Dandelion Growing Info: How To Grow And Harvest Dandelions

Dandelion Growing Info: How To Grow And Harvest Dandelions

We freely admit that it may be a little odd to have an article about how to grow dandelions. After all, most gardeners consider dandelions a weed and are looking for information on how to remove it from their garden. But, once you get to know a little more about this nutritious plant, you may find yourself also wondering how to grow and harvest dandelion plants for yourself.

Why You Should Be Growing Dandelion Greens

While dandelions can be a nuisance in the lawn, they are also a surprising source of nutrients. Dandelion greens contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, beta carotene and fiber. They are actually more nutritious than most of the fruits and vegetables you can buy in the grocery store.

It is also touted as being beneficial to your liver, kidneys, blood and digestion. Not to mention that it supposedly helps with acne, weight-loss, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is nearly a perfect food.

How to Grow Dandelions

At a very basic level, you don’t need to do much to grow dandelions. Chances are there is a whole yard full of them near where you live, perhaps even right outside your door, but it’s likely that the dandelion plants growing in your lawn are Common Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale subsp. vulgare). This is the most common variety of dandelion, but there are thousands of varieties and cultivars to be found around the world. Common Dandelion has all the health benefits mentioned above, but they tend to be a bit more bitter than some of the other varieties of dandelion you can buy.

Some “gourmet” varieties of dandelion include:

  • French Dandelion a.k.a Vert de Montmagny Dandelion
  • Amélioré à Coeur Plein Dandelion
  • Pissenlit Coeur Plein Ameliore Dandelion
  • Improved Broad Leaved Dandelion
  • Arlington Dandelion
  • Improved Thick-Leaved Dandelion a.k.a Dandelion Ameliore

Dandelions are by nature a very bitter green, but there are steps you can take to reduce how bitter it is. First, grow a less bitter variety such as the ones listed above. The right variety can make dandelion greens taste much better than the wild variety growing in your yard.

Second, try growing dandelions in the shade. This will blanch the leaves some and will result in a less bitter leaf. Alternately, you can manually blanch the dandelion leaves by covering the plants a few days before you are ready to harvest.

The third thing you can do to reduce bitterness is to harvest dandelion leaves early. Young leaves will be less bitter than more mature leaves.

You can keep your dandelions from becoming invasive in your yard by either choosing a less invasive variety (yes, they exist) or by making sure that the plant never goes to seed and therefore cannot spread its seeds throughout the neighborhood.

Harvesting Dandelions

Much like other greens, dandelions can be harvested either as a “head” by removing the entire plant when mature (starting to flower) at harvest or as a leaf, which means that you would remove only some of the young leaves or the whole head when the plant is still young. Both ways are acceptable and which you choose will be based on your preference.

Another benefit of growing dandelions is the fact that it is a perennial. After you harvest the plant it will grow back the same season, year after year.

Never harvest dandelions from a location that is near a road or has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

Everything You Need To Know About Growing Dandelions

How to Grow Dandelion:

Dandelion is a plant that is slightly bitter in taste, yet is very edible and provides a taste of spring. Both the root and flower are very edible and safe to eat and cook into other, already-existing dishes that you already make for added flavor and tang. Dandelion can be grown outside in the garden or in pots in the house, either way they provide a great herb and a great, tangy tool for cooking with and adding unique flavors to already-existing dishes.

Dandelions are considered a non-invasive weed and are according to the Department of Agriculture they are a plant hardiness of a level 3 which means they endure many conditions far as weather and climate very well and still grow well.

Seed Sowing Depth: Each plant should be provided at least 6" of soil with in which they will grow and that is for a single dandelion plant. Each seed should be planted about 1/16 of an inch under the top layer of the soil. In most cases the best practice is to surface sow however.

When to Sow: Dandelions can be sown indoors any time of year in a pot of varying sizes depending on how many plants are there as to how much room they will need. Plants being grown outside should be planted after the last hard frost for a harvest in early summer (June) and another in mid-September. All flowers must be harvested by first frost to ensure they are healthy as possible. April to September are ideal months and climates for dandelions to be grown during and the average crop can be harvested about two (2) times during this period.

