The Ultimate Guide to Growing Watercress
Watercress is a peppery, nutrient-rich leafy green that’s delicious on sandwiches and in salads. It’s easy to grow in your home garden - particularly in cooler climates.
As its name suggests, Watercress loves water. It’s happiest planted in moist soil, in a spot with morning sun or part shade and it can even be grown directly in the water! Watercress can be grown easily from seeds, seedlings or cuttings.
4 top tips for growing watercress
- Watercress prefers a morning sun / part shade spot in a moist soil
- Grow watercress in pots or directly in water
- Watercress is ready to harvest 8 weeks after sowing seeds
- Harvest watercress regularly to promote tender new growth
Essential shopping list for growing watercress plants
- Watercress seeds or potted watercress plants
- Scotts Performance Naturals Organic Based Soil Improver
- Scotts Performance Naturals All Purpose Organic Based Fertiliser
- Garden trowel
- Pot & Scotts Performance Naturals Premium Organic Based Potting Mix - if growing in pots
- Choose a spot in your garden with morning sun only or part shade. If growing watercress in the warmer months, it will need daily watering and protection from the hot sun.
- Watercress should not be allowed to dry out, so choose a spot that receives regular water or irrigation.
- Enrich the soil with organic matter before planting watercress by mixing through Scotts Performance Naturals Organic Based Soil Improver and Scotts Performance Naturals All Purpose Organic Based Fertiliser.
Growing watercress from seeds
To grow watercress from seed, sow seeds 1cm deep, 5-10cm apart into your prepared garden soil or Scotts Performance Naturals Premium Organic Based Potting Mix if growing in pots. Keep well-watered and protect germinating seeds from slugs and snails with Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.
Growing from watercress seedlings
Plant watercress seedlings into prepared garden soil or Scotts Performance Naturals Premium Organic Based Potting Mix if growing in pots. Keep well watered.
Planting watercress plants in the garden
Sow seeds or plant watercress seedlings into prepared soil, in a spot with morning sun only or part shade. You’ll need to ensure the soil never dries out, water daily if needed.
Growing watercress in pots
For growing watercress in pots, wow seeds or plant watercress seedlings into a 30cm pot filled with Scotts Performance Naturals Premium Organic Based Potting Mix. Use a self-watering pot or place a covert (with no drainage holes) over the pot you’ve planted into - this will help ensure the soil remains constantly moist.
Harvesting watercress plants
Harvest watercress regularly by cutting leaves off at ground level with sharp scissors - remove as much as you need to use for that meal or dish. Once cut watercress is best used fresh.
Common watercress pests & diseases
- Slugs and Snails can cause significant damage to watercress leaves. Protect watercress plants by setting beer traps (saucers filled with beer) amongst them or use Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.
- If aphids, whitefly or caterpillars attack watercress use Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray as per the labels instructions to control them.