How to Grow Dandelions Indoors - Everything You Should Know

Written by Ivy

Dec 30 2022

How to Grow Dandelions Indoors - Everything You Should Know

Dandelions are typically thought of as nothing, but garden weeds and the idea of growing dandelions indoors may seem a little strange.

To grow dandelion greens in containers, indoors or out, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Choosing a Dandelion Variety and Buying Seeds
  2. Sowing the Seeds
  3. Light and Water Requirements
  4. Harvesting Your Dandelion Greens

What Are Dandelions?

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a flowering, broadleaf perennial herb that is part of the Asteraceae family. Dandelion plants produce yellow flowers which open up into a white puffball, or pappus, which is sometimes referred to as the seed head or "blowball." The wind carries the fuzzy pappus bits naturally, aiding in the spread of the plant's seeds for reproduction.

Dandelions are safe for human consumption even though you might consider them to be weeds because of their flowers, leaves, and roots. The roots can be used to make tea, and the blooms and leaves can be harvested for salads and sauteed dishes. Additionally, dandelions are a simple choice to grow in your garden because they quickly grow in a variety of climates.

When to Plant Dandelions

Dandelions are low-maintenance plants that thrive in USDA hardiness zones 3–9. Dandelion seeds can be sown any time between early spring (roughly six weeks before the last frost) and late summer or early fall, with a germination rate of 10 to 14 days. Although they prefer a warmer climate, they can tolerate soil temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

When to Harvest Dandelions

All through the springtime growing season, dandelions can be harvested. Dandelions get progressively more bitter the longer you let them grow. Picking time for dandelion blossoms is when the flower heads are a full, bright yellow, which is typically just after they have opened.

The best time to harvest dandelion roots is between late fall and early spring, though this is possible at any time during their growth cycle. Dandelions self-seed, so if you wait too long to harvest them, their seed heads will emerge and the wind will scatter the seeds to another area.

How to Grow Dandelions

Dandelion plants are typically started from seed and are a prolific grower. See the steps below for a how-to on growing dandelions.

  1. Choose and prepare your planting spot. Although dandelion seeds can grow in a variety of light and soil conditions, they typically do best in loose, fertile soil that drains well. While a sunny location might seem like the best option, if you're growing dandelion for food, try to pick a spot with some shade, preferably full shade. The dandelion leaves won't become overly bitter in the full sun and will grow more slowly in a more shady location.
  2. Sow your seeds. Directly plant your dandelion seeds in the ground in your garden six weeks before the spring's last frost. A minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit ought to be present on the ground. Plant your seeds a quarter of an inch below the soil surface and only lightly cover them with soil to help the sunlight germinate them. If you are sowing your seeds in rows, space the rows about a foot apart and sow your seeds a few inches apart apart.
  3. Thin your plants. Dandelion plants can develop into clusters that are six inches wide and up to six inches tall. To prevent overgrowth, thin your dandelion plants back to a distance of about six inches once they have sprouted a few inches above the soil surface.

How to Sow Dandelion Seeds

Depending on how many plants there are and how much space they will need, dandelions can be sown indoors at any time of the year in a pot of varying sizes. After the last hard frost, outdoor plants should be planted for a June harvest and a September harvest. To keep them as healthy as possible, all flowers must be picked before the first frost. Dandelions grow best in climates and months from April to September, and the average crop can be harvested twice during this time.

Dandelion seeds can be purchased or gathered from the wild and sown in your garden.

If you search for dandelion seeds and greens, you may come across Italian dandelion (Cichorium intybus). Even though this plant can also be grown as a green and its leaves resemble true dandelions quite a bit, it is actually a variety of chicory.

You can start seeds indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date in your area.

Fill a deep tray or some pots with at least six inches of moist potting soil and sow the seeds one and a half inches apart.

Because the seeds need light to germinate, only lightly cover them with the medium; do not completely bury them.

The pots or tray should be kept moist but not soggy in a warm, sunny location. Within seven to twenty-one days, the seeds ought to sprout.

You can transplant the seedlings into your garden once they are between three and four inches tall and the soil temperature outside is at least 50°F.

If you don't have a garden or yard, you can also replant them into large pots and keep them on your balcony.

If you'd prefer to sow outdoors, you can plant seeds whenever there hasn't been a hard frost as long as the soil is at least 50°F.

Either plant the seeds six to twelve inches apart, or scatter them on the soil's surface and later thin the seedlings. Baby greens (young, tender leaves) should be sown or thinned to a spacing of three inches if you want to harvest them.

How to Grow Dandelions Indoors


If you don't give dandelion plants much attention, they will grow well, but if you don't want them to take over your garden and lawn, harvest all the flowers before they set seed.

If you intend to harvest the roots as well, remove the flowers before the plants expend a lot of energy producing seeds to get bigger roots!

  • Light and Water Requirements

Place the pot or container in a bright area after that. A south-facing windowsill or a piece of shelving with grow lights work well for growing dandelion greens indoors.

Make sure to irrigate the soil daily because dandelions need a lot of water and sunlight to produce a large crop. For best results, keep the ground damp but not drenched.

