Growing Chia
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Colin
Posted on: August 29, 2012

My chia in the field is 4-5 feet tall in a very hot and dry growing season. I am seeing no sign of buds or flowers and am getting concerned that it may be ‘day-sensitive’.

Does chia only begin flowering after the equinox?

Yes, unless you throw black cloths over the rows every evening to shorten the days to 12 hours,

Ordinary Chia grows very well in Midwestern and Eastern USA but flowers too late in the season for seeds to mature before killing frosts. They usually set seeds when daylength is about 12 hours, which occurs in October in the USA and Canada. Longer day-length plants have recently been developed by irradiating seeds and selecting plants that flower under 15 hour days from the progeny.

However, our variety is the untampered-with variety and needs the black cloth treatment to set flowers early enough to produce seeds in the north.

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