We all love food. But growing tomatoes, potatoes and other food is only part of the fun. Why not also add some flowers to the list, which will not only make your garden look more beautiful, but will also make a nice addition to your favourite dish.
But which flowers are edible and how to grow them? We are glad you asked because we’ve prepared a list with 10 common eatable flowers you can easily grow in Australia. We’ve also included pictures for faster identification!
Growing edible flowers is great from both a cooking and health perspective, so here are ten wonderful plants that can make a nice addition to your garden!
As the name suggests, annual types of flowers go from germinating and developing to blooming and reproducing in one growing season. Then they die and as the next suitable season approaches, you can plant them again and watch the process repeat itself. Here are a few annual edible flowers you can plant in your backyard:
The Calendulas are super easy to grow. They’ll keep blooming until it gets cold, which means you’ll get plenty of flowers to use in different cooking recipes. The plant has historical use as a stomach ache remedy, fever reliever and even a booster for the immune system.
Calendula is also used in skin care products and massage oil. The plant can be the main ingredient in DIY lotion or moisturiser. The anti-ageing properties of the flower are also well-known.
When it comes to cooking, adding some calendula to your vegetable broth is an amazing way to give it a twist in the taste.
Tips for growing Calendula plant
- Where to plant – The plant loves the sun and will become lanky if put in the shade. Position them in a place where they’ll get about 9 to 10 hours of sunlight per day.
- General care tips – Calendula plants can tolerate low-water conditions, requiring no more than 5 centimetres of water per week in dry and sunny weeks.
- Pest control – The plant rarely suffers from serious pest infestations (making them an ideal flower you can eat), however, they can attract aphids and whiteflies. Sometimes, calendulas may suffer from a fungal disease that causes white patches. The only cure is to remove any affected plant tissue and dispose of it immediately.
Both the flowers and the leaves of the Nasturtium are edible. They have a peppery taste so it’s best not to mix with Chili Peppers when cooking a dish. This plant can easily spice up any recipe.
Whether you decide to mix Nasturtium flowers or leaves with your pesto or just add a couple of them to your salad, you will get an interesting and colourful meal.
The nasturtium plant contains high amounts of Vitamin C, making it a perfect supplement to your salad and a great way to increase your plant-based vitamin intake.
Nasturtium has been also used as a way to cure scurvy, as well as fungal infections. It was also the go-to spice for adding flavour and the people in the past knew well the many benefits of having this flower in their homes.
Tips for growing Nasturtium Plant
- When to plant – It’s best to plant your Nasturtium seeds early in the spring.
- Where to plant – Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. The plant doesn’t need fertilisers and is better off in a poorer type of soil.
- General care tips – The nasturtium plant needs regular watering. Make sure to cut off any faded or dead flowers.
- Pest control – The plant tends to suffer from flea beetles, caterpillars and aphids.
Poppy flowers come in many different colours and sizes. If you want a flower that is drought tolerant, then this is a good choice. When these flowers bloom, you can harvest the seeds to use in your baked goods.
While the poppy plant is a world-famous opiate from the dawn of time, the seeds can be safely eaten. Consuming poppy seeds can help against stomach-related problems and can even alleviate asthma.
Feel free to experiment with poppy seeds when you use them in porridge, cakes, rolls, glaze and different pastry filling.
Tips for growing Poppy plant
- When to plant – While poppy plants aren’t tricky to grow, the right planting period is important. It’s best to plant the poppy seeds in early spring.
- Where to plant – Aim for a place with either full sun or partial shade.
- General care tips – As the plant is difficult to transplant, we do not recommend growing it indoors. Water a little every week and weed out when necessary. That’s it! The plant is otherwise quite sustaining.
When this plant is young the leaves taste nutty and are easily distinguished from all other types of greens.
Later, the leaves start to get bitter and the petals get the initial taste of the leaves.
Chinese Chrysanthemum is perfect for making a hot cup of tea when the growing season is over. Tea from the plant is recommended when dealing with prostate cancer. It can also help with high blood pressure, fevers and colds and even type two diabetes.
Tips for growing Chinese Chrysanthemum
- Where to plant – Chinese Chrysanthemum prefers to be grown in a cooler climate. It’s best to plant it in a place where they’re protected from the wind. Chinese Chrysanthemum is not a picky plant about the soil it will be grown into. They’re drought tolerant and can be easily transplanted.
- General care tips – Depending on whether you’re growing the chrysanthemum from seed or you’ve got a potted one, the growing technique may differ. Potted Chinese Chrysanthemum is often treated with a growth regulator, just to keep them dwarf-ish in size. They won’t get to the size of a plant grown from seed. When you cut away the flowers that are done blooming you’re encouraging new blooms.
- Pest control – While chrysanthemums can be plagued by pests, often they’re easy to manage. Earwigs, snails and black aphids are among the most common pests. If you find brown rust on your leaves, make sure you remove the infected leaves.
Chamomile is a well-known and widely spread flower you can encounter almost anywhere in the world. It’s a popular choice for teas and salad decoration.
Chamomile tea is great for slowing or even preventing osteoporosis. A cup before going to bed can help you sleep better. Of course, camomile tea is a great way to cure and ease colds, too.
