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Growing Edible Flowers: Here’s How to Do It

growing edible flowers

When we are talking about vegetables, we understand that they are completely edible and are quite nutritious. But not a lot of people actually know that there are other types of plants that you can eat aside from the well-known vegetables that we consume on a regular basis. And, yes, we are talking about flowers that are completely edible. So, how do you grow edible flowers?

Growing edible flowers is no different from growing vegetables and other types of flowers. You just have to sow the flowers from seed and make sure that you keep them in pots that are appropriately sized. Of course, you need to let the seeds germinate first before you transfer them into their pots.

Now that you know that there are indeed edible flowers, all you need to do now is to learn more about how you can grow them so that you can actually grow these edible flowers in the comforts of your own garden. And once you already know how to grow them, you can now take advantage of the flavor, colours and the nutritional benefits that come with edible flowers.

If you are interested even more on edible flowers, then I suggest you to read also Why Edible Flowers are New Culinary Trend and Very Profitable and since microgreens and edible flowers are a good match, I suggest you to read 10 Things You Need to Start Growing Microgreens as a Professional.

Assortiment of Edible Flowers

Edible flowers and their health benefits

When it comes to different plants that are edible, we often think about common plants such as vegetables which have always been the main parts of any healthy diet throughout the history of mankind.

But what not a lot of people understand is that there are also edible plants that come in the form of flowers. Yes, you can actually eat the colorful flowers that you can see in some plants. Still, you might not be able to eat all kinds of flowers as there are some flowers that aren’t exactly edible.

As such, we are here to talk more about some of the more common edible flowers and how you can grow them. And if you are wondering why you should be eating these flowers, we are also here to talk about their nutritional benefits.

1. Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants are quite common around the world due to how they come with large blossoms that are beautiful to look at. These flowers are quite common in tropical climates all over the world. Meanwhile, there are also plenty of people who know that hibiscus is edible as these flowers are usually used for tea. But not a lot of people know that you can actually eat hibiscus.

Hibiscus flowers are quite large and can grow up to 6 inches in terms of their diameter. They also come in several colors that are all beautiful and captivating. That said, they are usually used as ornamental plants but they are also great for culinary and medicinal purposes.

You can actually eat hibiscus straight from its plant but it is usually consumed as a tea. Hibiscus can also be eaten as relishes, jams, or even salads. Still, more cultures are more likely to drink hibiscus as tea due to how it comes with medicinal purposes such as how it is known to improve cholesterol levels while lowering blood pressure in the process.

Growing Edible Flowers
Hibiscus flower

2. Lavender

Lavender flowers are some of the most popular flowers in the world due to how they come with a very pleasant scent that no one can hate. In fact, lavender is popular because of how it helps calm you. That’s why lavender flowers are often used for anything that is scented as the oil that is responsible for giving lavender its scent is often extracted. But did you know that you can also eat lavender?

Yes, lavender is completely edible as you can add it to a lot of different types of foods such as baked goods and herbal teas. You can even make lavender-infused syrups that are great additions to your usual meals. This is what makes lavender a great complement for meals that are sweet but you can also eat them together with savory dishes as well.

Lavender is great because it comes with a kind of aroma and flavor that is great for calming you. Plus, lavender also comes with distinct vitamins and minerals that are quite useful for improving a person’s overall health.

Growing Edible Flowers
Lavender

3. Dandelion

When you look at a dandelion, you probably think that it is a stubborn weed that can be found in most gardens. However, you can actually eat dandelion and include it in your regular meals if you want to take advantage of this nutritious food.

Dandelions are quite small as they are barely bigger than an inch and a half. However, they come with plenty of antioxidants and plant compounds that can help improve a person’s overall health. This is why dandelions can be a great addition to your diet.

Moreover, dandelions are not the only edible parts of the plant because you can eat every part of them. This includes its stems, leaves, and roots. That said, dandelions are completely edible plants that can be made into tea or used as raw greens in salads.

