Latin Name: Rumex acetosa

Type: Perennial


Zone: 4-9

Soil: Dry to medium-moisture soils; fertile soil; Wide range of PH but prefers slightly acidic; “soil rich in organic matter will give you lots of leafy ,green growth.” (Source)

Sun: Prefers full sun (tolerates late shade; “little partial shade will keep them going longer into summer.” – Source)

Companion Plants: Strawberries. Rosemary, Sage, Thyme (not tall plants like corn or pole beans)

Height: 12-18 in.

Planting: “Sorrel can be grown from seeds started indoors in early spring, or you can purchase a plant from a nursery. After established, one or two plants will grow into a patch that will produce enough sorrel for most households. Set out plants in spring, around your last frost date, in any fertile, well drained soil. Sorrel plants tolerate light frosts.” (Source)

Start seeds indoors in individual containers, set out purchased plants, or direct-sow into warm soil. (Source)

Garden sorrel likes to grow into a small patch of several plants. To keep production of early spring leaves as high as possible, thin back to the healthiest plants in early fall. Every four to five years, lift and replant vigorous young crowns to a new spot in early spring. (Source)


General: “Allow seedlings of garden sorrel or French sorrel a full season to establish themselves in the garden. Remove weeds that crowd your growing sorrel plants.” (Source) Each spring, mulch around the plant with rich compost.

Keep weeds away, give room to breathe.

Pests: “Aphids can attack sorrel. Control them by pinching out infested areas or hosing the aphids off the plants.” (Source)

Propagate: Reseed themselves. Sorrel plant will send up spikes covered with thousands of seed. Flower May-September. “Flowering will stop new leaf growth, so you can encourage young leaf growth by cutting off the flowering stem.” (Source) Can quickly bolt during summer/heat. Pinch off blossom spikes to keep plants from reseeding in the garden, and to increase productivity.


“Spring harvest for leaves. Pick when young as older leaves are more fibrous.” (Source)


Leaves, flowers, roots and seeds are edible. Use as an “accent” herb.

“lemony flavor much prized in spring salads and sorrel soup”  (Source)

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