Edible flowers are easy to grow at home and this is what I am going to talk about today. I grow a few different edible flowers each year, mainly from seeds, and they are always doing great. Not all the seeds will germinate, but the ones that do will produce enough flowers for salads and decoration anyway. There are flowers available at specialized vendors, but they are very expensive. I think it is much more rewarding to grow your own plants, especially as it is so easy to do that.
I used flowers for salads, for desserts such as tiramisu and pies, even on cold soups and open sandwiches. Flowers can be frozen in ice cubes and used in cocktails and mocktails too. I successfully frozen pansies. They should be served frozen as they tend to wilt when defrosted. I bought plant seeds from B&Q and there are seeds available at garden centres too. Some brands are very helpful as they placed the fork&knife sign on the front of the package so you know which ones are edible.
I hope you will be inspired to grow your own flowers if you fancy. This is my short guide that will help you decide.
how to grow edible flowers:
There are a few things to consider when growing flowers and salad. First of all is to pick where to grow them. I had success growing edible flowers both outside and on the window sill. Because the plants are not big, you can grow them in small pots, making it easier to replace the plants that are not doing great.
Which flowers to pick? I grew pansies, white and blue borage, marigold, calendula. In the picture for this post I’ve put a calendula in the middle and marigold petals sprinkled on top of the salad. Pansies are very easy to grow, they do not have a lot of flavour, but that doesn’t make a lot of difference as they are used for decoration. Pansies are colourful and you can harvest flowers in bloom or as bulbs, making them perfect for decorating something big, like a cake or a pie. Get different colours for pansies and your salads will look bright and delicious.
Rosemary flowers are edible too and I harvest flowers from my rosemary bush. Rosemary is very easy to grow, hardy, and looks lovely, so you might consider one. But I would suggest growing rosemary only outside because it takes too much space inside.
Caring for these plants is not difficult at all. Harvesting regularly will help the plant develop and it means that you can enjoy flowers from it for a longer time. It is exactly as you would care for a decorative plant, deadhead it regularly to produce more flowers. Watering is not problematic with edible flowers or edible herbs. Because some are outside, some in the conservatory, and some on the window sill, I would look at the soil and touch the leaves. Herbs usually need a bit more water than decorative plants of similar size and in a similar pot, but make sure you are not giving them too much water.
Insects can be annoying but it is best to avoid using pesticides. My recommendation is to wash the plants on a side, so the soil will not become waterlogged. Move the affected pots away from other plants, to protect them. If there are too many insects, it’s just easier to throw the plants into the compost bin and start from scratch. In a couple of weeks new plants will emerge.
Pesticides will be absorbed by the plant so you will ingest the toxins if you are using any pesticides, so do avoid them. I read that salty water can help too, so try that if you want.
Do you grow edible flowers? Are you tempted to try?