Watercress grown from seed in NZ
Watercress seedlings in NZ garden
Watercress grown from seed in NZ
Watercress seedlings in NZ garden


Regular price $3.30 Save $-3.30

Botanical Name: Nasturtium officinale

Lifecycle: Perennial

Heritage: Europe, pre 1900's

Heirloom Seed Variety  Plant Height: 40cm

Watercress is a low growing perennial that is sought after for its light pleasant bite.

Enjoyed as a salad plant since roman times, it has since naturalised in streams and springs around NZ, and is cultivated worldwide.

It can be grown in gardens and pots by providing it with regular watering - enough to keep the soil moist - and placing the plant in a shady position. A fast growing and hardy aquatic plant, it produces delicious young shoots that can be cut regularly for eating fresh.

It is highly popular and has a variety of uses, going well in salads and sandwiches, as a garnish, or even in soups.


Best Time To Sow Seeds Sowing Method: Sow Direct or Transplant

Spring – Autumn

Sow Direct, or Transplant

Watercress is best sown in spring through until autumn. Seeds can be sown in trays for transplanting, or directly in containers or garden beds in a shaded position approx. 5 – 10 cm apart when soil temperatures are between 12°c – 20°c.

Soil Temperature To Germinate Seeds Time To Germinate Seeds

12°c – 20°c

5 – 10 days

Transplant seedlings, or thin directly sown seeds, once plants have several true leaves to a final spacing of approx. 10cm apart. You can eat or re-transplant any thinnings.

It can be grown in pots or containers if garden space is limited, by keeping it stood in a saucer of water and watering regularly.

Space Between Seedlings Approx Time Until Harvest Hardiness To Frosts


35 – 55 days



Best grown in a shaded spot with good access to water. Please take note that it will not tolerate hot dry conditions.

Eat immediately upon picking for best flavour, or it will keep for a few days in the fridge. It is highly regarded for its young tender leaves.


 HOME GARDEN ($3.30) 1,000 seeds


4,000 seeds

Botanical Name:

This is the formal scientific name for each plant, firstly identifying the genus and then the species to which it belongs.

The purpose of these Latin names is to have a single name that is accepted and used worldwide for a particular plant or plant group, and to help distinguish each plant uniquely from other plants.


This refers to the typical lifecycle of each plant.

Annual: Plants that complete their life cycle within 1 year (from germination to growing and producing seeds, then dying).

Biennial: Plants that complete their life cycle in 2 years (germinates and grows in the first year, then produces seeds and dies in the second year).

Perennial: Plants that have a life cycle of more than 2 years.

It is wise to consider the lifecycle of each plant before choosing its final growing position. For example, you may prefer to plant perennials away from annuals, so your perennials are not disturbed when your annuals are harvested at the end of their relatively short lifecycle.


This refers to the geographic region and approximate date of origin, as it is best known for each variety.

Please note that varieties listed as “pre 1900’s” are very old varieties that have often been grown for hundreds of years, and as such their specific dates of origin are hard to list accurately.

Best Sown:

This refers to when it is suggested the seeds are best sown, to encourage strong and vigorous growth in their ideal seasonal conditions.

Please note that while some varieties may be able to be sown outside the range suggested, they will generally perform best when sown in the approximate seasonal ranges provided.

Sowing Method:

This refers to the suggested method for sowing each variety. Using the appropriate sowing method will help to ensure you achieve best results.

Direct Sow: These are seeds that perform well when sown directly into your garden. These seeds normally produce fast growing and strong seedlings. Please note that young seedlings may still need some protection from harsh weather and pests.

Transplant: These are seeds that perform well when started in trays or containers and then transplanted to their final position once they’re a bit stronger. These seeds often produce slower growing and weaker seedlings that need some care and protection from weather and pests. Seedlings can typically be transplanted to their final position once they are large enough to handle (for example 5+cm tall with several true leaves).

Please note that for varieties where we list both methods you have the choice.

Soil Temp To Germinate:

This refers to the approximate soil temperature range for optimum germination of the seeds.

Please note that while some germination may occur outside these ranges, the seeds will typically germinate strongest when sown in the optimum soil temperature range provided.

Approx. Time To Germinate:

This refers to the approximate amount of time it takes for the seeds to germinate.

Please note that while some variation may occur, with ideal conditions this represents an average amount of time before germination. This relies in part on the seeds being sown in soil at an ideal temperature for germination, per the heading above.

Spacing For Seedlings:

This is the recommended spacing between plants in their final growing position.

Please note that spacing plants closer together than suggested will likely result in underperforming plants, due to crowding and over-competition for root space and available nutrients.

Approx. Time To Harvest:

This is the number of days until the plant typically reaches the purpose for which it is normally grown. For example, this is the time it takes for the plant to fruit or flower, or until the leaves are ready to be picked, etc.

Please note that while this refers to the beginning of harvesting time, the plants could keep growing for an extended period yet, particularly if kept well looked after.

Hardiness To Frosts:

This refers to how tolerant the plant is of frost and cold weather.

Tender: Plants that will be injured or killed by frost and cold weather. These plants will probably not survive winter.

Half-Hardy: Plants that will not tolerate severe frosts, but should otherwise survive winter.

Hardy: Plants that have the ability to survive frost and cold weather. These plants should survive winter. 

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