Growing Edible Flowers
Meadow of dandelion flowers

4. Nasturtium

One of the favorites among culinary experts is nasturtium, which might not be the most common flower out there but is nevertheless quite popular as an edible flower due to how it fits well with savory dishes.

The leaves and the flowers of nasturtium are completely edible and may be eaten as is or cooked. They come with a spicy kind of flavor that is peppery in nature. And that is why they are great additions to savory dishes.

On top of how flavorful nasturtium may be, it is very nutritious because of how it comes with great plant compounds that can help improve a person’s health. This is why these flowers are often used for salads and pesto. If you would like to grow only nasturtium leaves (and at the end of course also flowers will be produced if you will leave them to grow), here are seeds in our shop.

Growing Edible Flowers
Nasturtium leaves and flowers

5. Honeysuckle

One of the most abundant types of edible flowers is honeysuckle, which has hundreds of different species all over the world. These are flowers that are often used for Chinese medicine as the ancient Chinese people have been using them for centuries already. This only means that honeysuckle has been known to be edible for a very long time.

What is often done with honeysuckle is that the juices are extracted and then applied to the skin. You can even ingest the extracts if you can. By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of the medicinal properties that come with honeysuckle.

Culinary-wise, honeysuckle is often used for making teas and syrup due to how fragrant and flavorful it is. You can even use it for your iced tea or other similar drinks as honeysuckle does indeed come with a somewhat sweet flavor. Still, there are some variants of honeysuckle that aren’t exactly edible and safe to eat.

Growing Edible Flowers
Honeysuckle

6. Borage

Also called starflower, borage is a kind of herb that is quite useful for treating sore throat or cough. That means that it is completely edible as it has always been used as a medicinal flower due to its many different medicinal qualities.

When used in the kitchen, there are plenty of ways you can use borage because of how its leaves and flowers are completely edible. The plant comes with a flavor that is somewhat sweet and similar to honey and cucumber in terms of its flavor. You can even eat the flowers freshly picked such as when you add them in salads or as garnishes for different desserts due to how sweet they are. You can even cook them and add them to soups. We wanted it to catch some of those lovely flowers and here is our dried version of this flowers.

Growing Edible Flowers
Borage

7. Rose

Yes, the red flower that you often give as gifts to your loved ones can actually be eaten. That’s because rose comes in different species that are all completely edible. But, then again, roses have different flavors that vary depending on the species you are talking about.

The rule that is often used to determine the taste of a certain rose is to use its smell as the barometer. The more pleasant the scent is, the better its flavor should be. However, you should only eat the petals because of how the leaves and stems aren’t very tasty. Meanwhile, the petals are actually sweet and pleasant so long as you have a certain species of rose that is actually pleasant in terms of its scent as well. Dried roses has its very pleasant scent and can be used in many ways, not only in teas but also on all sorts of sweets.

When eating rose, you can mix them into salads or you can add them to granola for a healthy and nutritious breakfast. You can even add fresh rose petals to beverages so that you can infuse them with the flavor and nutritional value of the plant. And like many other flowers, rose can be great at improving your mood and keeping you relaxed and calm.

Growing Edible Flowers
Rose

8. Purslane

Purslane is actually a succulent that comes with edible flowers and leaves. You can even eat the flowers and leaves as they are or choose to cook them if you want. This makes them very valuable in terms of their culinary value even though, historically, they were similar to dandelions due to how they were treated as pesky weeds. Then again, due to the recent discovery that purslane is actually quite nutritious, it has since become quite popular.

The reason why purslane is great as an edible flower is that it comes with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are great for any kind of diet. But the best part is that it comes with a good amount of healthy fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. Purslane is the best vegetable in terms of its overall omega-3 content.

Growing Edible Flowers
Purslane flowers

9. Squash blossom

We all know that squash is an edible type of food but not a lot of people know that you can actually eat squash flowers. They are even as edible as the squash itself. And the best part is that they are even just as healthy and nutritious.

