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

01 Dec 17, Heather (Australia - temperate climate)
I've sown some Salsify seeds from Eden Seeds, but can't find a picture anywhere of what the seed leaves look like. I know the plant has grass-like leaves, but generally the seed leaves are completely different. I'm not game to weed the patch until I can identify which are the salsify seedlings. Can someone please describe them for me? I don't think we can post pictures here, unfortunately.
03 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google "salsify seedlings" - plenty of photos of the young plants. You may have to wait until they grow a bit.
24 Apr 17, Donna Townsend (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I just purchased seeds from Seeds2freedom great service froo postage
26 Mar 17, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
I just purchased salsify seeds produced by Bairnsdale seed company, Goodman Seeds. I picked them up in the local IGA supermarket!
27 Mar 17, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
Goodman's is a good seed supplier to deal with. Their seeds are available from many outlets in Victoria and they are an independent, family owned company that has been going for about 125 years. If you are in other areas they do sell online.
09 Aug 16, Heather (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just purchased a white and black root of this plant at my vegie shop in Chirnside Park. I am going to plant both as they have nodes on top which will be leaves! I live in Launching Place, which is near Warburton in Vic. But not as cold! On hill, otherside of Yarra River. Any advice for growing here? I have grown horseradish from this shop, just cut top off and plant! Hopefully, it will work with these too!
21 Oct 16, Tina (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Heather, I am in Gembrook. I planted Salsify from seed and it looks great. This is the first time I have grown it, so haven't had a harvest. If it grows here, it will grow in Launching Place. -Tina
30 Jun 16, Kerry (Australia - temperate climate)
Good morning Hanna, May I ask please if you have some salsify seeds for purchase? I love watching River Cottage and saw Hugh with the vegetable and would love to plant my own to enjoy the vegetable like he did. I wish you a lovely day, I look forward to hearing from you. kind regards Kerry
04 Jan 18, Hanna (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Kerry, I am so sorry I missed your post of 30. June 2016. I just discovered it tonight. I suppose by now you have obtained some salsify seeds, but if not, I am only to happy to send you some. I live in Kelmscott a suburb of Perth. Best regards, Hanna.
10 Mar 16, Christine Rivière-Anderson (Canada - Zone 4b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I would love to plant black salsify in my area ( Muskoka, 225 kms north of Toronto) . I grew up in France where salsify is a common vegetable and I really miss it here. I realize that I live in a colder zone than is probably possible for growing salsify and that the harvesting is normally done in the winter but would it be possible to wait for Spring to harvest ? And if not, do I need to grow it in a greenhouse ? Thanks for your suggestions!!
Showing 21 - 30 of 86 comments

I will be planting Salsify - Scorzonera in February. I have access to a professional Green House with heat in the Hudson Valley. I wanted to start the seeds there and was interested in taking the seedlings when they reach 2 inches to bring them out doors and plant them in their rows as described, probably in May to continue their growth. What would you suggest and when would I know when they are ready to harvest? Thank you Sal. R

- Sal. R

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.