Discover How Easy It Is To Grow Edible Flowers
Many people are surprised when they find out how many flowers growing in their garden are actually edible. I have picked out my top 11 easy to grow edible flowers to help you enjoy and experience the joy of growing and using edible flowers. Did you know that studies have actually shown that flowers improve emotional health.
Edible flowers are all the rage now and so easily transform a standard plate of food to something exciting and joyful. How wonderful it could be to just pop into your garden and pick a few blooms to add that extra dash of prettiness to whatever you’re making in the kitchen.
I even have a little jar of edible flowers in my fridge – so every time I open the fridge it reminds me to use the flowers to garnish my plate!
These flowers bring me such joy which I love sharing.
Enhance Your Garden and Your Food with These Beautiful and Easy to Grow Edible Flowers
Table of Contents
Wax Begonia (Begonia semperflorens)
One of the most popular edible flowers to grow in both gardens and pots is the wax begonia. These plants produce flowers in a wide range of colours including white, pink, and red, offering showy and abundant floral displays.
I particularly like this herbaceous perennial as it is small and compact, perfect for gardens of all sizes and often used as a border. It is also an ideal potted specimen.
Blooming Frequency: Summer to early autumn although its can bloom almost year-round in good conditions.
Preferred Climate: Prefers warm temperate to cooler temperate climates. Begonia will grow in shade in warmer climates as long as the soil is kept moist.
Growing Conditions: Partial sun is ideal, but Begonias will grow in full sun in cooler climates. They grow best in fertile, well-drained soil or a quality potting mix for containers.
Water only once the topsoil has dried to the touch to avoid overwatering. The ideal temperature range is between 60°F (16°C) to 75°F (24°C). Feed bi-weekly with a mild liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
How to Use Edible Begonia Flowers:
- Best used as a garnish.
- Has a fresh sour apple to lemony taste which pairs well with soups, pastas, and fish dishes.
- Blooms also make for an attractive garnish for desserts, ice creams, and drinks.
- For added appeal to beverages, the flowers can be frozen in ice cubes as well.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Also known as starflower, this annual herb features, you guessed it, beautiful star-shaped, bright blue flowers, and fuzzy leaves, both of which are edible.
Borage is an excellent companion plant in flower gardens and will act as a useful repellent for tomato worms and cabbage worms. It is also loved by bees and other pollinators.
It can grow a little straggly so make sure you cut back your plant in midsummer to encourage healthy reblooming and prevent it from overtaking your garden.
This easy, fast-growing annual self-seeds readily and is relatively maintenance free.
Blooming Frequency: Early summer to first frost.
Preferred Climate: Will grow in most temperate to warm climates. It will not tolerate frost or being too cold.
Growing Conditions: Borage is adaptable to most soil types. It prefers full sun to light shade, planted in fertile, well-drained soil. Water twice per week on average.
How to Use Edible Borage Flowers:
- The flowers have a pleasant fresh cucumber flavor which works really well with savory dishes.
- Most commonly used as a garnish
- can also be candied for desserts or used in cocktails as a floating garnish.
- Try freezing the bright blue flowers in flower ice cubes and add to drinks.
- The leaves are also edible and can be used as an addition to salads. Use only young leaves though as older leaves become too hairy and can cause an unpleasant fuzzy sensation in your mouth!
- The leaves can also be dried and used to make a medicinal tea.
Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea)
My current absolute favorite edible flower at the moment is the Butterfly Pea Flower. Apart from the stunning color it has amazing medicinal benefits which are being documented in modern studies.
This fast-growing perennial vine features vibrant deep-blue blooms which are borne solitary or in pairs along trailing branches.
Being a vine, the plant will grow wildly and is likely to scramble over anything in its path! The vines can take over so try to make sure you have plenty of space or a trellis or structure it can climb on.
Blooming Frequency: Will flower prolifically from early summer to late autumn.
Preferred Climate: Tropical and subtropical. Can be grown as an annual in more temperate climates but will not tolerate cold conditions.
Growing Conditions: This plant needs very little maintenance and is tolerant to a wide range of soil conditions provided the soil is well-drained.
Blooms best in full sun to semi-shade and prefers average temperatures of between 66-82°F (19-28°C). Does not respond well to temperatures below 28°F and is relatively drought resistant.
