Safed Musli in PEI
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Phyllis Clark
Posted on: January 09, 2005

I have received your catalogue and was looking through it and came across this plant SAFED MUSLI. Was wondering if I can grow it in Canada (Province - Prince Edward Island). We have the soil conditions but is our temperature and growing season long enough to get a viable crop. Can it be started inside and transplanted out? If it can be grown commercially in Canada -- where can we sell it?

Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivillianum) is virtually unknown in North America at present, so its market has to be considered, at best, an "emerging" one for now. We think that it has potential perhaps just as an indoor plant for windowsills and hanging baskets. It is closely related to the common house plant, the spider plant, which of course is very easy to grow. Many of us a familiar with the mass of tubers that spider plants produce over time and tubers are the part of safed musli that is used.

How the plant will fare a field crop in North America is probably completely unknown at this time. My guess is that it will not work as a commercial field crop in Canada, but until a trial is conducted to prove that one way or another, we cannot rule it out. There are many plants that come from tropical regions that do well commercially in Canada (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, melons, etc.). But as a field crop safed musli will likely turn out to have more success in the southern U.S. than in Canada.

Safed musli should be started indoors for outdoor planting in spring when the threat of frost is over.

We are planning to prepare a provisional North American monograph on the plant which will be posted on our website shortly at http://www.richters.com/safedmusli/.

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