Garden sorrel - 100 seeds - Rumex acetosa

Garden sorrel - 100 seeds - Rumex acetosa

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Hardiness Zones

Sorrel plants are reliably perennial in USDA hardiness zones 5 and higher, however many people grow them as annuals, starting new plants each spring. Older plants can become tough and less flavorful. Growers recommend either frequent division or sowing new plants each spring.

Sun Exposure

Plants will grow best in full sun, although a little partial shade will keep them going longer into summer.

Sorrel Growing Tips

Choose a spot with good drainage. Sorrel likes a slightly acidic soil pH; somewhere in the range of 5.5 to 6.8.

Since it is grown for its leaves, a soil rich in organic matter will give you lots of leafy ,green growth.

You can start sorrel from seed, cuttings, root division or transplant, in either spring or early fall. Seed can be started indoors or out, but since you can direct sow as early as 2 - 3 weeks before your last spring frost date, it is easiest to simply sow in the garden.


Established plants can handle a light frost.

Sow the seed ½ in. deep, spaced about 3 in. apart. When the plants are an inch or two tall, thin to a 12 - 15 in. spacing. You should only need 2 or 3 plants, for the average family's need.

Sorrel is an excellent choice for container growing. You should use at least a 6 inch pot, but 8 - 12 inches would be ideal. You can probably keep your sorrel growing longer in containers than in the ground, because you can move it out of the sun on warm days.

Caring for Sorrel Plants

Give your sorrel plants regular water; at least 1 in. per week. Mulching will help conserve moisture and keep the leaves clean.

Hopefully you started with a rich soil, but you should amend the soil each year with more organic matter and possibly side dress with compost or granular fertilizer mid-season.

Unless you want to save seed, cut the seed stalk to the ground and remove any declining leaves. The plant should re-sprout with more tender leaves. Sorrel will self-seed if you leave the seed heads on the plants.

To keep your plants healthy and vigorous divide them in spring or early summer every 3 - 4 years.