Planting Utazi: See How To Plant Utazi

how to plant utazi

Utazi (Gongronema latifolium) like Uziza, okazi  is a climbing or vine plant,

The plant is grown for its leaves.

The leaves are used in the preparation of various soups, stew and salad.

Description of Utazi Plant

Utazi plant is a perennial and trailing plant, 

Like uziza and okazi the stem is thin, green in colour and the length can be about 6 m (19 ft) long.

The leaves are green in colour and have a broad heart shape compared to uziza leaves that have a  narrow heart shape.

Planting Season for Utazi 

Utazi can be grown all year round with irrigation

But the best time to grow it is during the rainy season.

This is between March through October. 

Planting Utazi

Step 1: Choose a Location 

Choose a good location for the plant it does not require much space

But ensure there is provision for it to climb either grow it close to an existing tree or make provision for a stalk or pole.

Well drained soil

Good loamy soil

Good exposure to sunlight.

Step 2:  Land Clearing and Preparation 

Clear the portion selected for planting

Till the soil to soften it,

add manure or compost to the soil and mix

Step 3: Means of Propagation (Seed Selection)

Uziza is propagated by seeds and stem cuttings.

More success in cultivation has been recorded using matured stem cutting compared to using seeds over the years.

The seed loses its viability quickly.

Get stem cutting from a matured uziza plant,

Cut the stem about 15 cm (6 in) long.

Step 4: Planting

Till a small portion of the ground raising the soil a little.

Pour water and allow the soil settle

Check the cut stem to note the position of the nodes lie it down (place horizontally).

Make sure that the nodes are facing upwards.

Cover the soil lightly.

A spacing of 70 cm (28 in) or 90 cm (35 in) between each plant.

Step 5: Water

Water the plant immediately after planting

Water everyday until it sprouts.

After about 3 – 4 weeks water at least three times a week.

Maturity and Harvest

Uziza is ready for harvest after about 6 months

The leaves can be harvested for home use as soon as the plant has grown leaves enough for about 1 – 2 months.

But for commercial or large harvest 6 month 

To harvest carefully cut the stem with a knife 

Do not uproot the plant as it will reproduce again 

Except it’s no longer needed.

Pruning And Stacking

Prune the plant from time to time is important to help it produce better.

With a rope or twine attach the plant to a stack (stick or bamboo).

Pest and Diseases


  • Aphids
  • Caterpillar 
  • White flies 
  • Leaf miners
  • Slugs


  • Bacterial Leaf Spot
  • Powdery mildred
  • Leaf Spot
  • Root Rot
  • Leaf blight

Pest and Disease Control 

  • Avoid over watering
  • Use disease resistant plants
  • Weed regularly 
  • Avoid dense planting
  • Destroy affected plants

Hope this article was helpful?

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