Dandelion cultivation

Dandelion cultivation tips

How to grow dandelion

Dandelion description

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial plant common in meadows, pastures and fields across Europe.

– This is a perennial herbs grown as an annual.

– Underground rhizome with fusiform roots, that, when cut, delivers a milky white juice.

Leaves in basal rosette. These are big, long, oval and sharply toothed, tapering into a long petiole.

– The flower stems appear in spring. These are cylindrical and free from leaves, bearing a flower head at the end.

– The flowers are typical of Compositae plants, formed by numerous tiny ray florets, hermaphrodite and yellow.

– It flowers in May.

– The fruits are achenes bearing plume, forming a characteristic feathery spherical pappus.

What parts do we use from dandelion herb?

There are varieties of dandelion with larger curly, leaves for trade for human consumption.

Dandelion climate

Dandelion flowers

Dandelion flowers

  • Native of temperate zones in Europe and parts of North America.
  • Full sun or semishade
  • It tolerates frost and wind.
  • Plant accustomed to altitudes of 0 to 2,000 m.

A good soil for dandelion

  • Dandelion tolerates a wide variety of soils, being a very undemanding plant.
  • It prefers moist soils, deep and rich in organic matter.
  • It is often grown in vegetable gardens after they have taken much manure (zucchini, squash, lettuce, etc..)
  • It is better to provide it a a peaty sandy texture.

Dandelion pappus

Dandelion pappus

How to propagate dandelion

Propagation by seeds

Choose the seed of a vigorous plant with long leaves and rather dense basal rosette.

Seed sowing is done in May and June

Twenty days after germination, when the plant has developed its second leaf, plant it on a seedbed or in its permanent location.

The seed field must be rich in organic matter or manure. Cover the seed with a little dirt. In large crops, planting density is 2kg. for 4.000 square meters, leaving a space between seeds of 30cm

Dandelion should be irrigated each week (1-2 times), especially in dry seasons (summer).

Dandelion seeds

Dandelion seeds

Propagation of dandelion by division

This method involves transplanting a piece from a mature plant (two years or more of), from its rhizome.

It is done in autumn or mid February.

Divide a clump of a dandelion plant, from its rhizome. To do this, we can unearth a plant and divide it in so many rhizomes as it has developed.

Each adult plant can be separated in 3-5 clumps, That will become new plants when transplanted.

Dandelion cultivation tasks

  • 15 days after transplantation, digging must be performed.
  • Irrigate it weekly in dry seasons, especially in the summer.
  • In late November, the leaves are cut and plants covered with green manure. With this method white leaves are obtained, which are not bitter, and are used in salads. This is also achieved by placing an empty pot on the plant.
  • It is not recommended tom grow dandelion for more than three years in the same place, because of its high nutrient requirement. Dandelion is a crop that depletes soil nutrients.

Flowering and harvest

The plant flowers from March to May.

How and when is dandelion harvest?

The leaves are harvested when they are tender. Especially the first leaves of spring and autumn (March to October). They are the richest in medicinal principles (alkaloids and essential oils).

The rhizome is harvested between September and November.

The flowers are harvested for medicinal purposes.

Medicinals components of dandelion

ComponentsMedicinal applications
  • Asparagine (diuretic)
  • Bitter principle lactupicrin
  • Saponins
  • Tyroxinase (oxidizing enzyme)
  • Inulin or helenin
  • Levulin
  • Alkaloids: taraxastirol and homotaraxastirol
  • Taraxin
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamins: Choline
  • Minerals: iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese
  • Fiber
  • Tannins (astringent)
  • Diuretic
  • Purifying
  • Acne
  • Slimming
  • Urinary Tract Disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Aperitif and Digestive
  • Antidispectic
  • Antiscorbutic
  • Antihypertensive
  • For the liver: jaundice, cholesterol, gallstones, cholagogue.
  • Asthenia
  • Laxative
  • Sudorific

Dandelion pests and diseases

This plant is robust and tenacious, very often resistant to pests. Ideal for organic farming because it requires no pesticides.

Among the main pests, we can consider:

  • Butterfly caterpillar (Helipalus humuli): It feeds on the plant, damaging the petiole and plant roots.
  • Nematodes (Dylentchus destructor): It feeds on the roots.

punto rojoMore information on dandelion.

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

11 August, 2022

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