All About Growing Horseradish

Growing horseradish is possible in a wide range of climates because they are such tough, persistent plants. Horseradish roots are harvested from fall through winter, providing plenty of warmth to winter meals. This guide includes descriptions of the types of horseradish and tips for growing this flavor-packed root crop in your organic garden.


| January 10, 2014



Horseradish Illustration

Horseradish comes back year after year and its roots transform relatively easily into a peppery, flavorful condiment.


Illustration by Keith Ward

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Cold hardy, a perennial crop, and easy to grow in sun or partial shade, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) quickly makes itself at home in gardens. Horseradish roots are harvested in fall, winter or spring, and then peeled and ground before being enjoyed as a peppery condiment.

Growing horseradish is easy in Zones 4 to 7, where established horseradish plants require little care. In addition to growing horseradish roots to eat, you can use horseradish as a medicinal herb for clearing a stuffy nose. Horseradish tea is sometimes used as a preventive fungicide on fruits and other plants plagued by fungal diseases.

Types of Horseradish

Horseradish leaves vary in their broadness. Older strains of common horseradish have leaves that are up to 10 inches across, whereas “bohemian” strains have narrower leaves. The latter is the type of horseradish that is commercially grown, so you are probably growing horseradish with Czechoslovakian heritage if you plant horseradish roots purchased at the store. The ‘Maliner Kren’ variety is of this type.

How to Plant Horseradish

Planting horseradish is best done is spring, whether you begin with crowns from a nursery, or a root from the supermarket. Most households harvest enough horseradish for their needs from two or three plants.

Set out roots or crowns a few weeks before your last frost date, in any fertile, well-drained soil. Horseradish grows best in moist, silty soils like those found in river bottomland, but enriched clay or sandy loam with a near neutral pH is acceptable. Situate horseradish roots diagonally in the soil, with the slanted end down and the flat end up. 





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