How to Use Edible Butterfly Pea Flowers:
- Well known as a natural dye and food colorant. The flower has a neutral flavor and is used to garnish any dish.
- It is also commonly steeped in water to make refreshing teas and syrups.
- It is becoming very popular with mixologists for its color-changing properties in mocktails and cocktails.
- You might want to try this Butterfly Pea Flower Cocktail recipe
Cornflower aka Bachelor Button (Centaurea cyanus)
I think this species is one of the showiest easy to grow edible flowers!
The plant bears highly ornamental and profuse daisy-like flowers for months and comes in colors varying from white, pink, mauve and blue as well as 2 tone.
This annual boasts a tall and slender growth habit, perfect for gap-filling or container gardening with edible flowers.
Cornflowers will easily self-seed if the flowers are left on the plant.
Blooming Frequency: Late spring to summer.
Preferred Climate: Warm temperate, temperate, cool.
Growing Conditions: Performs its best in full sun to light shade, planted in neutral to slightly alkaline, moist, and well-drained soil.
How to Use Edible Cornflowers:
- Unless purely for decoration, it tends to be only the petals that are use. The whole flower is too bulky and unpalatable.
- The flower petals though have an interesting serrated shape and have a faint flavor of cloves (very faint in my experience so won’t affect the flavor of your dish)
- Use flower petals to mix into salads
- pop on top of cream cheese and crackers, or bread
- use to garnish cakes, desserts, and biscuits.
- This herb also pairs excellently with egg, fish, and poultry dishes and has a mildly clove-like flavor.
Crucifix Orchid (Epidendrum ibaguense)
This small orchid has exquisite ornamental flowers and comes in red, purple, and orange colors.
I particularly love these edible flowers because of the shape and color variations that you get.
They will grow easily both in the ground or in containers and are considered one of the best orchids for beginners as it is so easy and needs very little attention.
Blooming Frequency: Almost year-round in warmer climates.
Preferred Climate: Loves tropical or subtropical climates but will grow well in a warm, protected position in temperate regions. It flowers prolifically in warm humid environments.
Growing Conditions: Pick a planting site that receives partial shade and plant in free-draining, sandy soil. They flower abundantly in well lit positions that is shaded for part of the day.
Crucifix orchids propagate by developing new aerial roots that grow from a stem. These grow into new little plants that can be picked off the mature stem and planted into a moist compost.
This species enjoys humidity and likes a little watering in warmer months, although it is drought resistant and will regrow after periods of drought.
How to Use Edible Crucifix Orchid Flowers:
- The crucifix orchid flower is not known for its tasty flavor but it’s exquisite crucifix shaped flowers make a wonderful garnish for cakes and desserts.
- Add them to cream cheese on bread
- Float in drinks for that extra impressive appeal
- They are also great frozen in flower ice cubes as an interesting addition to your drinks.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
Who doesn’t love the flamboyant fuchsias? And what’s more you can eat all parts of this plant.
Fuchsias are a well-loved garden plant which are also grow well in hanging baskets or containers.
The Fuchsia genus consists of almost 110 species and over a thousand select varieties and cultivars. Many of these varieties produce fancy, showy flowers and produce particularly tasty berries and flowers.
Fuchsias are a well-loved garden plant which are also well suited to hanging baskets or containers.
Vital pollinators such as bees and butterflies love these flowers, so they’re a great way to contribute to your area’s biodiversity.
Blooming Frequency: Late spring to early fall (long blooming season).
Preferred Climate: Most types prefer cool climates where summers are below 85°F (29°C) and not too humid.
Growing Conditions: Plants need to be sheltered from the harsh midday heat and prefer direct morning sun or filtered sun throughout the day.
Most species also perform very well in pots. In gardens, fuchsias can grow in almost any soil if it is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Fertilize every two weeks in summer and water when the topsoil becomes dry.
How to Use Edible Fuchsia Flowers:
- These eye-catching blooms taste a little tart but are not unpleasantly strong in flavor.
- They are best used in fresh dishes like green salads, and grain-based salads.
- Also use to brighten up cakes, sorbets, and pastries.
- All parts of this plant are edible including its berries which are made into syrups, jellies, and jams.