Sowing Indoors/Outdoors: Dandelion will do well either inside or outside. Either way, the plant will need adequate room to grow. Either way each plant will need about 1 1/2 inches between each plant and will need about 6" deep of soil to grow adequately whether inside or outside. Growing plants inside will require one to obtain wider pots if they wish to grow more than one dandelion plant in each pot. Outside, spreading plants adequately is vital to avoid overcrowding.

Plant Height & Width: Each dandelion will be between 5 and 40 cm tall depending on the variety of dandelion being grown. They are also resilient plants that grow just about anywhere from gardens to roadsides to meadows and back again. Some may consider them a "weed", but their greens can have many health benefits and are use for cooking and medicinal purposes throughout the entire world.

Leafs Color & Description: Dandelions are tall, skinny plants with either yellow or white flowers on the end depending on the variety being grown. The leaves are long and thin, lush green color and are sharply circular in shape with sharp pieces protruding in a jagged pattern, yet they are soft leafs and do not poke when being picked.

Growth Habits: Dandelions grow rapidly until they are about 5 to 40 cm tall and 4 cm wide depending on the variety of plant being grown. Dandelions grow with symmetrical heads that are scarily equal on both sides. The basal teeth provide long, lobed leaves that provide the plant with more of a symmetrical look than most other flowers out there.

General Info on Dandelions & Uses: Dandelion has a variety of uses including an ability to treat many illnesses including loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises to name a few conditions that are treated with dandelion. Dandelion also increases urine production and can be used in vast quantities as a laxative to produce extra bowel movements. It also serves as a blood tonic, skin toner, and digestive tonic. Dandelion is also shown to decrease swelling.

Beside it's medicinal effects the dandelion is used for cooking in many dishes and cultures including the dandelion greens which are often a popular vegetable as a side-dish to a meal. Dandelion greens can be mixed with a variety of spices to provide varying tastes with a variety of health benefits that come with them. Sometimes something simple as mixing dandelion greens with salt and pepper make a tasty side when sauteed with other foods that are being served for a meal.

Many dandelion roots also make great side dishes to other main meal courses.

Many other people view the dandelion as nothing more than a nuisance that needs to be removed from their lawn. In that case, cut grass about 3/4 inch long and leave the dandelions inadequate room to grow when they are overgrowing the lawn and causing problems where they do not belong. Dandelions are weeds and while great in gardens and in purposes for food they can also be a pain when growing in places where you had no intentions of them growing in the first place.

Pests & Diseases in Dandelions: Dandelions are quite resilient plants and are not subject to too many different issues. Most dandelions can grow in virtually every season and are pretty resilient to every temperature including sometimes frosts. Dandelions are, in reality, a form of "weeds" that grow in a variety of conditions and can grow out of control if they are not controlled as seeds are germinated and moved just by the wind blowing them from one plant to another that is able to grow in similar conditions in a proximal area.

While the most dandelions grow in the spring, they can germinate in any season and in a variety of temperatures including hot weather and cooler weather alike. Many will re-flower in the fall after the initial blooming period is over. Each plant will grow for 5-10 years and can reach quite a decent size when their growth cycle is uninterrupted.

Harvesting & Storage Information: Dandelions can be harvested as anything from a diuretic to something that helps make wines and anything in between. Dandelions, however, are a relatively mild laxative compared to other over-the-counter or doctor prescription medications and are able to be used for those who prefer a more natural approach to medicinal bowel relief.

To store your dandelion greens clip the leafs from the dandelions and store them in a cool, dry atmosphere airtight bags or containers to keep them fresh longer. These greens can also be stored in the fridge for several days and up to 2 weeks to keep them "fresh" for purposes like creating salads and other fresh vegetable delights. For more preserved leafs that will last up to a month cook or saute them lightly on the stove top and mix them with some spices and other greens to make a great mixture of vegetables that can be served alongside carbohydrate and meat dishes to complete meal and provide many great nutrients and nutritional benefits that otherwise might be completely missed.

Many various dandelion greens have a bitter taste to them which can be softened by other spices that are added to them through salads or even when sauteing them. Balancing the flavors with other great choices like lemon or lime and providing dressings and salt/pepper as a topping can help make dandelion greens taste great while you enjoy all of the awesome health benefits that the plant has to offer.

