Growing watercress in containers

If you are looking for one super food to grow at home, look no further than to watercress. With more Vitamin A, VitaminB1, VitaminB3, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, potassium, and calcium (whew!) than any other veggie out there, you will end up feeling like more than just a champion green thumb. Your whole body will benefit from the healthy boost.

This easy-to-grow green is world renowned for its pepped-up peppery flavor and for its patent nutrition. Watercress has been recognized for its superior health benefits throughout time. It is currently making a renaissance of sorts in home gardens everywhere.

Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) is from the mustard family and is an aquatic plant. It grows naturally near slow flowing water. Since most of us are not fortunate enough to have a stream in our backyards, watercress can still be a simple addition to your yard. Watercress can even be grown in a container on your kitchen table.

How to Grow and Care for Watercress

The key for a successful watercress harvest is water. If you do happen to have a fresh, moving water source in your yard, you can grow watercress in the same manner it grows naturally in the wild. Find a source for a transplant of watercress. A bunch of watercress can be found at your local farmer’s market and even in the wild.

If you select watercress from a farmer’s market, look for shoots of roots at the bottom of the stems. Place your stems in water to stimulate root growth if you need to. Watercress takes root easily. When you see roots, your watercress is ready to plant. Or, if you uproot a transplant from the wild, be sure to rinse the entire plant carefully before introducing the plant to your garden.

The roots of the watercress are fragile, so handle your transplants with care. Plant your roots gently in the wet soil around your water source. Your watercress should grow easily and proliferate well there.

To plant your watercress in containers, select two containers to stack within each other. Make sure the first container has a drainage hole. The first container will need to fit into the second, larger container or tray. The second container will provide a source of fresh water at all times.

To prepare your first pot, fill it with a rich compost soil. Purchase a fresh bunch of watercress from your local farmer’s market or even from your local grocery store. Plug a few stems of watercress with root shoots into the soil and water it well. Place this pot into the second, larger container or tray that is filled with water. The water will soak into the soil through the drainage hole of the first pot and keep the soil moist for the watercress roots to grow. Provide clean, fresh water daily.

Your water garden will produce the most watercress if you allow it several hours of morning sun each day. Allow for afternoon shade. Your outside watercress will produce tender, tasty leaves for several months. Once the outdoor plant goes to flower, the flavor will become bitter tasting and your harvest season will be over.

To harvest your watercress, snip off the leaves, but don’t disturb the roots. Cut enough to eat fresh, because watercress will not store well. If you have to store it, place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For a handy edible garden right in your kitchen, fill a glass bowl or fish tank with 2 inches of smooth rocks or pebbles. Fill the bowl with mineral water, and place a few stems of watercress among the rocks. The roots will reach down into the pebbles, and the greens will fill in over the surface of the water. Snip your greens, and enjoy!

Pests and Problems

Watercress attracts flea beetles and mustard beetles. To get rid of these pests, immerse your plant in water for an hour. The bugs will drown, and your plant won’t the mind getting dunked. You might also consider growing a few radish plants near your watercress. The radishes will attract the bugs away.

Want To learn more on the nutritional facts and health benefits of watercress?

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For one blogger’s experience with growing watercress, see: Watercress in the Garden

Creative Commons Flickr photo courtesy of Wendell Smith

Growing Watercress

Most people think they have to chase around the woods and streams to find watercress. Not so. Though it’s more at home in a fast, shallow stream, this snappy, clean-tasting green will grow very well in the garden. You just have to give it a wet spot and preferably some shade to grow in. You’ll have to water it often to assure rapid growth.

Starting Seeds

You can start seeds in small clay pots set in a pan of water indoors and later transplant them to an outside location when the hard spring frosts are past. Or you can start a few plants indoors by sticking some store-bought leafy watercress stems into moist potting soil. Just make sure you keep it well watered.

Growing Cress

When the stems have developed roots and are producing new leaves, transplant them to the garden six to eight inches apart from each other. In four to five weeks, you can start harvesting by cutting off the top three to four inches of the plants.

Giving the plant the moist conditions it needs will be any gardener’s main challenge with watercress. Once you find the right spot – perhaps next to a small pool, or in a low, wet area of the garden – you can show off your success with this highly prized green. It really adds flavor to sandwiches, omelettes, freshly caught trout and salads.

