Dandelion - Plant
Description for Dandelion
Slightly bitter, delicate with the taste of spring and edible from root to flower, the humble dandelion is more than just a garden weed. As a salad green, dandelions can be grown indoors in containers year round for a continuous harvest.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Taraxacum officinale||Yellow, White||-||0.50 to 1.00 feet||easy to grow|
Planting and care
Much like other greens, dandelions can be harvested either as a head by removing the entire plant when mature (starting to flower) at harvest or as a leaf, which means that you would remove only some of the young leaves or the whole head when the plant is still young.
Both ways are acceptable and which you choose will be based on your preference. Another benefit of growing dandelions is the fact that it is a perennial. After you harvest the plant it will grow back the same season, year after year. Never harvest dandelions from a location that is near a road or has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
|Full Sun to Partial Shade||well-drained soil||Medium||50Â°F||N-P-K should be 8-16-8|
Caring for Dandelion
- Fill a 6-inch-deep or deeper pot, which has bottom drainage holes, with moist potting soil. Use a pot at least 4 inches in diameter for a single dandelion, or grow multiple dandelion plants in a large pot.
- Place dandelion seeds 1 1/2 inches apart on the pots soil. Sprinkle a little potting soil over each seed until all the seeds are barely covered, about 1/8 inch deep in the soil.
- Spray the soil with water, dampening the seeds. Place the pot in a bright spot indoors, and keep its soil moist. Dandelion seeds sprout in soil as low as 50 F, but they germinate quicker when the soil temperature is nearer to 77 F. Seedlings should appear above the soil within two weeks after the seeds were sown.
- Grow dandelion plants in a bright indoor area, such as a sunny porch or a room with natural light. Dandelions grow vigorously in full sun but tolerate partial shade.
- Pour 2 cups of 8-16-8 or other general purpose fertilizer into 1 gallon of water. Blend the fertilizer and water thoroughly. The result is a concentrated fertilizer mixture.
- Fertilize the dandelions soil when the plants are 4 to 6 inches tall then twice each month for the rest of the growing season. Combine 2 tablespoons of the concentrated fertilizer mixture with 1 gallon of water, and use the solution to water the dandelions soil until it is damp all the way through. Each application of the fertilizer solution replaces one regular watering.
- Water the dandelions soil throughout the growing season when the top of the soil dries slightly. Water deeply until excess moisture leaks from the pots bottom drainage holes.
- Cut dandelions for salads at their base when they grow 4 to 8 inches tall. As the leaves mature, they become more bitter and tough, but they are edible at any time.
- Harvest the dandelion flowers when they open fully but before they go to seed and turn white. Cut a flower stalk at its base. If you grow the dandelions predominantly for salad greens, then pinch off the flowers at their bases as soon as the blooms appear.
- Overwinter dandelions in containers indoors in a bright, frost-free area. Promote leaf growth by continuing to remove the flowers as they appear. Harvest the leaves through winter.
Typical uses of Dandelion
Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose
Medicinal use: The health benefits of dandelion include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer and anemia.