Watercress


Watercress is a dark green, leafy plant with a peppery flavor.
Watercress is a dark green, leafy plant with a peppery flavor.

Watercress is a trailing perennial vegetable of European origin with dark green peppery leaves. Plants usually grow in water. If you're fortunate enough to have a stream running through your garden, you can grow watercress on the bank. You can also grow it indoors in pots set in a tray of water. Watercress adds a kick to salad recipes and makes a popular garnish. It's full of vitamin C and minerals.

Common Name: Watercress

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Scientific Name: Nasturtium officinale

Hardiness: Hardy (may survive first frost)

In the next section, we'll show you how to grow your own watercress.

Want even more information about growing watercress? Try these links:

  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.
  • Watercress Recipes: Put your home-grown veggies to use with these recipes.
  • Starting Watercress: You can grow watercress from a market clipping.

Growing Watercress

Watercress needs a very wet environment to grow.
Watercress needs a very wet environment to grow.

Although watercress is easily grown from seed, it is usually propagated in temperate climates from stem-pieces, which root easily in wet soil. Sow seeds of watercress directly in wet garden soils two to three weeks before the average date of last frost. Cuttings can be taken from the watercress you buy at the grocery. Watercress prefers sun in the North, dappled shade in the South.

Sow the seeds thickly 1/4 inch deep. Mulch lightly if high water is likely to wash seeds from their bed. As watercress becomes established, the plants will spread and float on the edges of streams, rooting into the soil below.

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Harvesting Watercress

Pick plants when needed for a pungent, peppery flavor.

Types of Watercress:

Dutch matures in 53 days.

Want even more information about growing watercress? Try these links: