Grow edible flowers to give your garden beauty, with usefulness. Flowers are beautiful, but many of them are also edible! Use this list to supplement your garden with these edible beauties!
The past few days have been focused on the flowers that we are going to grow and all that we plan to do with them. I think it’s important to keep in mind the flowers that are edible when planning the garden and all it will have to offer this spring and summer.
Edible Flowers to Grow
I hope you are planning to use your flowers for more than just vase fillers this year. Many of these flowers are packed with vitamins and minerals and deserve a bigger space on the menu!
There are many ways to prepare flowers for the table. Some I like to munch raw, like violets and dandelion. Some are great stuffed – you have probably heard of recipes using day lily and squash blooms. Delicate rose petals can be candied in sugar and used to decorate all manner of baked goods.
Here are a few of my favorite flowers to eat:
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- Clover (Trifolium spp.)
- Sage (Salvia spp.)
- Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
- Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
- Rose (Rosa spp.)
- Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carrota)
- Cosmos (Cosmos spp.)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
- Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
- Violets and Pansies (Viola spp.)
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.)
- Hollyhock (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
- Lavender (Lavendula spp.)
- Daylily (Hemorocallis spp.)
- Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cynaus)
- Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)
- Gladiolus (Gladiolus spp.)
- Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
- Linden (Tilia spp.)
- Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
- Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
- Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
- Bee Balm (Monarda spp.)
- Scarlet Runner Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
- Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
If you can’t find them locally, find edible flower seeds online here.
Tips for Growing and Processing Edible Flowers
If you are also interested in planting flowers for eating there are a few tips to share with you:
1. Make sure you have plenty of phosphorus rich fertilizer on hand. I like to use comfrey compost tea because I don’t want to eat flowers that are pumped full of chemicals. (Learn how to make a compost tea recipe made with wild comfrey herb.)
2. Have a plan for watering your flowers. You won’t get much in the way of beautiful, edible flowers if you don’t water them every week. Don’t over water though, as most don’t like wet feet.
3. Pick often to encourage more blooming
4. Be sure you are picking what you think you are picking! Not all flowers are safe to eat, so be sure before you add them to your salad or cupcakes.
5. Pick your flowers first thing in the morning or in the cool of the evening and be sure to get them into the refrigerator right away.
6. In most cases it is best to just eat the petals. Many of the other parts of the flowers are bitter or have a difficult texture (like sunflowers).
Looking for more information on edible flowers? Check out the following articles:
- Eating Flowers for Health, Flavor and More
- Using Violets for Your Dinner Table and Medicine Cabinet
- 16 Benefits You Didn’t Know About Using Dandelions