Watercress Stream

Here’s an easy way to create a false stream on the shady side of the house so you can grow watercress. Dig a trench (preferably near a downspout or an outside spigot) that will hold a few sections of orangeburg pipe, cut in half lengthwise. (Orangeburg pipe is a man-made fiber pipe, often six inches in diameter, used in sewage systems. You can cut it with a saw.) Remember that since you’re cutting it in half, you only need to buy half the total length you want to end up with.

Butt the sections together and place them in the trench, so the rim of the pipe is at ground level. Just about fill the pipe with small stones or stone chips. Then place narrow, perforated plastic seed flats in the pipe trench. Fill them with peat moss and soil, and sow your watercress seeds or put in cuttings.

Let the water from a garden hose or the spigot run into the stones in the pipe sections. As long as the stone bed beneath the flats stays wet, your watercress should flourish – from first thaw to last freeze.

If you have a drainage problem where you’ve built your stream, you can run a “lateral” of perforated soil drainpipe from one of the ends.

Upland Cress

Sometimes called winter cress or spring cress, upland cress is a biennial, which means it will go to seed the second year of its growth.

Plant seeds early in the spring, and soon after start harvesting the young leaves and sprigs. The plants will survive most winters and send up flower stalks early the next season. You can have a spring harvest of some leaves before the seedstalks appear.

Container Watercress Herbs: How Do You Grow Watercress In Pots

Watercress is a sun-loving perennial that grows along running waterways, such as streams. It has a peppery taste that is delicious in salad mixes and is especially popular in Europe. Watercress is high in iron, calcium and folic acid and is also rich in vitamins A and C. If you love the flavor of this green, you may be wondering if you can grow container watercress herbs and, if so, how do you grow watercress in pots?

How Do You Grow Watercress in Pots?

If you have a water feature in the garden, it is a great place for growing watercress in containers, as you are able to mimic the native watery conditions in which cress thrives. You may also grow container watercress herbs in a bucket with 2 to 3 inches of water, allowing the soil to stay saturated. The key is to keep the roots submerged under water. The water should be changed once or twice a week.

While watercress will do well in a variety of soil conditions, its ideal range is between a pH of 6.5-7.5. Potted watercress plants should use a soilless mix containing perlite or vermiculite combined with peat. Use a saucer beneath the plant and keep it filled with water to provide constant moisture.

Watercress can be propagated via stem cuttings or sown from seeds. Sow the seed just below the surface, about ¼ inch, three weeks before the last frost-free date in your region. It is important to keep the soil of potted watercress plants moist or the plant will not germinate. Seeds can be germinated inside or out in cool, 50 to 60 F. (10 to 16 C.), and wet conditions. Space the plants 8 inches apart when transplanting and place in a sunny outdoor area.

Some recommended varieties of watercress are:

  • Garden cress, Curly cress and Peppergrass (annuals)
  • Winter cress (biennial)
  • Big Leaf cress (perennial)

Care of Potted Watercress

Care of potted watercress is fairly simple, provided the plant is kept wet. Watercress doesn’t have high nutrient needs, although it may become deficient in phosphorus, potassium or iron. Phosphate deficiencies appear as stunted and dark colored foliage while potassium deficiencies create scorching on older leaves. Yellowing, often in winter, may indicate an iron deficiency. To combat these, mix a water soluble fertilizer in with the water according to the recommended rates.

A few pests such as whitefly, spider mites, and snails may assault your potted watercress plants. Insecticidal soap can control whitefly and natural predators such as lady beetles, predatory mites and thrips can control spider mites. Snails can be trapped or picked off by hand.

The tiny, dime-sized leaves of the watercress can be harvested throughout the year. The flavor is best during the cooler months of the year and lessens in flavor once the plant has flowered or temps rise above 85 F (30 C.). Harvest watercress by cutting the plant back to 4 inches and then allow it to re-grow. The leaves can be refrigerated for about a week but are best used fresh for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Whilst I have sown Watercress seeds at all times of the year with good results, in compost, on damp tissue and in clay pebbles the general sowing and growing instructions on my packet from Pretty Wild Seeds UK are as follows.

Sow thinly in mid spring when the soil has warmed, in drills 8cm apart lightly covering with soil.

Can be sown indoors all year round.

The location does need to be extremely wet / waterlogged which can be generated on a pond margins, by burying a bucket or lining in area with a plastic membrane. A pot or trough stood in a good size saucer / tray will also suffice.Thin seedlings out to 8 to 10cm apart and ensure they are watered to saturation throughout the season. Keep weed free.

