Information

Sorrel: sowing, cultivation, maintenance, harvesting of leaves


Sorrel is a delicious aromatic plant whose leaves are eaten with an acidic and very recognizable taste.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Rumex acetosa
Family : Polygonaceae
Type : Condiment plant

Height
: 25/30 cm
Exposure : Sunny, partial shade and shade
Ground : Fresh, rather rich

Harvest : June to February

  • Health: benefits and virtues of sorrel

Easy to grow and endowed with the ability to multiply on its own, you will also appreciate it for its many medicinal properties.

Sowing and planting sorrel

Sorrel is sown in a cool place where the sun is not too hot, it is a plant that will be particularly popular in partially shaded place.

Sorrel is very good in pots for a terrace or balcony.

Sow sorrel well:

Before you start sowing sorrel, keep in mind that this plant is very invasive because it thrives at high speed.

  • The period for sowing sorrel beginning to end of winter under shelter or to spring in the ground.
  • Space the lines at least 30-40 cm.
  • Sow in a pocket every 25 cm then cover with a thin layer of soil.
  • Keep the soil slightly moist.
  • Thin as soon as they emerge to keep only the most vigorous plants.
  • Continue to water regularly.

Plant the sorrel:

Purchased in a pot or bucket, you will plant sorrel in spring or fall. Exposure doesn't matter as it thrives in the sun or shade.

Prefer them cool and rather rich soils and if possible avoid too calcareous soils.

  • Space each plant at least 20 cm in all directions.
  • The plant will grow back year after year in the same location.

Multiply the sorrel

The sorrel division is the easiest and fastest way to propagate your sorrel plants.

Sorrel multiplication takes place as well in spring than in autumn.

  • Dig up the sorrel stalk, taking as much of the root ball as possible.
  • Separate the stump using a sharp tool or a spade.
  • You can separate the stump as much as you want, as long as there is at least one leaf left to replant.
  • Replant each mini-stump with at least one leaf.
  • Water regularly.

Dividing sorrel is also recommended for 3-4 year old plants to regenerate the plant which becomes exhausted over time.

Cultivation and maintenance of sorrel

Easy to grow and maintain, sorrel requires some care to improve the harvest and make each plant last as long as possible.

The first rule is to prevent sorrel from going to seed.

  • When flowers appear, remove the stems that support them to ensure leaf development.
  • Hoe and weed regularly around the sorrel to prevent the appearance of weeds.
  • Water in case of high heat and / or prolonged drought.
  • In winter, bring compost or manure to amend the soil for the following year.

Cultivation of sorrel in pots:

In pots, sorrel is all the more afraid of a lack of water and should therefore be watered regularly as soon as the soil is dry on the surface.

Repotting every year is recommended to meet the needs of the plant.

Diseases and parasites that affect sorrel

Fairly rustic and resistant to diseases, sorrel is not very sensitive but can still be invaded by aphids or devoured by slugs and snails.

  • The usual treatments for aphids and slugs should get you over them quickly.

Harvesting sorrel

Pick the leaves As things progress by prioritizing those that are the most developed.

Avoid picking leaves that are less than ten centimeters in size.

The 1st year, wait 3 months after sowing before picking the first leaves.

You will keep the sorrel in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator to consume them within 3 days after harvest.

Sorrel also freezes very well, so it can be eaten all winter long.

Different varieties of sorrel

Here are some interesting sorrel varieties for their taste and cultivation qualities.

The 4 main varieties of sorrel:

  • Common sorrel: it is the most common and offers the largest leaves.
  • Spinach sorrel or perpetual sorrel: similar to spinach leaves in shape and size.
  • Round sorrel: Very green and very round, it is a more original sorrel.
  • Wood sorrel: It has green leaves with purple veins.

"Large de Belleville" : large-leaved

"Blonde de Lyon" : slow to go to seeds

"Sanguine" : with bright red leaves.

Thespinach sorrel, rumex patienta, turns out to be less acidic.

Sheep sorrel, rumex acetosella, is found in dry and sandy places throughout France. Other related species grow in the mountains such as crest sorrel, rumex scutatus, and green or Alpine sorrel, rumex alpestris. They are all used like sorrel.

To know about sorrel

Originally from Europe and Asia, sorrel is both rich in vitamin C and particularly aromatic. Sorrel is easily grown in most temperate climates.

We lend him medicinal virtues in the treatment of rheumatism, as well as for theimproved digestion.

Toxicity of sorrel:

Sorrel is rich in salts of oxalic acid, so some patients should not. People with gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and people prone to stones should remove them from their diet.

Acidic, sorrel is not allowed in patients with ulcers or overacidity of the stomach. However, remember that the young leaves are much less acidic, so they can be eaten from time to time and in small quantities.

  • Health: benefits and virtues of sorrel

Smart tip about sorrel

It is advisable to cut the stems when they start to go to seed to prevent excessive proliferation of the plant.


  1. Read also : all our articles and recipes dedicated to sorrel

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