Asian leafy vegetables are increasingly grown hydroponically, sometimes under protective structures. Vegetables grown this way may have fewer leaf diseases but be more susceptible to wilting than field-grown plants. Wilting can be reduced by harvesting when temperatures are cool and plants are fully hydrated.
Rapid cooling is essential to retain quality. Although storage life is maximized at close to 0°C Asian leafy vegetables are highly susceptible to freezing. At 2–4°C with >90% RH Asian leafy vegetables remain acceptable for up to 4 weeks without risking damage. Wombok is less susceptible to freezing than open leafy types, so can be stored at 0−2°C.
Ethylene production is usually low, but sensitivity to ethylene is relatively high. Ethylene exposure increases yellowing and the onset of leaf diseases.
Leafy Asian vegetables contain >93% water. Most are highly susceptible to moisture loss so can benefit significantly from packaging materials and/or misting on retail display.