Growing Ma Huang, Ephedra sinica
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: March 10, 2006

I’ve purchased some Ma Huang seeds, but I’m not quite sure what kind of growing conditions it likes. Are there any specific requirements that must be met for this plant to thrive? I live in a zone 8 desert in southern California that is very windy, and is also very hot in the summer (90+ F) and quite chilly in winter with some heavy rainfall and an occasional snow.

The plant is rated for zone 5 to 8 and should love your area, since it likes full sun and a well-drained soil on the dry side.

Would it survive well outside in a pot?

It should be fine even in a pot, since the roots will get as cold as an in-soil plant’s roots planted in zone 6.

Once seedlings have come up, how often should I water them, do they like to be kept moist until they’ve grown a bit, or do they like to be on the dry side between waterings, and how often do more mature plants like to be watered?

Seedlings must be kept moister than adult plants, because they do not have the roots to gather more water, nor the plant mass to store water for drier times. Water seedlings when the surface of the soil gets dry and mature plants when the top 2 to 3 cm get dry.

What kind of sun exposure does it prefer?

Full sun.

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