How to Grow Sorrel Herb Plants

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About Growing Sorrel Plants in Your Herb Garden

The Sorrel plant is grown in herb gardens for its tangy flavored, arrow-shaped leaves. This cool weather, culinary herb is an easy-to-grow perennial. In colder regions, sorrel herbs are grown as annuals. The plants are native to England, Europe, and Asia. Try growing Sorrel plants in containers on a balcony or deck.

Young, tender leaves are used fresh in garden salads. It is also used in soups, or sautéed, like spinach or chard.

Flowers Bloom: Summer

Flower Colors: Red.

Plant height: from 12 inches to 3 feet, depending upon variety.

Hardiness Zones: 5- 7

Perennial, Rumex Acetosa, Rumex Scutatus

Varieties of Sorrel

There are a couple of hundred species.  Most varieties grow up to two to three feet tall.

Edible garden varieties include Common Sorrel (Rumex Acetosa) and French Sorrel (Rumex Scutatus).  These plants are native to England and Europe.

Other types are not edible. This group includes Mountain Sorrel, Sheep Sorrel, Golden Dock, and Western Dock.

The information below describes how to grow and harvest Common and French varieties.

Medicinal and Culinary Uses

Medicinal Uses:

The plants are used as a diuretic.

Sheep Sorrel has been used to treat fever, scurvy, and tumors.

Dry the leaves and use them for medicinal teas.

Culinary Uses: 

For varieties that are edible, all parts of the plant, including the roots, are edible.

It is high in Vitamin C.

Sorrel Plant Propagation

The plants are grown from seed, or division of their roots.

Directly sow seeds into your garden. Sow seeds early in the season, two to three weeks before the last frost in your area. Cover lightly with 1/2″ fine soil.

Final Plant Spacing:  Space seedlings, or thin plants 12 to 18 inches apart.

Days to Germination: 7 – 21 days.

How to Grow Sorrel Herb Plants

Sorrel is easy to grow. The plants prefer full sun and cool weather. They grow well in rich, moist soil. Add plenty of compost before planting.

For established plants, add compost or mulch to keep weeds down, and retain moisture. Keep well weeded.

Water the plants during dry periods and droughts, once or twice a week Add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.

Harvest young, tender leaves after the plant is about six inches tall. You can aggressively harvest Sorrel leaves. New growth will appear.

Remove flowers before blooming to extend the growing season.

Aphids can sometimes be a problem. Use only organic controls.

Plant disease is uncommon.

Ideal pH: 5.5- 6.8

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