If you love the tasty flavor of watercress but hate the pungent smell that accompanies it, fear not. You can grow it indoors in pots, but it will take some effort and dedication on your part. It is an annual grass that grows about two feet tall. It is susceptible to freezing damage, so keep it well covered when it is not in use. Here are some tips on how to grow watercress indoors.

Place small containers on a windowsill, or in a north-facing window after the flowers have bloomed for a few days. The biggest challenge in planting watercress is it has to remain dry, especially during the dormant period, which is usually between one and three weeks. If you place it outside, it will likely get wet during the winter, and freeze during the summer. The best way to deal with this issue is to place it in a plastic container with a lid.

Watercress tends to grow well in ceramic or terra-cotta pots that are tightly-fitted with tight lids. If you buy containers in bulk, it is a good idea to use a plastic pot so that you can move them around easily. This plant loves a sunny location, and you can find it in many locations indoors. For best results, it is important to plant it in partial sun and to move it to a shaded area outdoors once the flowering is over.

Watercress needs a lot of moisture, especially throughout its flowering and growing season. The soil should be moist but not moist enough to drown the roots. It needs water, but not too much water, because it has tiny roots that will rot if they get too wet. When considering growing conditions, consider the location and accessibility of running water. You will also need a source of supplemental water, such as a garden hose, for when the soil is not yielding enough.

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The best time to try and grow watercress is late spring through summer, when the soil is still warm and moist from being watered. The plants should be exposed to at least four hours of sun, and the flowers should bloom for up to four weeks. In a few months of late summer or early fall, you will notice that the leaves have yellowed to a brownish color.

The traditional method of growing watercress is by starting out with a clove or two planted in a small bed. Any good container gardening book or article will show you how to start out with this basic structure. Most people plant the sprouts in potting media of some kind so that when they spread out to fill in the holes in the base of the bed, there are no problems with contact with soil. When you have these sprouts in pots, make sure they are planted on a firm surface, such as gravel or a sand base, and they should stay put without shifting under your weight. Some folks also like to place them in baskets or other containers on their kitchen windowsills, but keep in mind that peppery cress needs room to grow, so be certain to provide a clean dry space.

After you have established your plants, you may wish to try using growing lights. Growing lights, especially blue growing lights, work well with small roots systems and can help speed the germination of seeds. Triton growing lights work great for large roots and can be used both for indoor and outdoor growing. These lights are available at most garden centers, and in many cases they are even available as a discount at large box stores, such as Walmart.

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One of the nicest things about growing watercress is that you don’t need a great deal of care beyond providing plenty of light and moisture. The little bit of work involved can actually be quite satisfying, as you watch your sprouts grow. Watercress is naturally a mild mint flavor and adding a pinch of vitamin C can really bring out the flavor. It’s quite possible to grow this herb in your own vegetable garden and enjoy its flavor year round. With proper care, watercress is an easy herb to grow and has a long shelf life, making it an excellent choice for the chef who likes to know how to grow his own herbs.