How to Grow Sorrel in Your Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide


Do you love the tart, lemony flavor of sorrel? If so, you’ll be excited to learn that it’s easy to grow this delicious leafy green plant in your garden!

In this step-by-step guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about growing sorrel. We’ll cover everything from planting to harvesting, so you can enjoy this delicious herb all year long!

Common Name Sorrel, garden sorrel, French sorrel, sorrel dock, sour dock, sour leek, spinach dock
Botanical Name Rumex acestosa (Garden sorrel), Rumex scutatus (French sorrel)
Family Polygonaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 12-18 in. tall, 18-24 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Rich, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic (5.5 to 6.8)
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Green, turning to red
Hardiness Zones 5-7 (USDA)
Native Area Europe, Asia
Toxicity Toxic to dogs and cats

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

Sorrel is a hardy plant that doesn’t require much maintenance, but there are a few things you can do to ensure it stays healthy:

Mulch around the base of the plant in spring to help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

Water regularly during dry spells. Sorrel will go dormant if it doesn’t get enough water.- Fertilize monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer during the growing season.

Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For slugs, snails, and caterpillars may nibble on your sorrel leaves.

Aphids can also be a problem, particularly in hot weather. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Downy mildew and rust can also affect sorrel plants, especially if they’re grown in damp conditions.

These fungal diseases can be treated with a fungicide.Harvesting and Storing SorrelSorrel leaves can be harvested as soon as they reach about six inches long.

Lighting and Temperature

Sorrel grows best in full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade.

This plant is frost-tolerant and can even withstand a light snowfall. When and How to Plant Sorrel You can sow sorrel seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in your area.


Sorrel grows best in rich, well-drained soil.

If your soil is poor, amend it with compost or organic matter before planting.

This plant doesn’t need much fertilizer; once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer during the growing season should be sufficient


Sorrel is a fast-growing plant that doesn’t need much fertilizer.

Fertilize monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer during the growing season.


Sorrel can become leggy and produce fewer leaves if it isn’t pruned regularly.

To encourage bushier growth, prune the plant back by about one-third in early spring.

You can also cut sorrel back after harvesting to prevent it from going to seed.

Sorrel is a good candidate for container growing.


Sorrel is a drought-tolerant plant, but it grows best with regular watering.

Water the plant deeply about once a week during dry spells.


Sorrel can reach a height of 18 inches and a width of 24 inches.

If you want to keep it smaller, prune it regularly.


Sorrel produces tiny red flowers in summer.

The flowers are followed by brown seeds that can be harvested and used to grow new plants.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Sorrels are a versatile herb that can be used in soups, stews, or salads. They are also relatively easy to care for, as they are rarely attacked by pests.

However, aphids could be a problem. These small insects can cause the leaves of sorrel plants to yellow and curl. To deter aphids, spray the plants with water.

This will make them less appealing as hiding places. In general, sorrels are resistant to disease and pests. However, they can occasionally be affected by powdery mildew or rust.

These ailments usually cause cosmetic damage rather than significant harm to the plant. Proper care should help sorrels to thrive regardless of these occasional problems.

Propagating Sorrel

One of the most popular methods for propagating and growing sorrel is through root division. This can be done in the autumn or spring, and it is important to divide the plants every 3-5 years to keep them healthy and strong.

The process of root division is relatively simple and only requires a sharp shovel or spade. First, make a circular dig around the plant clump. Next, divide the roots by either digging up the plant and manually separating them, or by cutting through the plant to create distinct clusters.

It is important that each cluster has at least one healthy leaf. Once divided, replant each group in well-drained soil that has been tilled, and cover with no more than 12 inches of mulch.

Alternatively, you could also put the clump in a container. Watering should be done on a weekly basis, ensuring that each plant gets 1 inch of water. By following these steps, you can successfully propagate and grow sorrel through root division.

Types of Sorrel

Sorrel, a member of the buckwheat family, is a herbaceous perennial plant with an edible leaf that is used as a salad green.

The two most widely cultivated species of sorrel are garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and French sorrel (Rumex scutatus).

Garden sorrel is a larger plant with smaller leaves and a stronger flavor than French sorrel.

Other edible relatives of the Rumex genus include common or sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Red-veined Sorrel (Rumex sanguineus), and Spinach Dock (Rumex patientia).

Common sorrel is commonly considered a weed, but the leaves are tender and young, they are the most delicious. Red-veined Sorrel is more decorative than tasty, with a hint of the tartness you’d expect from sorrel.

It’s a great salad green. Spinach Dock is also known as patience dock, garden patience, or narrow dock.

It has dark green leaves and a slightly bitter taste. All three of these plants can be found growing wild in many parts of the world.

Does sorrel like sun or shade?

If you’re looking to add some color to your garden, sorrel is a great option. This perennial herb comes in a variety of colors, including green, red, and yellow.

It’s also relatively easy to care for, and it can tolerate a wide range of climates. One of the most important things to consider when growing sorrel is whether it will get enough sun.

Sorrel generally prefers full sun, which means it should be planted in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

However, it can also tolerate partial shade, so it’s a good option for gardens with limited sun exposure. With proper care, sorrel will thrive in both sunny and shady areas.

What climate does sorrel grow in?

Sorrel is a herbaceous plant in the Polygonaceae family that is characterized by its arrow-shaped leaves. The name sorrel is derived from the old French Surele, which means “sour.” This is in reference to the plant’s slightly acidic taste.