1. Choosing a Dandelion Variety and Buying Seeds

Unless you live in the middle of a city, chances are there is a field or garden full of wild dandelions somewhere nearby. If you've read our article about the health benefits of dandelion greens, you already know that these edible greens are loaded with a wide range of nutrients. Wild dandelion leaves can be harvested at the baby leaf stage for consumption as food provided that the field or garden they grew in is not near a road and has not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

If there's no dandelion field nearby that has not been exposed to exhaust fumes and chemicals, you may want to grow dandelion baby greens in containers (it is best to grow them in containers, rather than directly in the garden, in order to avoid them taking over your entire garden). Another reason why you might want to grow dandelion baby greens in containers instead of picking wild dandelion leaves is the possibility to choose a less bitter-tasting variety. The Common Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale sub-species vulgare), the variety that grows wild in fields and on roadsides, can be very bitter, while gourmet dandelion varieties tend to be less bitter. Some commonly cultivated dandelion varieties you can find in seed catalogues include:

  • Amélioré à Coeur Plein – This cultivar yields an abundant crop without taking up much ground, so it's definitely a good choice for 'container gardeners'
  • Vert de Montmagny (or French Dandelion) – This is an early maturing and productive variety with broad, dark green leaves and a relatively mild flavor compared to some other varieties

Dandelion seeds can be ordered online through Amazon here (if you live in the US) or here (if you live in the UK). Or, you can collect dandelion seeds from wild plants once they reach the 'puffball' stage.

How To Grow Dandelions

Step One – Plant Seeds

Dandelion seeds can be started indoors or outdoors. They are perennial, so they will grow year after year wherever you plant them.

Outdoors: Plant the seeds after the last hard frost. Only plant what you anticipate needing since you will need to keep careful control over the flowers once they grow. The ideal soil temperature is 10-25 C.

Surface sow the seeds and cover them lightly with soil. Water the soil well afterward. Do not bury the seeds as they need light to begin germination. In 7-21 days, they will germinate. Thin the seedlings to 6″ apart.

Indoors: Start seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Use a good potting soil mix and pots that provide at least 6″ of soil. Seeds should be spaced at least 1 ½ inches apart to provide adequate growing room. Water soil well before planting the seeds and only lightly cover the seeds with soil. Place pots in well-lit, warm, location. Once they are 3-4 inches tall and the soil temperature outside is warm enough, they can be transplanted to the garden if desired.

Step 2 – Care For Your Plants

Dandelions need very little attention, which makes them an ideal garden plant. They should be watered regularly however, they are very tolerant of poor conditions and imperfect soil. In 56-105 days, they will flower.

The only problem you may encounter growing dandelions is bunnies. They love a good dandelion crop!

Step 3 – Harvest

Dandelion greens are best picked young when they are not as bitter. They can be picked throughout the growing season. To reduce the bitterness of the mature dandelion leaves, cover the plants with a dark, opaque cloth a few days before you harvest. This blanches some of the bitterness out. Dandelion flowers are best picked when they are bright yellow and young. Remove the stem and use them fresh. Dandelion roots can be harvested anytime.

Make sure you have harvested or removed any dandelion plants before they go to seed!

Try Our Dandelion Varieties

Are you interested in growing dandelion at home? You can purchase our dandelion seeds here.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have any questions or tips on growing dandelion? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

What Are the Best Tips for Planting Dandelion Seeds?

Join the Community

Though considered a weed by many, dandelions have a place in the garden as a medicinal herb and a tasty, though bitter, green. Dandelions grow easily from seed in both cool and warm climates. One of the best tips for planting dandelion seeds is to plant twice a year for a summer and a late fall harvest. Planting depth, soil temperature and preparation, and growing conditions are all important considerations when planting dandelion seeds.

One of the best tips for planting dandelion seeds is to start with good soil preparation. A 2- to 4-inch (about 5- to 10-cm) layer of compost or seasoned manure should be spread over the surface of a cleared garden bed. A tiller or garden fork can be used to work the organic material into the top 6 to 8 inches (about 15 to 20 cm) of the soil. Once the soil is turned, it should be raked flat in preparation for seed planting. The organic material improves soil texture and nutrient levels while turning over the soil creates a light, aerated environment for the the best seeds and seedling growth.

Dandelions grow best in a spot in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. These plants, commonly considered weeds, are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including sandy soil, rocky conditions and heavy clay. For best growth, dandelion seeds should be planted in a spot that has loamy soil and good drainage with at least four hours of sun a day. Areas that have standing water during part or all of the year generally are not suitable.

