Sorrel is a perennial herb with a slightly lemony tang that can be used to great effect in a number of delicious dishes. As a perennial herb it is little effort to grow and is easy to start from seed.

Growing sorrel:

Sorrel can be sown between February and July in pots and if left on a sunny windowsill tend to have a fairly good germination rate. Seeds should be sown at a depth of around 1cm and will be ready to divide and place in their own 5cm pots when they are large enough to handle.

Plants can be placed outdoors in late spring and if you are going to continue to grow each one in a container then you will need containers with a diameter of at least 30cm, filled with a good quality soil-based growing medium.

Alternatively, in late spring, you can place your sorrel in a sunny or partly shady spot directly in your garden. You will have to make sure that your sorrel plants are well watered, especially during particularly dry periods, though during the wetter winter months it is essential to ensure that your sorrel will not become waterlogged as this can cause the roots to rot. Lifting pots into legs or elevating them using whatever you have to hand will help prevent waterlogging in container plants.

Take off the flowering heads of your plants whenever these form, unless you plan to allow the plant to go to seed to collect them. Taking of the flower stalks will encourage the sorrel to continue to produce leafy growth.

Do not be alarmed when the top growth of your plants dies back in the autumn, this is meant to occur and in most cases the sorrel will begin to grow again in the spring and will produce a harvest of green leaves for you between June and September.

Young leaves that are at the top of the plant will taste better than the larger leaves found closer to the ground.

It is a good idea to divide mature sorrel plants every few years in either spring or autumn, as this will prevent the plants from becoming too crowded and ensure that the plants remain productive and provide a good yield.

Why grow sorrel in the garden?

Sorrel can be used in a number of ways in the kitchen to provide a fresh and slightly lemony taste and is perfect for adding a little something extra to salads, sauces, egg dishes and soups. As a perennial, sorrel is a good value addition to any kitchen garden.  

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Rumex acetosa