Once established harvest by cutting the tops with scissors on a regular basis to encourage re-growth.

Avoid cutting too far down the stems in order to allow the plant to re-shoot.

Some on line instructions say to use a deep pot stood in water with a few inches of garden soil, followed by a layer of garden compost and finally potting / sowing compost, but beware the seedlings are very tiny for a comparatively long time and may fall victim to soil / compost borne creatures. Nothing is more disappointing than to see a good germination of seedlings slowly disappearing or being felled each night.

Also beware of some of the YouTube videos showing Watercress shoots from the supermarket being ‘grown’ in jars of water in poorly lit garages etc. I have seen some producing roots but with very sickly yellow leaves, the older leaves rotting away. These videos rarely show any finished results being a demonstration of enthusiasm over experience.

Another time lapse video of ‘Watercress’ being grown from seed is of common Cress the usual companion in Mustard and Cress, misinformation abounds on line.

Another video of “Watercress” growing tall up a trellis, in boarder soil is undoubtedly American or Land Cress, Barbarea verna. I have seen the seeds advertised for sale as Watercress too.

The propagation of Watercress from cuttings is easy, often supermarket bags contain shoots with roots already starting to grow at the leaf joints. These will continue to grow in water, the water needs to be chalky and nutrients will be needed to be supplied. Commercial growers propagate from seed each year and their huge beds populated with cuttings from these.

Watercress: Not just a bit on the side

Claire and Christine will selectively remove a few sprigs when they need them, ensuring they always have a small, permanent supply, except when it runs to flower. When this happens, the taste gets very strong.

In the commercial situation, at flowering they will cut the plant hard back, then knock them with wooden rakes to root and produce more plants. At home, you can just pop in a few more cuttings and put the old plant on the compost heap.

The best watercress grows in spring and autumn and is a plant that spreads exceptionally fast.

It grows in running water that arises from chalk and limestone soils, which provide its necessary calcium nutrients.

You can grow it in a big pot with a saucer (kept topped up with water), in an artificial bog garden, or just in moist soil.

Apparently, quite a few gardeners grow their own watercress in all sorts of containers and ponds. Tom Amery, the managing director for the Watercress Company, points out if you are happy to drink the pond water, knowing it is safe, then the watercress will be fine to eat.

Changing the water frequently so you do not let it become stagnant or having some sort of constant flow is necessary. You may need to add some fertiliser, too.

Tom also recommends planting some plants in ponds with algal blooms, as the watercress will take out the nutrients – but don’t eat this!

Nutritionally, watercress has been a winner for some time – it’s more than just a garnish on the side. The Watercress Company started the annual Watercress Festival, which attracts around 12,000 visitors and brings together such foodie delights as watercress beer, bread and scones, on its farm in May.

Watercress was grown and eaten in London in Victorian times, as it provided a highly nutritious source of greens available throughout the year and was responsible for keeping scurvy at bay.

It was also known as “poor man’s sandwiches” as when there was no money for bread, people would simply eat the watercress filling and with good reason, as it is higher in vitamin C than oranges. Now, the likes of Liz Hurley swear by the watercress diet to keep them trim and healthy.

Dr Steve Rothwell studied watercress for his PhD and now advises Vitacress (www.vitacress.com) on its health benefits. Apparently watercress is rich in isothiocyanates and phenethyl isothiocyanates, compounds which have been found to have high anti-cancer properties. Rothwell suggests having watercress for one of your five a day, five times a week. Quickly wilt it and add to a pasta sauce if you find that amount of foliage a challenge to chomp.

According to the Nutrition Density Index (which ranges from 0-1,000) it scores 1,000, around five times greater than another superfood, the pomegranate.

If you want to supplement your home-grown leaves, watercress can be grown from cuttings now. You could then grow it on in a pot and wet saucer or trough, placing it in a shady place or frost-free greenhouse. It will stay green down to about -3 or -4C (27/25F) – unless it is in warmer spring water. It does not like summer heat, and if it’s too warm or there is not enough nutrition, it will start to form aerial roots from the stem and look spindly.

Have a go at growing it; you might not produce enough to eat 80g a day (for one of your five fruit or veg), but there should easily be enough to spice up a salad, soup or pasta dish.

by Sandy Swegel

Watercress is another one of those unassuming plants, almost weedy, that is a superfood for humans. In the brassica family, watercress (Nasturtium officianale) is rich in vitamins, minerals (especially calcium) and sulfides. It’s not just for watercress sandwiches and tea. It is a great addition to salads as either sprouts or leaves, excellent juiced or added to juices and makes a lovely pureed spring soup. And pretty yummy just for nibbling.