Squash blossoms can be eaten as they are or can be chopped and added to salads. They are also widely used as garnishes for different meals. And if you want to add a bit of crispiness, you can fry or bake squash blossoms.

Growing Edible Flowers
Squash blossom

10. Pansy

As amazing as pansies are to look at, what you probably don’t know is that they are also just as great as edible flowers. These blossoms are about 2 to 3 inches and are very colorful. So, because of how colorful they are, they also come with amazing floral flavors that are very appealing to the senses. This is why pansies are also popular food items in the culinary world when you are talking about edible flowers.

Pansies are often used as decorative garnishes for desserts due to how colorful they are but you can also eat the petals as is when you add them to different dishes such as salads. As such, it is best to chop the pansies and then add them to your salads. You can even candy the individual petals to give them a unique kind of sweetness that you probably won’t be able to get from other types of dishes.

So, the reason why pansies are also popular as edible flowers is that they come with a potent dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why they are great as medicinal plants that can be added to any kind of healthy diet.

Growing Edible Flowers
Pansies

11. Chamomile

While we often regard chamomile as a tea flower that you can drink to improve your quality of sleep and to calm yourself down, what you didn’t know is that chamomile is also completely edible as it is.

Chamomile flowers come with a flavor that is sweet and earthy, and that is why they are great for both desserts and savory meals. However, you need to make sure that you heat the flowers so that you will be able to extract the best flavors out of them through the bioactive compounds that chamomile flowers have. That’s why they are often cooked or dried first even though you can consume them fresh.

Most people use chamomile for tea but you can also infuse syrups with chamomile extract. This is why they are great for baked goods and other types of desserts. Meanwhile, the earthy flavors can add a bit of touch to your savory meals.

Growing Edible Flowers
Chamomile

How to grow edible flowers

Now that you know more about some of the more edible flowers, let us now talk more about how you can actually grow these edible flowers. 

But the first thing you need to know here is that not all flowers are actually edible. As such, you may want to restrict yourself to the list we have above if you are looking for edible flowers that are completely safe to eat. 

The next thing you need to know is that there are some edible flowers that tend to be picky in terms of the climates they grow. Some edible flowers can only be grown in climates that are tropical in nature while others will grow almost anywhere. Keep that in mind when you are growing edible flowers as there are some that might not grow well in your region.

So, the first thing you need to do to grow edible flowers is to germinate the seeds. But keep in mind that different edible flower seeds germinate at different rates. There are some that will take only a few days to germinate while some may take weeks. It is best for you to read more about the flower seed if you want to know how long it takes to germinate.

Include your youngets one in the growing process

For germinating edible flower seeds, we suggest that you use the paper towel method wherein you soak and dampen a sheet of paper towel before you place the seeds on the paper towel. After that, cover the paper towel between two paper plates and then keep them in a dark and dry area. Make sure that you check on the seeds regularly and that you keep the paper towels damp as much as possible. Your seeds will soon begin to sprout in a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of edible flower seeds you have.

After the seeds have germinated, the next thing you need to do is to plant them in their individual pots or directly outside. Some edible flowers such as chamomile can grow well when grown outside in your garden soil but there are some that prefer to be planted in their own individual pots. Take the size of the plant into consideration when choosing the right kind of pot and make sure that you use ordinary garden soil.

From there, you should keep the flowers in a sunny spot so that they can soak in as much sunlight as possible. However, there are some edible flowers that might not do well during the warmer and sunnier summer months, and that is why they are best grown right after winter when the sun is not yet that harsh.

Keep in mind that it is important that you feed your edible flowers with enough water such that their soil is damp but not overflowing with water. Also, it isn’t necessary that you use fertilized soil for your edible flowers.

Annual edible flowers will most likely flower in the year that you planted them. Meanwhile, there are perennial edible flowers that may have to take a year before they get to flower but will continuously produce flowers for as long as the plant lives.

Want to learn more?

If you have any questions about the information cited in this post or about microgreens in general, please leave a comment below or reach out to us via email hello@reactgreens.com.

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