Grow Bitterroot Flowers


Bitterroot represents the great state of Montana as its state flower. It grows, for the most part, in the western part of the United States and Canada. In the wild, it grows in woodlands or sagebrush shrublands in almost any type of soil. Outside of its natural environment, however, it becomes difficult to grow. Knowledge of how to grow this flower in cultivation will help you produce a healthy and vibrant addition to your home or garden.

Step 1

Obtain seeds for this plant in October. Fill a 4 to 6-inch pot with a mix of half peat and half perlite for each seed you wish to grow.

Step 2

Place one seed in each pot. Sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the tops of the seeds. Lay 1/4-inch gravel on top of the seed to keep it in place.

Step 3

Do not water the pots. Instead, place them outside in full sun, where wildlife cannot reach them. Allow the rain to provide moisture for the plant, adding no extra water. The seeds will germinate in late winter or early spring, after this cold period outdoors.

Step 4

Allow the plant to flower in the early spring. The leaves will yellow, and the plant will fade after flowering. Place the bitterroot in the hottest, driest spot you have for the summer. The plants need to bake during this time in order to flower again in the fall.

Step 5

Repeat this cycle for two years, so the roots of the plant can grow strong. In the third year, plant the bitterroot outdoors in an area with full sun and well-drained soil. Space multiple plants 4 to 6 inches apart.

Step 6

Allow rainwater to provide moisture for the plant. Your job at this point is to protect the bitterroot from wildlife and to keep the weeds down. The flower needs full sun and any shade from weeds would hinder its growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Bitterroot seeds
  • Pots
  • Peat
  • Perlite
  • 1/4-inch gravel


  • Plants for a Future: Lewisia rediviva
  • USDA Plant Guide: Lewisia rediviva
  • US Forest Service: Lewisia rediviva
Keywords: growing bitterroot, germinating bitterroot seeds, planting bitterroot

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.