Watercress is one of our new seeds for 2016 and it’s a great plant to start the growing season.

How to grow Watercress indoors:

Sprouts
Watercress sprouts easily and you can grow it in a jar just like you do alfalfa seeds. Its spicy kick is great on sandwiches and salads.

Plants
Seeds are pretty easy to germinate…The biggest challenge in growing watercress indoors is that it needs to always be moist, especially during germination. You can accomplish this by starting the seeds in a small pot of clean potting mix and then setting the pot in a saucer of water. Misting is great or put a plastic cover over the seed mix if your air is dry. Someplace slightly warm like the top of the frig is a great germination spot. They don’t need light to germinate.

Once the seeds are going, you just need to be sure the plants are moist with fresh water. Think about their ideal natural habitat in Europe: slow-moving creek edges in bright shade. Some people grow them in water tanks with aerators if you want to get fancy.

One secret to tasty watercress is to keep the growing plant cool and out of hot sun and to harvest it before it flowers. After flowering, the leaves become more bitter.

Grow Watercress Indoors in late winter it is such a promise of Spring. But it doesn’t need to be an indoor plant. After your weather warms to above freezing, you can plant your watercress outside if you have a place that stays pretty moist. If you have a pond or fountain the watercress is thrilled living in a pot in about an inch or two of water along the edge. I’ve seen it in a shade pot with impatiens and it was pretty happy.

And once you have nice succulent leaves, watercress, slivers of cold cucumber and butter on thin white bread is actually pretty awesome.

Photo Credits

Best Wildflower Seed Mixes

Organic Heirloom Vegetable Seed

Wildflower and Grass Mixes

How to Grow Watercress at home in plant pots

It used to be that the gardening books recommended growing watercress in waterlogged areas or streams, which just isn’t always possible! We grow watercress, very quickly and easily, in plastic plant pots.
When to Sow, and Grow Watercress
Watercress can be sown, outdoors from March to August. If using a cold greenhouse or cold frame, it can be sown and grown from February through to September. It can be harvested from March through to November
Equipment

  • To grow watercress at home, in plant pots, you will require the following:
  • Watercress Seeds
  • Large Plastic Plant Pot – I use a 25 Litre Plant Pot. t is best to use a plant pot that is wider, rather than a tall narrow pot.
  • Plant Saucer

Sowing Water Cress
Seed Fill the plant pot with compost, pressing down firmly, until the pot is almost full. It can be filled almost up to the lip of the plant pot.
Liberally sprinkle the Watercress seed over the surface of the compost, too much is better than not enough, and cover. The seed can be covered with compost, but as it is so small I prefer to cover with vermiculite. Vermiculite is very lightweight and offers little resistance to the growing seeds, whereas when covered with compost I do find that sometimes it can dry out and create a ‘cap’. Once covered, place the plant pot in the saucer.
Watering
Watercress is amazingly low maintenance, except for watering. As a semi-aquatic plant it must always have access to water. This is achieved by permanently keeping water in the plant saucer. Initially, fill the plant saucer with water and keep topping up until the compost is thoroughly wet. If possible, avoid wetting the compost from the top of the plant pot, as this will disturb the tiny seed.
Once the compost is thoroughly wet, ensure that at all times the plant saucer is full of water. The water can be changed weekly, if it starts to discolour, but it must always be full. If possible, use rainwater to water watercress, as it is softer. Tap water can be used if necessary. Seedlings should appear in about seven to ten days.

