How to Grow Salsify – A Beginner’s Guide

salsify plant growing in garden
Salsify, which are known botanically as Tragopogon porrifolius, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing salsify as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Salsify

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the salsify seeds directly outdoors in early spring. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when salsify are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Salsify the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing salsify in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your salsify grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.8.

2″ apart in rows 36″ apart. 1″ apart in rows 18″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 8-12″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your salsify seedlings 2-4″ apart when seedlings are 1-2″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Salsify

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your salsify. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your salsify should be getting full sun

How Much to Water Salsify

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your salsify do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your salsify begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Salsify to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your salsify grow.

It takes approximately 7-21 days to germinate, and a total of 120-150 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Salsify

The best time to harvest your salsify is in late fall, after the first frost.

Salsify can grow up to about 12-24″ tall.

What Can Salsify Be Used For?

Food Use: great for soups, stews, and roasted vegetable dishes.

Flavor Profile: mild, slightly sweet, and similar to oysters.

Can Salsify Grow in Pots and Containers?

No, it is generally not advised to grow salsify in pots or containers.

Are Salsify Safe for Bees?

Yes, salsify are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing salsify is bee-friendly.

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