Another tip for planting dandelion seeds is to plant in spring as soon as the soil warms to 40°F (about 4°C) or above. The seeds require 85 to 95 days from seed planting until the plants are ready to harvest. Spring-planted dandelion seeds mature for harvest in mid summer. A second planting in mid to late summer provides a late fall harvest.

Dandelion seeds should be planted 1/4 to 1/2 an inch (about 6 to 12 mm) deep and 1 inch (about 25 mm) apart in the prepared garden bed. Once the dandelion seedlings grow 1 to 2 inches (about 2 to 5 cm) tall, they should be thinned to a spacing of 8 to 12 inches (about 20 to 30 cm) apart. The thinned seedlings can be replanted or taken to the kitchen to add to salad and cooked greens dishes.

This plant is edible during all stages of growth. The leaves can be eaten as a bitter green, cooked or raw. The younger the leaves, the more delicate the flavor. Dandelion leaves, roots and flowers make a healing and nutritious tea as well.

As a crop, dandelions are easy to grow — so easy that they have a tendency to take over when not controlled. To help prevent dandelions from spreading throughout the garden and yard areas, the plants should be harvested before the flowers turn into white fluffy seed heads. Once the seeds scatter, dandelions will pop up everywhere.


(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Dandelions, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site for Dandelion.)

If you have the garden space, this is a great plant to grow at home. Very often in lawns, but since they are mowed down with the grass, the leaves are small, and for some reason, tougher. In a garden, it can grow nice big leaves for daily use, and big, straight roots for harvest as well. Composted manure or composted grass clipping and house scraps and some leaf mulch in the fall will make them do much better.

Is the growing of this plant compatible with Natural farming, Ecoagriculture or Eco friendly agriculture, Ecological farming, Sustainable agriculture, Agroforestry or Agro-sylviculture and Permaculture: This plant can be grown using conventional tilling based gardening methods, or using Natural farming or no-till gardening methods. Once established in an area, this plant, whether grown for greens & roots or just greens, does not need the soil tilled. However, if the soil becomes compacted, it is best to till in organic matter and start again, especially if growing for the roots.

Seeds: Of course, you can gather the seeds from Dandelions you find, and that is what I do. But you can also purchase the seeds from seed companies. When you purchase from seed companies, you have a choice of the variety to buy. There are a few varieties, many are less bitter than their wild cousins, and there are even varieties that don't spread as fast as wild ones.

Gather up the ripe seed heads when they are just about to blow off the flower head. Save the seeds until early spring, or plant right away. To get better germination rates, cold stratify the seeds for a week or two in the fridge before planting.

Soil & Site: Though this is a plant that adapts most conditions, for the best quality of leaves, and especially roots, you want to have soft, loamy soil that is soft down to at least 25 cm (10 inches). They will grow in full sun, but you get better tasting greens if you grow in partial shade, or full shade that is bright - not dark shade. The ideal is morning sun, then shade before the heat of the mid day sun.

To prepare the soil, turn it over with a shovel or tiller when you prepare the rest of the garden. If your soil is very rich, or you have already grown a Green Manure crop in the area, you are ready to plant. If not, mix in well some composted manure or a little general garden fertilizer in pellets. This plant can grow in slightly acidic conditions, but it likes the soil to be slightly alkaline, so if your soil pH is below neutral (pH 7.0), add some lime to the soil. Add lime as well if you dig in peat moss to increase the organic matter in the soil. Shovel a little of this prepared soil into a wheel barrow or a bucket for after planting. Finally, rake the area over flat where you are going to plant. The soil is now ready.

Planting: You need to evenly spread the seeds over the area you want to grow them. Because the seeds are so small, this can be hard. My preferred way of doing this is to take a bucket half filled with fine, slightly dampened potting soil, and mix in the seeds very well by hand. Mix and mix until you are sure the seeds are evenly mixed into the soil. Then take the soil and spread it evenly over the area you want the crop to grow. Lightly tamp down. Next, spread the soil over this that you put into the bucket or wheel barrow, then lightly tamp down - 6 mm (1/4 inch) at the most . Best to add a very thin layer of finer mulch over this area to keep the soil from drying out quickly. Keep the soil moist until they have sprouted and are growing well.

