Horseradish – Hate It Or Love It – It’s A Must Have Plant For Every Herb Garden

blooming horseradish Horseradish – Hot and Pungent. Grow it anywhere. Asia, Australia, Canada, USA, UK and Europe, South Africa, grow it anywhere. Horseradish does best in cool damp, not wet soils.

More than almost anyone wants to know about horseradish. It is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes mustard, broccoli, and cabbage). The plant Origin is unknown but is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. It is now popular around the world. It grows up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white, hot and pungent tasting root.

Intact (whole)horseradish root has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the plant cells break down to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Grated or mashed it should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time. (Thank you wikipeda.)

Horseradish can grow up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white root. Horse Radish with a little vinegar is commonly used among the Germans for sauce to eat with fish and meats as we do mustard.

Horseradish is a perennial and is hardy zones 2–9. And can be grown as an annual in other zones, although not as successfully as in zones with both a long growing season and winter temperatures cold enough to ensure plant dormancy. After the first frost in the autumn kills the leaves, dig and divided it’s roots. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year’s crop.

Horseradish sauce is commonly served along side beef or pork dishes, lamb and egg dishes and with cheese and sausage (worst). A common horseradish sauce is made using graded horseradish and mustard or mayo. Sometimes the sauce is as simple as a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Sometime horseradish is mixed with grated beet root.

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12 responses to “Horseradish – Hate It Or Love It – It’s A Must Have Plant For Every Herb Garden

  1. Horseradish grows so well in my garden that I have to chop off all it’s leaves every time I walk past it. If I don’t, it will quickly grow 6 feet tall and about 8 feet wide and take over completely.

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    • I have heard people say the something about horseradish, I guess our hot and rather dry summers and winters keeps it under control.
      Happy gardening

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  2. People either love or hate it. I’m in the latter group but appreciated the information. I learned a lot! Thanks.

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  3. I love horseradish, especially in cheddar cheese. Just can’t find any seeds for it over here in Africa…

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    • Re SwimmingWithScorpions – Thanks for taking time to visit my humble blog and for your comment(s)
      Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen horseradish seed either. I got my last plant roots from the local farmers market and planted some of the smaller roots. They all grew and make fairly large roots for me to use fresh as needed.
      Happy gardening

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  4. I love horseradish yet I’ve never thought about growing it. Then again, I love turnip and snap peas but haven’t nurtured them either. Not that I’m lazy but sometimes I just prefer to go to a local grower’s market.

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  5. I have it in the garden but the worms get into it and I don’t know what to do about that.

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