Unlike many other herbs, sorrel can tolerate cold climates and even frost. For this reason, it is often one of the first plants to sprout in the spring. Sorrel grows best in moist, cool conditions with plenty of soil.

However, it is fairly adaptable and can even tolerate some shade. While Sorrel is commonly found throughout the world, it thrives best in temperate zones.

Planting should occur when the soil temperature is at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit. With proper care, Sorrel will produce striking red or yellow flowers that add a splash of color to any garden.

Where does sorrel grow best?

Sorrel is a perennial plant that is part of the buckwheat family. It is native to Europe, but can now be found in other parts of the world as well. Sorrel grows best in a shaded or sunny location, in moist and fertile soil.

It can be grown from seeds, but it is also possible to take the root of a cutting or division of the plant. To grow sorrel from seed, sow the seeds in spring.

Place a few seeds in small pots that are filled with moist soil. Cover the pots and make sure to water them well.

The sorrel plants will germinate in 7-14 days. Once they have germinated, thin out the plants so that there is only one plant per pot. Transplant the sorrel plants into your garden in the late spring or early summer.

Water them regularly and mulch around the plants to help retain moisture. Sorrel is ready to harvest when the leaves are 6-8 inches long.

Cut the leaves off at the base of the plant, using sharp scissors or a knife. You can use sorrel fresh or cooked in any dish where you would use spinach or Swiss chard. Sorrel can also be dried or frozen for later use.

How cold hardy is sorrel?

Sorrel is a perennial herb that is known for its tangy, lemony flavor. It is a member of the buckwheat family and is related to rhubarb. Sorrel grows well in temperate climates and is quite cold hardy.

It can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit without any damage. The plant typically blooms in spring or early summer, producing small, greenish-white flowers.

After the flowers fade, the plant produces dark green, heart-shaped leaves. Sorrel can be used in a variety of cooked dishes, or it can be added to salads for a pop of flavor.

When purchasing sorrel, look for leaves that are deep green in color and free from blemishes. Avoid sorrel that has yellowed or wilted leaves, as this is a sign of age. Fresh sorrel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Will sorrel survive frost?

Many gardeners enjoy growing sorrel in their gardens. This perennial herb is easy to care for and has a variety of uses. However, one question that many gardeners have is whether or not sorrel can survive frost.

The answer is that sorrel plants can withstand moderate frosts. However, if the temperature dips below freezing, the leaves of the plant will be damaged.

For this reason, it is best to plant sorrel in spring or autumn in climates where frost is a possibility. By doing so, you can ensure that your plants will be able to thrive regardless of the weather.

Does sorrel come back every year?

Sorrel is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year. It’s a vigorous grower and can reach up to six feet tall, so it’s important to give it plenty of space.

You can start sorrel from seed, or purchase plants from a nursery. If you’re starting from seed, sow the seeds indoors in late winter and transplant the seedlings outdoors after the last frost. Sorrel prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Once established, it’s relatively drought tolerant. Due to its fast growth rate, sorrel will need to be divided every few years to keep it from taking over the garden.

When harvesting sorrel, cut the leaves back to about six inches above ground level. This will encourage new growth and prevent the plant from getting too leggy. Sorrel can be used in a variety of dishes, both cooked and raw.

The leaves have a tangy, lemony flavor that pairs well with other greens in salads or soups. Cooked sorrel can be used in quiches or omelets, or pureed into sauces and soups.

Is sorrel the herb a perennial?

The Sorrel or Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. It is a small plant, growing to 30 cm tall with a basal rosette of slightly branched, arrowhead-shaped leaves on long reddish stalks.

The leaves have a sour, lemony taste and are rich in oxalic acid, making them an excellent addition to spring salads or as a cooked green vegetable.

Sorrel is a hardy plant that tolerates frost and can even withstand some snow cover. It is best grown in full sun but will also do well in partial shade.

Sorrel is a vigorous grower and can quickly spread to form a dense mat if left unchecked. For this reason, it is best grown in containers or raised beds where it can be easily controlled.

When harvesting sorrel, it is important to remove any flower stalks that appear, as these will reduce the quality of the leaves. Sorrel can be harvested throughout the growing season, but the leaves are at their best when they are young and tender.

If you are lucky enough to have rogue sorrel plants popping up in your garden, you can simply dig up the roots and replant them elsewhere. With its lemony flavor and versatility, sorrel is an excellent addition to any spring garden.

Is sorrel cut and come again?

Sorrel is a popular spring herb with a sour, lemony flavor. It is often used in salads and other dishes for its tangy taste. Sorrel is a perennial plant, which means it will come back each year.

However, it will eventually produce seeds, which can be prevented by cutting the plant back after it blooms. This process, known as “cutting and returning,” allows the plant to regrow without producing seeds.

As a result, sorrel can be harvested multiple times during the growing season. In addition to its culinary uses, sorrel is also known for its medicinal properties.

It has been used to treat stomach problems and inflammation. Sorrel is also believed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thus, this versatile herb can be a valuable addition to any garden.

Does sorrel grow all year round?

Sorrel is a perennial that’s cool-season typically planted for an annual. Sorrel is typically developed by root divisions. Sorrel is cultivated from seeds sown in the garden from 2 to three weeks prior to the typical last date for frost in the spring.

Sorrel will be ready to harvesting 60 days following sowing. In most regions, this will be early to mid-summer. However, if sorrel is planted in the fall, it may overwinter and produce leaves the next spring.

So, does sorrel grow all year round? In some cases, yes. But in most cases, sorrel is planted as an annual and will die off after one growing season.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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