Growing on
If growing early or late in the season, Watercress does benefit from being in a cold greenhouse or cold frame. From March onwards, it can be placed outside, on a patio perhaps, where it also benefits from any rainfall. Just ensure that the saucer never dries out. Watercress does not require any feeding. I find that Watercress prefers a semi shady position, some sun, but not all day.
Harvesting your watercress
Your Watercress will be ready to harvest from about four to seven weeks after sowing, depending on the time of season sown and weather. Watercress positively benefits from being harvested, quite hard, and being treated as a cut and come again crop. Start picking when the stems are large enough to handle, about 4 or 5″ in length, ensuring that a couple of leaves are left on the plant at the base. They will then readily re-sprout and a continual harvest can be achieved, throughout the summer and autumn months.
Conclusion
Watercress is a very easy crop to grow, produces fresh, tasty and bumper crops and a single 25 Litre Plant Pot will produce the equivalent of twenty plus of the bags that are available in the supermarkets. Watercress is a very worthwhile crop to grow. Give it a go.
Watercress seeds
Watercress seeds are incredibly small and a packet of seed will contain enough for at least a whole season. For example, we stock Watercress Aqua seeds from Unwins and a packet contains approximately a 1000 seeds. When we sow the seed we do sow a lot and start harvesting watercress as baby leaves. It will quickly grow to give larger leaves and bigger and bigger crops. We tend to sow about a third of a packet of seed for each 25 Litre Pot that we plant.
Watercress growing kit.
If growing Watercress at home appeals, see below for all you need to grow your Watercress. The kit is reusable many, many times over. In fact we are still using the same kit that we started with five years ago. Once in use, the only expense would be filling the pot with compost (estimated at about a pound) and a packet of seeds, which would be enough to produce about four or five pots, if grown as baby leaves initially.

How to Grow Watercress

Days to germination: 8 to 12 days
Days to harvest: 50 to 60 days
Light requirements: Full sun and partial shade
Water requirements: Constant moisture
Soil: High in organic content
Container: Almost required

Introduction

Though having some natural water in your yard can help, you don’t actually need a stream to grow watercress. But a large bucket, bin or even a kiddy pool could do the trick. While the plants do need a lot of water, they can still give you a harvest if grown in soil.

Since growing right in a stream is unlikely for most people, these instructions will be for anyone wanting to grow watercress in pots.

Watercress is a perennial that can survive the winters up to zone 5, though dealing with the water-filled containers can be awkward when the weather drops below freezing.

Delicate watercress leaves have a peppery flavor, and are usually eaten fresh and raw in salads or sandwiches. Cress has lots of vitamins A, K and C as well as calcium and iron. It’s a very healthy green. If you use it in cooked dishes, it will be much milder in flavor.

Starting from Seed

You can germinate your seeds indoors, but the fine roots make transplanting difficult. It’s easier to plant your seeds right into their final pots instead.

Before you do any planting, you need to prepare your “water garden” area. You’re going to need a large container for water, and smaller pots that fit inside it for the soil. A small pool is ideal, but a series of buckets can work just fine.

Choose pots that will fit inside the larger container, and fill them with potting soil mixed with some lime. Add extra stones to the bottom to make sure the soil won’t wash away through the drainage holes in the bottom. Now fill the larger container with water, and set the ones with soil inside.

The water level should not be higher than the tops of the inner pots. In fact, the water level can be quite low as long as the bases of the inside pots are always sitting in water. Even just a large tray would work but during the hot and dry months, it won’t likely hold enough water. You would end up having to refill the tray several times a day, which is not exactly ideal.

Set the whole thing up where your plants will get lots of sun, but partial shade during the hot afternoons.

Leave it long enough for the water to soak up through the drainage holes and saturate the soil. Once the soil is good and wet, plant your seeds to a depth of about an inch. The seeds should be spaced around 3 to 4 inches apart. A 12 inch pot can hold about 4 plants.

If you can’t find any watercress seeds, you may be able to start plants from fresh watercress that you get at the supermarket. Put a few sprigs of it in a glass of water, and leave it in a sunny spot. If you are lucky, the cut ends will sprout roots that you can transplant out into the same wet pots as described above.

Growing Instructions

As long as you never let your plants dry out, there should be little for you to do with your watercress plants until you want to start harvesting. Every 2 or 3 days, empty out the water from your “pond” and add fresh water. If you let the water sit for too long, it will stagnate and your plants will be stunted or even die. They need fresh water constantly.

After the growing season is over, watercress is surprisingly hardy during the winters. They can tolerate being frozen, though letting the water in your pool or bucket freeze can end up splitting the containers. Leave your entire growing set-up in place until you start to get hard freezes each night. Then drain out the larger pool, and leave the actual watercress pots somewhere sheltered.

Until the pots actually freeze for the winter, add extra water each day so they don’t dry out. Once frozen, they should be fine until spring. Once they start to thaw, add more water again until the frosts have passed and you can replace their “pool”.

Containers

As mentioned above, since most people do not have streams handy, this article reflects the techniques for growing watercress in containers.

Even if you do have natural water nearby, container growing is cleaner and you don’t have to worry about water-borne diseases contaminating your plants.