  • Pests & Diseases in Dandelions

Dandelions are relatively hardy and do not experience a wide range of problems. The majority of dandelions are fairly tolerant of all temperatures, including occasionally frost, and can grow in almost any season. Dandelions are, in reality, a form of "weeds" that grow in a variety of conditions and can grow out of control if they are not controlled as seeds are germinated and moved just by the wind blowing them from one plant to another that is able to grow in similar conditions in a proximal area.

Although dandelions grow most frequently in the spring, they can sprout in any season and at any temperature, including both hot and cold conditions. After the primary blooming period has passed, many will reflower in the fall. When their growth cycle is uninterrupted, each plant will continue to grow for five to ten years and can get quite big.

How to Harvest Dandelions

Detailed instructions for gathering dandelion are provided below.

  1. Choose a clean area for your harvest. If you don't have a special bed or container for your dandelions, make sure the area you're harvesting them from is free of damage from foot traffic or animal waste. Only the dandelion flowers that look clean and healthy should be harvested and eaten. Avoid harvesting dandelions from areas that have been chemically treated with pesticides or herbicides.
  2. Cover the area with dark fabric for a few days. Cover the area you'll be harvesting your dandelions with some dark fabric a few days prior to harvesting. The dandelion leaves' maturation is slowed as a result, which may increase their bitterness. This also blocks out light.
  3. Snip your leaves and flowers. Use a fresh pair of scissors to cut the dandelion head just below the blossom, leaving a small portion of stem still attached. If the flowers are already open, place the stems in cold water to prevent them from closing until you're ready to use them. You can also remove the tender leaves from the stem in the middle and use them in salads.
  4. Extract the plant. You must pull up the entire plant, just as you would with a weed, in order to harvest the dandelion root. Additionally, you can use a digging instrument to break up the soil surrounding the plant, making it simpler to remove it without damaging the roots. Remember that as long as a portion of the dandelion plant's root is still present, it can still grow again.

3 Tips to Care for Dandelions

Dandelions do not need much maintenance because they self-pollinate. It typically requires more effort to prevent them from returning than it does to keep them from spreading. To maintain your dandelion plants, however, follow the simple instructions below.

  1. Water them regularly. In order to keep dandelions hydrated, you should water them frequently because they prefer moist soil. Before every watering, make sure the top two inches of the soil are dry.
  2. Watch the sunlight. When you are growing dandelions, make sure they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. To keep the greens from becoming overly bitter if you intend to eat them, make sure they can get plenty of shade once they are well-established.
  3. Avoid mulching. Although mulching is a common weed-control method, it obstructs the light dandelions need to germinate their seeds. Mulch should not be applied to dandelions.

6 Ways to Use Dandelions

The following are just a few of the many useful applications for dandelions.

  1. Nutrition: Vitamins A, C, E, and K, folate, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are among the vitamins and minerals found in dandelions.
  2. Skincare: Dandelion is a well-liked component of many moisturizing soaps, oils, and lotions due to its high vitamin A and E content.
  3. Meal additions: After being thoroughly cleaned, dandelion leaves can be consumed raw or cooked. Dandelion leaves with a buttery flavor can be sautéed in a pan with other vegetables like garlic and onions or added to a spring mix of salad greens. The blossoms, whether opened or not, can also be used to make fritters.
  4. Baking: For an herbal flavor, you can add dandelion petals, oil, honey, or essence to a variety of baked goods like cookies, muffins, and cakes.
  5. Dandelion tea: Dandelion tea is made by steeping dried or fresh dandelion roots in hot water and then straining them. Despite the fact that they don't contain any caffeine, dandelion roots can also be used as a substitute for coffee.
  6. Dandelion wine: Dandelion wine can be produced by fermenting dandelion leaves with sugar and citrus in a mason jar for one to two years.

Final Words

When growing conditions are ideal, the majority of dandelion cultivars reach maturity 85 to 95 days after planting. If you're growing young dandelion greens, you can harvest your crop much earlier than usual.

If you are growing dandelion greens, remove the plants before they flower to prevent the greens from turning bitter. A few days before harvesting, cover the pot or move it into some shade to lessen the sourness of the mature leaves.


Can You Grow Dandelions in Water

You can submerge a whole dandelion head in water and take it out again almost undamaged! In a glass with water, a dandelion is being held.

How Long Does It Take for a Dandelion to Grow from Seed

Dandelions grow well in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. They are low-maintenance plants. With a germination rate of about 10 to 14 days, dandelion seeds can be planted from early spring (about six weeks before the last frost) through late summer or early fall.

How to Grow Dandelions from Cuttings

Once you cut any portion of the root off, Master Gardener Steve Albert advises that even small bits of the root remaining in the soil will readily sprout into a new dandelion plant. You can temporarily uproot the plant, but depending on the weather, it will grow back within a few days or weeks.

How to Grow Dandelions for Food

Sow your dandelion seeds directly into your garden soil six weeks before the last frost of the spring. The ground temperature should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. To encourage the germination of your seeds by sunlight, plant them 1/4 inch below the soil's surface, with only a light soil covering.

How to Grow Dandelions for Tortoise

Fill the hole with a little indoor potting mix, a few seeds, fluff and all, some more potting mix, and the removed soil. Sprinkle some water on it after giving it a light push. Sprinkle with water once every day for the first week. The soil must be kept damp around the seeds in some manner.