- Discover the uses of fuchsias in this post
Impatiens aka Bizzy Lizzy (Impatiens walleriana)
The Impatiens genus, or Bizzy Lizzy as they are commonly known as, remains a global garden favorite. It is one of the most popular bedding plants thanks to its profuse and brightly coloured blooms that emerge from spring to fall.
This plant is ideal for growing in pots and it is one of the few easy to grow edible flowers that can tolerate even fully shaded conditions.
Blooming Frequency: Late spring to the first frost of fall.
Preferred Climate: Tropical, Mediterranean, warm temperate.
Growing Conditions: Provide at least 2 to 4 hours of filtered morning sun with some afternoon shade to encourage proper flowering. The soil must be well-drained and enriched with some organic matter.
Fertilize regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer throughout spring and summer. Water well to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
How to Use Edible Impatiens Flowers:
- Flowers are commonly used to enhance jellies, syrups, and sauces.
- They are also ideal as garnishes on baked foods and pastries.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Perhaps the most well-known edible flower is the Nasturtium, which features highly vibrant coloured blooms with an attractive trumpet shape. And it is also perhaps one of the easiest edible flowers to grow.
They are very low maintenance, will thrive where most other plants don’t and will also self seed easily if left. Such a rewarding plant for little effort!
Tropaeolum majus is an excellent companion plant in almost any flower or vegetable garden, acting as a sacrificial crop for aphids. It thrives in areas of poor soil where other plants will not grow.
It is another great choice for those looking to attract pollinators to their gardens and it will also perform brilliantly in containers and hanging baskets.
Blooming Frequency: Flowers throughout summer and fall.
Preferred Climate: Tropical and subtropical but will tolerate cooler, more temperate climates.
Growing Conditions: These plants perform their best in full sun but will appreciate some afternoon shade in summer. They are not fussy about soil type and will grow in areas where most flowers struggle. Prefers not to be fertilized. Water well to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
How to Use Edible Nasturtiums:
- The flowers feature a peppery flavor with a sweet nectar pop, ideal for spicing any salad or garnishing savoury dishes and platters.
- Pairs well with potatoes and goes great with pastas.
- The whole plant is edible, including the stems, leaves and seeds.
- Check out this post to find out everything you need to know about nasturtiums and how to use them
Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)
Pentas flowers are very much edible which comes as a surprise to some. The blooms are very pretty, used either in small clusters of star shaped florets or as a singular floret.
Commonly known as the Egyptian Starflower, this woody perennial produces gorgeous stellular blooms that are available in many colors.
These easy to grow edible flowers are perfect for pots and pollinators will be attracted to them in their dozens! The flower stems also make for fantastic cut flowers for floral arrangements as they are long-lasting in vases.
Blooming Frequency: Late spring to early fall.
Preferred Climate: Subtropical (they love heat and humidity!)
Growing Conditions: Full sun to dappled shade is ideal for healthy blooming. They thrive in rich and free-draining soil that doesn’t stay too soggy after watering or rainfall.
Some compost in garden beds will go a long way and potted specimens should be planted into quality potting soil. Water regularly but moderately. Fertilize with a low-phosphorus fertilizer in spring.
How to Use Edible Pentas Flowers:
- Edible Pentas flowers are mainly used for decorative purposes on desserts, cakes, and pastries.
- The bright star shaped flowers grow in small clusters. They can be used as a cluster but are most attractive when pulled off and used as separate florets.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
The common sunflower has long been prized for its ornamental influence in gardens across the globe. Most people are familiar with these bright and cheerful annuals, with their tall and slender stems decorating gardens with stunning summery pops of yellow.
Bees and hummingbirds also absolutely adore them.
Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious, offering excellent sources of healthy fats and protein. These seeds are a favorite for wildlife too, so remember to leave some on the stalks to attract squirrels and such into your garden.
Blooming Frequency: Spring to summer.
Preferred Climate: Subtropical, warm temperate, temperate.
Growing Conditions: Sunflowers grow best in a sunny position, planted in well-drained, moderately moist soil. They require some protection from harsh winds as they are prone to falling or bending. Water to keep soil moist during the flowering season but avoid overwatering.
Fertilize only in poor soils with a gentle, slow-release granular fertilizer.
How to Use Edible Sunflowers:
- All parts of the sunflower plant are edible
- The seeds are the most commonly used part of the plant,
- Petals are also added to salads to provide a sunny color contrast.
