How to grow Sorrel

Sorrel, also known as common sorrel or garden sorrel, are leafy green vegetables that belong to the Polygonaceae family

How to grow Sorrel

In this article:

Introduction to Sorrels Vegetable

Sorrels, also known as common sorrel or garden sorrel, are leafy green vegetables that belong to the Polygonaceae family. They are known for their lemony flavor and are used in a variety of culinary dishes. Sorrels are easy to grow, making them a popular choice for home gardeners.

Varieties of Sorrels

There are several varieties of sorrels, including:

  • French sorrel
  • Large-leaved sorrel
  • Broad-leaved sorrel
  • Bloody sorrel
  • Sheep sorrel

Climate and Soil Requirements

Sorrels thrive in cool climates and can tolerate temperatures as low as 25°F (-4°C). They prefer full sun but can also grow in partially shaded areas. The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter.

Planting Sorrels

Sorrels can be grown from seeds or transplants. Here's how to plant sorrels:

  1. Sow seeds directly into the garden in early spring or fall.
  2. If using transplants, plant them in well-prepared soil.
  3. Space the plants about 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
  4. Cover the seeds or transplants with a thin layer of soil.

Watering and Fertilizing

Sorrels require regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather. Avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.

Apply a balanced fertilizer before planting and side-dress with compost or aged manure during the growing season to provide nutrients to the plants.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Sorrels are relatively pest and disease resistant. However, they may occasionally suffer from pests such as aphids or diseases like powdery mildew. Monitor the plants regularly and take appropriate action if you notice any signs of infestation or disease. Consider using organic pest control methods as much as possible.

Harvesting Sorrels

Sorrels can be harvested when the leaves reach approximately 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in length. Harvest the outer leaves first, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing. Regular harvesting will help promote continuous leaf production throughout the season.

Culinary Uses of Sorrels

Sorrels are commonly used in various culinary dishes due to their tangy and lemony flavor. They can be added to salads, soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Sorrels are also used as a main ingredient in traditional dishes like sorrel soup and sorrel pesto.

Storing and Preserving Sorrels

Keep harvested sorrels unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they can last up to a week. You can also freeze sorrels by blanching them quickly and storing them in airtight containers or freezer bags.

Health Benefits of Sorrels

Sorrels are packed with nutrients and offer several health benefits. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. Sorrels are believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can aid digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Sorrels

Q: Can sorrels be grown in containers?

A: Yes, sorrels can be grown in containers as long as they have enough space for root development.

Q: How often should I fertilize sorrels?

A: Apply a balanced fertilizer at the time of planting and side-dress with compost or aged manure every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.

Q: Are sorrels deer-resistant?

A: Yes, sorrels have a tart flavor that is generally unappealing to deer and other wildlife.


Growing sorrels in your garden can provide you with a tangy and flavorsome addition to your meals. With the right conditions and care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this versatile and nutritious vegetable. Happy gardening!

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