Pests and Diseases

Watercress is typically only bothered by 2 main insect pests: flea beetles and mustard beetles. Both of these small beetles can do a lot of damage to your plants by chewing on the leaves.

The easiest way to get rid of them is to dunk your entire pot of watercress underwater for about an hour. It won’t harm the plant (though some soil may wash away if you’re not careful), and the insects will either drown or be washed off the plants.

Some gardeners will plant a few extra radishes nearby to attract these same insects away from your watercress plants.

Harvest and Storage

You can pick the leaves of watercress for use, but make sure you don’t disturb the roots. Use a pair of scissor to cut the leaves and tender stems off, rather than pulling. Wait until the stems are about 6 inches long, then you can snip them off close to the soil level. Never take more than a third of any plant at one time.

Once your plants go to flower, the leaves will quickly lose their lovely flavor and get bitter. So your harvest period usually runs from spring into late summer, depending on your climate.

Watercress does not store for very long once picked. Wrap the pieces in a plastic bag, and keep in the fridge. It will start to wilt after just 2 or 3 days so make sure you do your harvesting right before you intend to you it. Unfortunately, due to the high water content in watercress, it will not freeze well enough for any long-term storage that way.

  1. george gusler Says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I have a small stream from an artesian well. I would like to start watercress in this trenched runoff. I need information of where to get these seeds. Thank you

  2. deardora Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Found seeds at nearest garden center, brand was Botanical Interests.

  3. MKP Says:
    December 6th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I bought my seeds on line from Park Seed Co.

  4. Rouge Says:
    September 17th, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Why not buy watercress from your local farm shop. Make sure you taste it first it should have that lovely peppery flavour. If the watercress has roots you can plant it in a container with good potting compost, water it daily and feed it weekly. If the watercress you buy does not have roots place the stems in water and in 2 or 3 days roots will start to apear.

    Good luck enjoy Rouge

  5. patricia jarrett Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    thank you so much it was a great help

  6. Sarah Says:
    January 5th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    What about the sanding water attracting mosquitos in the summer? That is my only fear.

  7. Sarah Says:
    January 5th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I mean “standing” water.

  8. Lilli Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Sarah you could float some vegetable oil on the surface however I think because the water is being refreshed every few days that the mosquito lavae would not have enough time to grow into an adult. Also you could add some minnows or mosquito fish to the water if deep enough but remember not to throw them out when refreshing.

  9. Funny about Money Says:
    February 14th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Sounds like “how to grow mosquitos.” Wouldn’t floating vegetable oil on the surface harm the plants?

    What if you had a series of buckets or similarly shaped containers, either one a little taller than the next or arranged on supports so one or two are higher than the others. Then you could use a small aquarium pump (sold as small fountain pumps at home improvement warehouse stores) to move and recirculate the water. Add a couple of goldfish to each container to take care of the skeeters.

    The circulation would help keep the water fresh longer, and from what I recall about the cress that grew on our ranch, the plants favor gently flowing water. Occasionally you would probably have to transfer the fishes and clean it out, unless the idea is to create a wild-looking pond.

  10. milly evans Says:
    March 23rd, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I bought my watercress seeds from Bunnings, it’s that simple. The packet contained 1000 seeds so i had heaps. Check it out if you are looking for these seeds.

  11. Kelley Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I have grown watercress some. I have found that the need to constantly give the plants fresh water leaches out nutrients. Do you recommend fertilizer? If so, what kind? I have also wondered if I need to add lime to keep the pH high. (I don’t have a pH meter.)

  12. Jeff Joseph Says:
    April 20th, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Hello,
    We have a water feature stream in our yard.
    Can we plant Watercress in the pond part or should we plant in the stream part?
    Are we better to have lots of clay in the pot or more like potting mix?

  13. Liz Lashley Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I love watercress and was wondering how I can grow them for myself. I actually saved some in a dish with water and the roots are shooting up so I was glad when I read your article on how to grow them.this I will experiment.

  14. Christopher Sullivan Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    If you change the water every 2 to 3 days as described above, you will not breed mosquitos. The mosquito larvae take about a week to mature into adults, so changing the water more frequently than that will actually reduce mosquitos because they would otherwise lay there eggs somewhere where you have no control over them. That being said, I grow my watercress in floating planters in an above ground fish pond with mosquito fish. So I don’t need to worry about mosquitos, or wasting water. When growing in floating planters in deep enough water, water changes are not needed, and the fish eat the mosquito larvae and their waste adds nutrients for the plants.