However, for people with severe allergies, especially to pollen, it might be best to avoid the camomile flower.
- Where to plant – The chamomile plant thrives in well-drained garden beds. Planting them in full sunlight is mandatory.
- General care tips – The plant is fairly easy to grow and does not require a lot of supervision. It needs to be watered once a week. Once the plant starts to die in late fall, make sure you cut it back to two to three inches of the ground.
- Pest control – Make sure to remove the clippings as they can gather pests.
Unlike the annual edible flowers, you can enjoy your perennials for at least a couple of years. This means you won’t have to go through the troubles of replanting every spring, as the perennials’ roots are resistant and can survive colder weather.
The flowers of this plant are gorgeous. When harvesting capers, you’re actually picking the buds of the flowers. One full-size bush will get you about 1-2 jars of capers.
The power of Caper plants is hidden in the number of antioxidants that they contain. The latter proves to be effective when battling heart disease.
Capers are perfect for cooking a delicious linguine dish so that you can give your Italian dinner a bit of a twist.
Tips for growing Capers
- Where to plant – Capers prefer strong sunlight, so don’t worry about planting them in a highly sunny location in your garden.
- General care tips – The plant is tolerant to drought as it develops deep roots. However, it is still essential to water regularly in the beginning until the plant develops. The caper buds are best to be picked at the immature stage.
Roses are a wonderful investment for your garden because they will just keep blooming year after year, as long as they get the right care.
As long as the flowers are grown organically (not treated with any chemicals), the petals are edible. You can also use them to make luxurious facemasks.
Roses are full of vitamin C, pectin and citric acid. Treating yourself to a tea with rose petals is an amazing way to get the full health spectrum of the plant. Remember, though that rose tea needs to be made with fresh rose petals.
Tips for growing Roses
- Where to plant – Roses love sunshine. Make sure you plant them in a place where they are exposed to a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day. They are not very particular about the type of soil they’re in and would just continue to bloom until it gets cold.
- General care tips – As the plant requires regular pruning in order to maintain its beauty, we suggest you learn how to prune roses, or maybe hire a professional to do it for you. Depending on the weather and the soil, your rose plant will require different amounts of water.
- Pest control – As the rose plant can get infected with pests quite easily, it’s best to monitor your eatable flower often. It’s much easier to deal with plant pest problems in the early stages.
There are many different types of Jasmine but the only kind that is edible is the Jasminum Sambac. It is also called Arabian or tea Jasmine.
This type of Jasmine is used to infuse tea. Jasminum Sambac is moderately fast-growing, enjoys heat, it is quite tolerant to drought and it puts out many flowers.
You can soak the flowers in filtered water overnight to wash your face in the morning. Or you can even add them on top of a pot of freshly steamed rice and you’ll get jasmine rice.
Jasminum Sambac is an amazing anti-aging remedy. The aroma of the plant is soothing for the skin.
Tips for growing Jasminum Sambac
- Where to plant – This edible type of flower also loves sunlight, so planting it in a sunny spot is a great choice. You can plant it alongside fences. The flowers attract butterflies.
- General care tips – It’s best to grow your Jasmine indoors if you live in a colder Australian region. Normally, the plant thrives in topical or similar climates.
Akebia vine is also called chocolate vine. It is native to Japan, Korea and parts of China.
The plant prefers growing in a cooler climate. They’re fast-growing so you’ll get an abundance of pods to enjoy. The flowers smell somewhat like Jasmine and the pods taste like sweet jelly.
The plant is famous for containing anti-inflammatory agents and it’s great for headaches. It can also have positive effects on the liver.
The fruits of this vine can also be consumed in a salad, made into tea, or turned into wine.
Tips for growing Akebia Vine
- Where to plant – Growing this vine adequately, requires planting in well-draining soil.
- General care tips – If you’re looking forward to growing the fruits we, advise you to plant two vines at the same time to increase pollination. The vine doesn’t require any additional fertiliser, and the plant can grow with support to around 12 metres.
The petals of the Freesia are edible and in some parts of the world, they even infuse the petals in syrup.
What’s the best part about growing this edible flower? Well, the bulbs would just keep multiplying for your benefit.
The Freesia has a rich scent, often used in beauty products like perfumes. The plant is also a great air purifier making it the perfect fit for your house, or your backyard.
Tips for growing Freesia
- Where to plant – No surprise here, the Freesia flower loves days full of sun. The best location for this type of plant is in well-draining soil.
- General care tips – Roots form in the fall season. It’s best to water the plant at the moment of planting, as it will settle the soil around the plant.
Trying out edible flowers is a great way to give your food a twist. Depending on your choice, you can add flowers in salads, teas, baked goods and almost any type of meal. Growing your own edible flowers, on the other hand, will certainly bring you great pleasure and will guarantee that you have a clean and healthy product at the end.
We can help you grow different edible flowers!
Let’s get in touch!
Nataly Studio / Shutterstock.com
Anastasiia Malinich / Shutterstock.com
Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.com
boommaval / Shutterstock.com
Ohhlanla / Shutterstock.com
Scisetti Alfio / Shutterstock.com
Lotus Images / Shutterstock.com
janniwet / Shutterstock.com
Snezana Vasiljevic / Shutterstock.com
Ortis / Shutterstock.com