Maintenance: You only need to water if the soil is badly drying out. If it does dry out, the Dandelions will survive, but the leaves will get tougher and more bitter. To get the best quality roots and to prevent the plants from spreading all over, relentlessly keep popping off the flower buds all season long - don't let the plants flower at all. By fall, all the energy that would have gone into making flowers and seeds will have gone back down into the root for the next season, and the roots will be bigger.

Harvesting: The leaves can be taken a few at a time all season long, and the roots can be harvested in the fall or very early spring once the plants are two years old. You can harvest them all season long, but they are not quite as good. If you prepared the soil properly, you will have thick, fairly straight single roots.

There are a few things you can do to make the greens less bitter. The first is buy seeds that are from less bitter varieties. Another is to grow them where there is partial shade or bright full shade. It does help. If yours are growing in full sun, you can blanch them before you harvest the leaves by covering the plants with something to prevent them from getting full sun. You will need to do this at least a week before you pick them, two weeks is better. I find the best way is to make a simple wooden frame covered with dark garden fabric. Make it high enough to keep the fabric off the leaves. Cover the top and half way down the sides. A 30 X 60 cm (1 X 2 feet) by 45 cm (1 1/2 feet) high cover that you can move around is a good way to do this. Cover a couple of plants at a time, use the leaves from them, then move on to a couple of other plants. Another way, is just to pick young, smaller leaves. The younger and smaller, the less bitter. The final thing you can do, is quickly boil the leaves, pour off the water, and use the greens in your meal.

The ones you don't take for the roots will come back year after year for the greens. I suggest a three or four section system of rotation for this plant if you want to harvest roots every year. Take the roots from one section each fall, and replant that one the next spring. The next year, take the roots from the next section, and replant that one the next spring, and so on. With this method, you will always have enough greens and roots. By the way, don't let them get overcrowded, thin this plant so each one has its own square that is about 25 X 25 cm (10 X 10 inches). That way, the roots will get thicker instead of just having a pile of threadlike roots from many. If the spacing is right, each plant will get enough room, but there will be no soil exposed which helps keep the soil moist.

Using: There is a strange thing about Dandelion leaves. When you first eat them, they taste quite bitter, but as you have them more and more, you notice it less and less. Other people I've spoken to about this agree, so if you have them for the first time and find them very bitter, just keep eating a small amount regularly, and soon you will find them quite tasty.

Good raw in salads, or a snack on their own, when out walking. Personally, I like them best cooked with a few leaves in a stir-fry or soup. I find if I use too many, the taste is compromised, but with a few, they add a nice flavor. The well cleaned, dipped in batter and deep fried crowns are a real treat.

There are a couple of ways I regularly use Dandelion roots. One is to add small bits chopped up in soups – they go well with Burdock roots in soups.

The main use I have for the roots is for making coffee with the water Dandelion and Chicory roots have soaked in overnight. Wash them well, cut up into little bits, dry well or roast lightly in an oven on a flat tray at about 250-300 Fahrenheit until they start turning a gold-brown. If you don't roast them, but just dry them the taste is sharper and less coffee like. Keep them in lidded jar until used. I put about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water the night before, and in the morning, strain them, and use that water for making coffee. I think it makes the coffee taste better (I use a dark roast coffee), and you don't get that hollow jittery feeling with coffee made that way. I now usually use half Chicory and half Dandelion (see Chicory section) with a small amount of Burdock. I don't use cream or sugar, but I have found for the very occasional time I use some milk, it does not affect the taste negatively.

You can let some of them produce flowers for both seed and food. The famous yellow flowers are edible and mild. Pull the pedals from the stem and cup that holds the yellow pedals, and put on top of a salad before serving. They have no bitterness and look fantastic. You don't need many to make the salad far more visually appealing. There is very little noticeable flavor to them, so they go with any salad, and can even be served fresh on top of a cooked meal to make it look nice. They have to be fresh, yellow flowers. They turn quickly to seed, and any time other than newly opened bright yellow flowers are not worth gathering.