  15. George Glass Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I tried growing watercress from seeds. Didn’t do too well. Bought a pack of cress salad from local store and found some of the sprigs had roots so tried to grow them in a water trough. Mixed success. Eventually I gave up and wa going to discontinue my efforts. I took the remaining (sick looking) plants and threw them into my bird bath in the shade of a tree and, voila, they exploded. go figure! 🙂

  16. Bruce Says:
    July 27th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Watercress has hit $2.50 a bunch at local supermarkets. Julia Child’s recipe for Cream of Watercress soup calls for 4 to 6 bunches. I usually make a double so $25 for watercress has driven me to grow my own.
    I have a year long creek in my backyard. I have heard conflicting advice about growing it there. Some say it is not indigenous to western washington and will take over. Others say it grows wild and not to worry. Anyone advise me? I have started with a fake half whisky barrel and a solar driven water pump but I really don’t want to fuss with it. The flavor is super either raw or in that soup.
    Thanks
    Bruce

  17. imrit kevin Says:
    October 8th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    why the leaves of watercress becomes dark and what pesticides to use ,to get better

  18. kat Says:
    October 14th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I was wondering if this would work in a simplified aquaponics setup. Say a small fishtank with the plants in the water and say a beta fish to add natural fish fertilizer to the pot?

  19. Best weed grower ever Says:
    November 26th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    This year, grew water cress – brilliant! Never grown it before. In a 6 in trench; no spring, no stream, no mosquitoes. Now getting cold and frosty – picked some today. Cheese, mango chutney, watercress wholemeal sandwich – five star food for a gardener with appetite!

  20. Susan Says:
    January 14th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I love watercress. I saw seeds at the local nursery last week. I’m going to try and grow it in our fish pond. The water is circulated by pumps. It get sun, but more shade. The pond is made with formed liners and has a shelf. I will start the plants inside then transfer them to larger pots in the pond.

    I like the fish tank idea for winter. I live in PA.

  21. james Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    TRy growing them aquaponically or with aquaponics.

  22. Andrew Says:
    July 10th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I built a simple aquaponic system indoor that uses the recirculating water from my 45 gallon fish tank to grow cress -works really well and is very simple to set up. Use a 6 inch deep tray filled with pebbles in which you plant the store bought cress. Place this on top of the fish tank and redirect the water flow from your filter/pump into this tray. Drill holes in the bottom of the tray to return the water to the tank.

  23. John Says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Greeting about to start some nice idea if any more folks in za would like to chat I am in jhb growing fun to heck with cost

  24. kim Says:
    April 5th, 2015 at 5:35 am

    I am an ex pat living in egypt and am trying to grow some veggies here…getting friends that visit to bring seeds. Now im trying watercress so have a bucket, and container with a lip on it and holes in bottom. So I took the netting from buying garlic and put compost into it then added seeds….just started to sprout……hope this works but worried the sun will be to strong as with a lot of the things im trying to grow.

  25. Gisi Says:
    July 4th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I bought a small pot with watercress beginning of June, transplanted it in a larger pot with ordinary potting soil and placed it outside in the shade (live in Southern Michigan). To keep the pot moist and the roots cool, I added a layer of mulch. It only needs to be watered every three, four days. Temperatures are high seventies to mid eighties to high eighties during the day, but my water cress seems to be content and is thriving. I have been harvesting a couple leaves every few days and keep pinching off the flower buds. Now one of my favorite snacks is a slice of sour dough bread or rustic farm bread smeared with unprocessed coconut oil and sprinkled with a little sea salt and some finely chopped water cress – delicious!

  26. john breed Says:
    October 7th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    On June 2, I began renting a shop.(Florence, Colo.) On June 3 the latent spring burst forward and the water amount was about 3-4 gpm. There has been an explosion of watercress, mostly islands of about the size of an economy car (8, at last count) Full sun, and my ducks (2) travel up and down, probably fertilizing abundantly. The water is mineral heavy and the watercress is delicious.

  27. Phyllis&John Pentecost Says:
    November 28th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I have. koi pond….with a stream. Is it safe to grow watercrest in the pond?

  28. Carol Says:
    December 31st, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Can I re-grow hydroponic watercress that has been trimmed once for a salad? I have them sitting in water with no dirt. How long will it be before I see growth if this works?

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