- Entire sunflower heads can also be grilled as a special lunchtime treat!
Viola / Johnny Jump Ups (Viola tricolor)
Violas are one of my most favorite edible flowers because they are so incredible cute, all have unique colorings and markings, and they are so versatile.
The heart shaped leaves are also edible. The plant is small and compact, ideal for gap-filling in beds or container gardening.
Blooming Frequency: Violas are prolific bloomers. They can flower continuously from spring through to the autumn, provided you deadhead them regularly. Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more flowers and extends the flowering period. In warmer climates, Violas prefer the cooler months to flower.
Preferred Climate: Violas are adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of climates. They are known for their cold tolerance, making them excellent choices for temperate regions. However, they can also handle mild winters and warm summers, provided they receive adequate moisture.
Growing Conditions: Pansies and violas grow best in full sun in cool conditions, planted in moderately fertile soil that is well-drained but that also maintains moisture. Its ideal temperature range is between 40-70°F (5 – 21°C). Feed bi-weekly during the growing season with a liquid garden fertilizer.
How to Use Edible Viola Flowers:
- They have a very mild taste, to be honest they don’t have any taste at all, perhaps a little grassy if anything. This makes them ideal for any type of food decoration.
- Also, the flowers can be eaten whole, so no need to mess around pulling off bits of the bloom.
- Because of their small size they can be used on cakes, cupcakes, desserts, salads and any type of garnish.
- They are also excellent in flower ice cubes.
- You can also press these pretty little flowers; they are flat and press beautifully. Use the pressed flowers and leaves on cakes, cookies and brownies.
Harvesting Easy to Grow Edible Flowers
Harvesting edible flowers really couldn’t be much simpler. However, there are certainly some best practices to consider.
- Flowers are best picked in the early morning once the dew has evaporated or early in the evening before sunset. Try to get them when they have dried but haven’t yet been exposed to the hot sun (which will dehydrate the flowers)
- Using your fingers or a pair of flower snips, simply pluck or cut the flowers where they meet the stem, directly below the flower base.
- If you only want to use the petals, gently pluck them from the flower heads only immediately before using them. This will protect them from bruising before use.
- To store flowers and petals, you can pop them into a covered container with a moist paper towel on the bottom then place them in the fridge to keep cool.
How to Use Your Easy to Grow Edible Flowers
- Use the flowers as a garnish in salads and fruit salads.
- Make edible flower cupcakes or decorate cakes, biscuits and tarts.
- Freeze them into ice cubes – also known as flower ice cubes. These will really jazz up your drinks and cocktails.
- Some flowers can be steeped to color and flavor beverages, particularly teas and cocktails. Hibiscus simple syrup is particularly delicious!
- Press into soft cheeses or make floral butter.
- Stuff flowers with delectable fillings! Flowers such as zucchinis, gladioli, Chinese lanterns, and nasturtiums make for excellent stuffed snacks.
- Add flowers to your favorite savoury meals or use them as a topping on your next homemade edible flower pizza!
- Flower flavor profiles can also be extracted and used to enhance syrups, jams, jellies, sauces, and more.
Edible Flowers FAQs
How do you harvest edible flowers?
Edible flowers are quite straightforward to harvest. Gently pick the flowers using your fingers at the base below the flowers. Check out our Edible Flower Care Guide.
Can I use fertilizers on my edible flowers?
Yes, you can use fertilizer for plants that produce edible flowers. We recommend using organic fertilizers when possible and be sure to delay harvesting for a few days after fertilizing.
Are all flowers safe to eat?
While there are certainly many species that produce edible flowers, there are also many that don’t. Some flowers are poisonous or may cause irritations and adverse reactions. Only eat flowers you know are safe for consumption. When growing edible flowers, be sure to also do so as organically as possible, avoiding the use of pesticides or fungicides.
Wrapping Up Our Easy to Grow Edible Flowers Guide
So, there you have it, my top 11 gorgeous and delicious easy to grow edible flowers you can get started with right away.
With so many fantastic species to choose from, we have no doubt that you will be able to find the perfect additions to your garden and culinary efforts!
Whether you’re a home gardener, food enthusiast, or simply enjoy garden-to-table dining, you’ll be captivated by at least one of these beautiful easy to grow edible flowers.