature Requirements

Lighting

The Wild Mustard plants like to be grown in bright environments. They thrive under the full sun to partial shade environments. If you are planning on growing the Wild Mustard plants indoors you must place them somewhere bright. This will boost the overall growth of the plant and you will see an early flowering.

Temperature

Wild Mustard plants like to be grown in slightly warm environments, but they can also be grown in cold temperatures as well. Temperatures between 20 to 41°F are considered best for their optimum growth. In cold regions, they grow very small and most of the time only reach a few inches while in the hot regions they can reach up to 4 feet. Some of the varieties of the Wild Mustard can even be grown in extremely cold areas. When the Ice Melts from the mountains you can grow the wild mustard plants there as well.

Soil Requirements

Wild Mustard plants can be grown in any type of soil but thrive in well-draining soil. A sandy and porous soil help protect their roots from overwatering by allowing the quick drainage of the water. This type of soil also allows the plant’s root to move easily while a clay soil restricts the movements of the roots in the soil.

A preferred type of soil for Wild Mustard plants must contain sand, compost, organic matter, fertilizer for the initial boost, pumice, and perlite. This type of soil allows the water to quickly move out. In this type of soil, Wild Mustard plants will thrive and produce more flowers, leaves, and seeds.

Common Diseases and Pests Control

Wild Mustard plants require protection from a large number of plant diseases and pests. These diseases and pests damage the foliage and sometimes the whole plant as well. Below are the details of these diseases and pests and how to control them in Wild Mustard plants.

Damping-off, Wirestem, and Brown Girdling Root Rot: This is a disease that attacks all parts of the plants including the seeds. Wire stem and Brown Girdling Root Rot are a few common symptoms of this attack. This leads to the death of the plant; this is prevented through the spray of pesticides.

Alternaria Diseases: Blackspot, Gray Leaf Spot, Pod Spot are a few indications of this attack. This causes leaves, and stem to wilt and die. This is also controlled with the help of pesticide spray.

Aster Yellows: This is caused due to a pathogen named Aster Yellows Phytoplasma, this leads to the discoloration of the flower and the leaves of the plant. The diseased flowers produce abnormal seed pods and abnormal seeds as well. You can control them by removing any such plants that show the signs of these diseases. Or you can spray a pesticide to kill the pathogens.

Leaf Spot, Fusarium Wilt, and Verticillium Wilt: These diseased are also commonly seen as the crops of the Wild Mustard plants. They mostly result in the leaf spots or wilting of the stem or leaves. You can treat them with pesticides as well.

Fertilizer Requirements

Wild Mustard plants require fertilizers to thrive and produce more flowers, and seeds. When you plant them in the planter or ground, the soil contains a very limited amount of nutrients that deplete very quickly as the plant grows. Before fertilizing them, you must conduct a soil test to know the amounts of different nutrients in the soil so that you can choose a fertilizer that can supply the depleted nutrients.

How to fertilize:

 There are two different methods for fertilizing the Wild Mustard plants:

● If you have planted them in a field as a crop, you can fertilize them using the mixture of water and fertilizers. You can create a mixture that contains water and the required amount of fertilizers and then feed this when watering your plants.

● You can spread the fertilizer directly on the ground where you have planted the Wild Mustard plants. You can also use this method before the plantation of the Wild Mustard plants as well. This helps to boost the initial level growth of the plants.

You must be careful while fertilizing the plants as the overfeeding of fertilizers can also result in damage to the plants. You must follow the guidelines particularly for the fertilizer that you are using. These guidelines are mostly provided with the fertilizer bag.

Propagation

The Wild Mustard plants are propagated with the help of seeds. These seeds are extracted from the seed pods of the mature plants. These seed-pods form when the flowers pollinate. These seeds are directly sown into the soil.

You can sow these seeds during the March in cold areas while in hot areas you can also plant them in late August. Seeds mostly germinate within 7 days. Keep watering them regularly unless they become a few inches tall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How to Identify the Wild Mustard plants?

Answer: You can easily identify the Wild Mustard plants, they have yellow broccoli-like flower buds, with four petals and six stamens. They have some small pointy leaves at the nodes when they grow up and start branching. When the plants are small and young they grow bigger leaves of almost 6 to 9 inches. The whole plant is edible. They grow small pods from the flowers, these pods contain the seeds of the Wild Mustard plants.

Question: Can we eat Wild Mustard plants?

Answer: Yes, all parts of the Wild Mustard plant are edible, they are often cooked and eaten. Leaves and stems of some varieties are particularly delicious.

Question: What are the health benefits of the Wild Mustard plants?

Answer: Green parts of the Wild Mustard plants such as leaves are rich in minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese). These minerals are required by our body. Apart from this, they have also considered a remedy to prevent diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, asthmas, and lung diseases.

Question: Is Wild Mustard an invasive species?

Answer: Yes, some varieties of Wild Mustard are considered highly invasive. Once you plant them in the garden, they will overtake the garden. They are also very difficult plants to kill or remove from the gardens.