In warm climates the plant is perennial, and will provide harvests for many years. The growth habit is upright to spreading, with the longest stems tending to flop over and trail on the ground.
Okinawa spinach grows well in full sun or part shade. Growth stops in cold weather, and a hard freeze will kill top growth, but in spring the plant quickly regenerates from the root system. It is recommended for USDA Zones 9-11, but can be grown as an annual or in containers in colder locations.
In spring the plants go through a flowering cycle when little leafy growth occurs, but the plant is covered in orange blooms, attracting Monarch butterflies to the nectar. This plant is in the same genus as Longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens) and the houseplant known as Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca), and the flowers are clearly similar.