How to grow Dame’s rocket
Dame’s rocket can grow from seeds as well as stem cuttings. It naturally spreads from seeds in the surrounding area. However, when growing a cultivar it always propagates from its stem cutting. This is because hydrides or cultivars seeds are not fit for reproduction.
Their seeds will not grow plants similar to them. Dame’s rocket is considered a very invasive plant, so if they seed-seeding you do not need to grow them manually.
When to Plant
Dame’s rocket can be planted during early spring. When the danger of frost is gone. You can grow them directly from seeds in the ground because it thrives fast and best with their seeds. However, when growing one of its hybrid propagation from seeds might not work.
Where to Plant
Plant dame’s rocket in pots or in the garden. They look better in clusters, covering the section of the garden. But, remember this plant becomes invasive in ideal conditions.
In fact, this plant is banned in some states of the USA including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. If you’re growing dames rocket in the USA, please first consult your local agricultural extension or you might break the law.
How to plant dame’s rocket seeds
Dame’s rockets are mostly grown from seeds because they grow fast and easily.
To grow dame’s rocket from seeds,
First, take fresh dame’s rocket seeds, you can buy them from a nearby nursery or order online.
One gets, soak seeds in warm water (not too hot) for 10-12 hours. This makes the seeds soak in water.
Plant dame’s rocket seeds in pot or ground, use average, moist soil with good drainage.
The seeds take nearly two to three weeks to germinate. Once its seedlings shoot up it shows rapid growth. The plant becomes mature within two to three months.
If you start planting earlier in the season, you might see some blooms on them.
How to grow dame’s rocket from stem cuttings
Although this plant grows best with seeds, you can also propagate dame’s rocket with stem cuttings. This method is also useful when you are growing any dam’s rocket hybrid.
To propagate this plant from stem cutting:
First, take stem cuttings from a mature dame’s rocket plant with no bloom and plenty of leaves on the stem.
Use gardening shear to cut down stem cutting. Avoid breaking or tearing the stem it will cause permanent damage to the plant.
Clear all the leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting to create space for roots.
Dip the bottom tip in the rooting hormone to accelerate growth. (optional)
Plant them stem cutting the ground, make it stand.
Water to make the soil moist. Young plants need more water to grow.
The roots start growing within two to three weeks, you get to know when it starts growing new leaves.
Although, growing them from division does not make sense. As dame’s rocket is a biennial plant that has a life span of only two years. Forst year it takes to get mature and the second year it grows with full potential.
Division can only be helpful if your plant has overgrown in some area. In this condition, take out all plants from the ground, take their roots, and plant them in different locations for good growth.
How to care for dame’s rocket
Dame’s rocket does require care when provided with ideal conditions. When this plant is in ideal condition this plant self-seeds and becomes invasive.
So, they are easy to care for. But, the problem begins when the plant overgrows. Dame’s rocket becomes invasive in good condition. It can take over the whole garden or even spread across neighbors. Sp it important to grow them with care.
This plant likes to grow in full sun to part sun. If you live where the sun becomes intense in mid-afternoon, plant them in partial shade.
Ideally, plant them where they get early morning sunlight and afternoon shade. The plant should get at least eight hours of direct sunlight.
If you do not have an area with continuous sunlight. Then plant dame’s rocket in a pot so that you chase the sun by moving the pot.
This plant mainly grows in average soil. Dame’s rocket does not require good fertile soil for growth.
However, it should not be planted in clay soil. It prefers average, well-drained soil.
Soil with bad drainage will cause soggy water which often causes root rot in the plant. Due to the growth of the plant they get stunt and they might get killed.
You can improve your soil drainage by adding organic soil compost before planting.
Also, Dame’s rocket prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH range between 6.0 to 7.5.
Dame’s rocket plants moist soil to keep growing. Water them whenever you see soil get dry.
When it is not raining, make sure you provide them with at least 1 inch of water per week.
Avoid overwatering, this will cause yellow leaves and stunt the plant’s growth. Water only when the soil surface looks dry.
Water directly in the roots of the plant, watering onto the plant might cause leaves spot or fungal diseases.
Usually, dame’s rocket does not need to be fertilized. This is a wild plant that can spread by itself. Also, it has only two years of life span, adding fertilize will not increase its life. However, when planting them you can spread a layer of organic compost for better results.
Although, dame’s rocket flowers do not need pruning to keep blooming. This plant produces bloom during summer to fall. However, if you want to stop them from spreading their seeds, you have to prune its dry bloom.
Take a shear and cut off the blooms when they fade.
Do not let the flower drop to the ground. Controlling a spread dam’s rocket is not too easy but this method will definitely slow down the process.
Common pests and diseases
This plant is not easily affected by any pests diseases. Deer also do not bother or feed this plant. However, in some regions flea beetles infest on their foliage making round holes.
When you notice eaten-up leaves it might be them. You can treat the plant by applying pyrethrin.
In wet weather, slugs and snails come to feed on plants. The best way is to check underneath the leaves and throw them by hand.
In rainy, humid summer conditions fungal disease called powdery mildew also starts infesting the plant. The fungus looks like white dust main covers the foliage of the plant.
You can get rid of powdery mildew by removing affected leaves or applying fungicide to the foliage. If you take too long to take action, it will destroy your whole plant.
Harvesting, cooking and preservation
Keep dame rocket seeds (microgreens) for use in salad and sandwiches. Its leaves are rich in Vitamin C and can be used in food, but have a bitter taste.
H.matronalis leaves and seeds are mainly used to make regular sandwiches.
You can use its young bud as garnishes in deserts and cold entrees.
Collect its seeds after the flowers dry to regrow new plants next year.
You store seeds in an airtight container for up to a year in a cool, dry location.