How to Grow Edible Flowers


Edible flowers include garden variety flowers such as violas, pansies, roses, calendula, chrysanthemum, day lilies, hibiscus, and snap dragons. Edible flowers have a number of uses for the home gardener. Use edible flowers such as nasturiums to add a peppery flavor to your salad. Add marigolds to a vegetable dish for color, or a hint of sweetness to a fruit dish by adding pansies. Many edible flowers can be sugared by painting with whipped egg whites then sprinkled with sugar and used for decoration on desserts. Freeze flowers in ice cube trays, one per cube, to add elegance to drinks. Grow edible flowers in pots.


Step 1

Determine where you will be growing your edible flowers. Most flowers need at least six hours of direct sunlight to blossom and eight is better. Pots can be heavy when filled with soil and water. Decide where you want the pots before planting. Consider how you will get water to the pots if natural rainfall isn't enough to keep them growing. During summer months many pots will need to be watered once a day.

Step 2

Group flowers that have the same watering requirements together in the same area, pot or groups of pots. Some flowers, like roses, need to be kept moist but don't tolerate wet soil.

Step 3

Plant varieties together. It is acceptable to plant more than one variety in a single pot if the pot is large enough so the flowers won't be crowded when mature.

Step 4

Grow your own plants from seed. Edible flowers are best grown from seed unless you're willing to discard blossoms from nursery plants for at least several weeks. Nurseries and commercial plant farms use pesticides which can be harmful if ingested by humans. There are organic plants available but they aren't easy to find.

Step 5

Prepare the pots. Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot so the excess water drains out but the soil stays inside. You may have to use more than one. Fill the pot half way with potting soil. Water to settle the soil. Add a measure of fertilizer per package directions. Fill the pot to the about an inch below the top. Mix the fertilizer and soil well.

Step 6

Place the seedlings a little below the soil's surface. Plant seeds at the depth specified on the package. Plant seeds too deep and they won't sprout. Plant too shallow and they dry out.

Step 7

Water well. Do not let the pots dry out until the seeds have sprouted and are well established. Taper off watering to the point you only water when the soil feels dry at a depth of two inches. The easiest way to tell is to stick your finger in the soil. If it's moist you don't need to water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use insecticides or pesticides unless clearly labeled that they can be used on the day of harvesting. If at all possible don't use them at all. Remove bugs by hand or spray off with a stream of water.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds of edible flowers or seedlings
  • Potting soil
  • Coffee filters
  • Large pots, 10 to 12 inches in diameter
  • Water


  • Organic plant and seedling source
  • The Country Garden; Charlie Ryrie; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Edible flowers
Keywords: edible flowers, flowers that can be eaten, how to grow flowers you can eat

About this Author

Katie Rosehill's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in personal finance, weddings and gardening.