Growing Salsify, also Vegetable oyster

Tragopogon porrifolius : Asteraceae / the daisy family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P              

(Best months for growing Salsify in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 20 cm apart
  • Harvest in 14-21 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, Brassicas, Carrots, Celeriac, Endive, Kohl-rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Alliums, Spinach

Your comments and tips

05 Dec 11, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I procured some black salsify seed from kings seed. They reckon its about three months before it is ready for harvest.
03 Mar 10, Jo Mckenzie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm trying it for the first time seeds seem to take ages to come up - i sowed them 2 weeks ago - maybe its still to hot here but will keep trying!!!
19 Jul 10, Michael Vicary (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Where can I buy Salsify seeds or punnets? I live at the base of the Blue Mountains NSW. Thankyou Regards Michael
04 Nov 10, Ruth (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
there is a great website to order seeds from italy , they also stock Salsify, I just put some in the ground today!!, happy gardening Michael,cheers, Ruth
05 Dec 10, Poppy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I got my seeds off of Ebay - a shop called Bargain seeds Hope that helps :)
22 Jan 11, Elisse (Australia - temperate climate)
I got my seeds from, I am going to plant them this weekend.
21 Jul 10, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I first planted them in pots in mid august in Brisbaneand they took some time to germinate.Another lot planted recently in mid winter came up within a week. If you are growing them in pots like myself dont over crowd them.There is some growing individually in 4inch tubes and they are growing splendidly.
30 Jul 10, DARREN (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Regards to people growing this lets say uncommon vegetable.It may pay to get seeds from various suppliers that way you are assured if one fails one may do better.and also possibly get a different strain or cultiver. check out also bargain seeds online as well the others people have mentioned . Eden seeds have worked for me but I am now hunting for different sources as this type of plant does intrigue me
11 Nov 10, Leah (Australia - temperate climate)
I grew salsify in punnets last year which was a dismal failure as the roots twisted like mad when they were transplanted. They did flower though and now a patch of the garden is covered with very healthy self sown plants which are flowering . . . But when should they be harvested and can the flowers be chopped off to prevent them spreading across the whole suburb, and the plant left in the ground until ready for eating? The info I've read says to eat them in winter. . . . . Thanks :-)
11 Nov 10, Sri (Australia - temperate climate)
My grandpa use to grow Salsify in the vegie patch as a natural insecticide and i remember he use to say to me u have to cut the flowers off or they will take over the entire garden and while i have never grown them myself apparently the rule of thumb is if they are self sown begin picking them in the autumn because the longer u leave them the less flavour they have.
Showing 11 - 20 of 86 comments

Hi, I'm in Canberra, planted Salsify some years ago, now it grows like a weed in the garden, which is fine, since we keep eating it! You can buy them from and We peel and chop, then boil them in water, with lemon juice and salt, like artichoke hearts. After the water reduces, we add cream, and bake with a layer of cheese (au gratin style). The flavour of the roots is better before the plant starts to make its flower in late spring. So harvest all through the cold weather. Our early spring is still pretty chilly. But seriously, I worried about how hard it might be to germinate when we first got them, now I can't stop them from self sowing. They seem to be germinating all year round!

- Anonymous

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