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: 3-9(More information on hardiness zones).
  • Soil pH: 6.0-8.5
  • Plant Size: Up to 70 cm (28 inches) tall, usually much smaller, can be very low on lawns when cut repeatedly
  • Duration: Perennial
  • Leaf Shape: Much longer than wide, usually widest near tip.
  • Leaf Phyllotaxis (Arrangement) on branch: Basal - all leaves come from the base - there is never a stem with leaves coming off it.
  • Leaf Size: 5-45 cm (2 to 18 inches) long and 1-10 cm (2/5 to 4 inches) wide
  • Leaf Margin: Ranging from deep to very shallow lobes, sharp or dull saw-toothed.
  • Leaf Notes: Large central vein that extends from base to tip, sometimes a reddish purple from about half way on leaf to base getting deeper in color closer to the base. Sometimes central vein is green only.
  • Flowers: Bright yellow, usually 2.5-3 cm (1 to 1 1/4 inches) diameter
  • Fruit: 2-3 mm long, less than 1 mm wide attached to a whitish pappus that acts like a parachute to let the fruit be carried by the wind.
  • Habitat: A colonizer of disturbed ground - fields, paths, lawns, pastures. Requires good light, so not found in darkly shaded woods.

  • Seed search on the web here (Google search) and here (Bing search).
  • Recipe search on the web here (Google search) and here (Bing search).
  • Pictures on the web here (Google images) and here (Bing images).
  • Interactive USDA distribution map and plant profile here.
  • The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) distribution map here. BONAP map color key here.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.

Drawing. (By: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen)

Reasons For Keeping and Growing Dandelions

In a world filled with “weeds,” be a dandelion! Why would I suggest such a thing? Let me count the ways…

Okay, I get it. Dandelions can be problematic for people that enjoy perfect green lawns and just-so gardens. Maybe you see these broadleaf perennials as an army of yellow intruders that quickly invade your landscape, their deep penetrating taproots steadfastly anchoring them in place. I will not lie -– dandelion weeds can be notoriously difficult to get rid of. And, yes, they do easily propagate through seeds via the wind, which can “potentially” carry them up to 60 miles. BUT in spite of these faults, dandelion plants have a wealth of benefits too. And if I’m being painfully honest, don’t we all have faults? I can be just as stubborn, for example.

Dandelions are resilient

One of the many things I admire about dandelion plants is their adaptability. I mean how can you not appreciate a plant that can literally pop up in a sidewalk crack or other less than ideal location and still thrive? This ability to adapt and overcome is certainly something I can relate to, as I have done my fair share of that too. Regardless of the obstacles life may throw at you, one must strive to persevere. Dandelions do this well. They don’t give up easily, and neither should you.

Dandelions are healthy

These daring travelers have seen it all. In fact, it’s thought that dandelions may have found their way to the US on the Mayflower. What a voyage. It wasn’t by accident either. After all, these plants have been used herbally for centuries to treat numerous maladies.

And the best part – drum roll – dandelion plants are edible and highly nutritious. That’s right! All parts of the plant can be eaten and have a number of health benefits associated with them. They’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants. You can get take full advantage of this “free” medicine by growing dandelions instead of doing away with them. For instance, harvest the dandelion greens and toss them in a salad (blooms too). Dandelion tea is popular but the root works as a substitute for coffee as well.

Dandelions attract pollinators and provide nutrients

My husband is one of the dandelion haters out there, and we constantly disagree about my inclusion of these cheery yellow blooms in the yard. I’m happy to say we’ve come to a compromise – he can have his weed-free lawn, but the dandelions are welcome out back in the wildlife area, with the white clover. And if some of their seeds happen to find their way to the front, I won’t tell. Dandelion flowers are actually important to have around. They attract beneficial insects and pollinators. As if this wasn’t enough, did you know that dandelion plants, with those long taproots, can also help aerate the soil and provide much-needed nutrients to other surrounding plants?

Dandelions are just plain fun

Still not sold? Well, here’s just one more great thing about the so-called dandelion weeds in your lawn and garden. They can bring out the child in us. Life is short so why not live a little? Take a step back in time for a moment. I’m sure many of you can remember the joy of blowing those white fluffy seed heads as children. I still do it (don’t tell hubby).

While many of us did this purely out of fun just to watch the seeds float through the air, there were other reasons for doing this further back in time. Dandelion seeds were a way to foretell the future or keep up with the time. Also called “fairy clocks,” dandelion flowers turn towards the sun throughout the day, helping tell the time. Blowing those seed heads would also give you the “fairy” time (an hour per puff) by counting the number of puffs until all the seeds were gone. And if you’re feeling especially nostalgic, make a wish when blowing the seeds!

For me, dandelions are beautiful and belong in the garden.