Written by Ivy
Dec 30 2022
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:
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.
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.
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.
Dandelion plants are typically started from seed and are a prolific grower. See the steps below for a how-to on growing dandelions.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Detailed instructions for gathering dandelion are provided below.
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.
The following are just a few of the many useful applications for dandelions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.