Growing Horseradish – How to Grow & Care for Horseradish in a Herb Garden

Horseradish is a perennial herb originating from southeast Europe. Its tough twisted root is used in cooking to make horseradish sauce, a tangy and peppery sauce used to accompany fish and roast meat. The main problem herb gardeners report when growing horseradish is keeping it under control!

horseradish growing in a garden herb patch
Horseradish will grow quickly in any herb garden.

Horseradish is a voracious grower and has a tendency to take over the garden. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, and should be grown in a permanent spot. It will also grow well in a deep container (this can be advantage as it prevents the herb from spreading).

Tips for Growing Horseradish

Horseradish is best grown from a single piece of root.

  • Plant the root in early spring or in autumn, in a well-prepared spot that’s free from weeds.
  • Dig a hole 30cm deep and mix in some organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure.
  • Place the root at a 45-degree angle in the hole and cover with soil, watering well.

Caring for Horseradish

Follow these steps to ensure your growing horseradish plant flourishes in the herb garden.

  • After a few weeks, shoots and leaves will start to emerge from the soil.
  • Keep the soil moist and free from weeds.
  • Once the plant has developed large leaves it shouldn’t need much attention.
  • The leaves will block light from weeds and suppress their growth.
  • The root should be deep enough to absorb water from deep below the soil’s surface. However if conditions to get very dry, a good drink will promote strong growth.

Harvesting Horseradish

Horseradish is ready to harvest in autumn, but it is said that its taste is more intense if you wait until after the first frost before harvesting the root.

Simply dig up the root and remove it from the ground. It should be similar in size and shape to a parsnip. Leave a small section of root in the ground to grow into a new plant the following year.

The root can be stored in a paper bag in the fridge for up to one week. If it is left for longer than one week the root will shrivel and the flavour diminishes.

Preparing Horseradish

To prepare the fresh horseradish root, simply wash the soil off, then peel and grate it. The pungent fumes from horseradish can cause irritation to the eyes so take care to protect them from the fumes whilst preparing the root.

Creamed horseradish is delicious with roast meat, especially beef. It can also accompany fish such as tuna. Add the raw grated pieces to cream and a little vinegar and store in a sterile airtight jar.

Hot horseradish sauce is made from mixing horseradish root with vegetable oil. It has a very strong flavour and is thicker in consistency than creamed horseradish sauce. It goes well with venison and can be added to mashed potato to give it a kick.

Horseradish is a delicious herb and can be grated and made into a delicious cream or hot sauce that can be added to meat or fish dishes. It is easy to grow and is best harvested in autumn after the first frost, and eaten fresh.

12 thoughts on “Growing Horseradish – How to Grow & Care for Horseradish in a Herb Garden

  1. christine says:

    where can horseradish roots be purchased from,i have been looking for ages without any luck so far. Please help me

    • Herb Expert says:

      @Tzv i. The easiest way is simply to dig up the roots. If you want to retain some, try burying a barrell in the ground and re-planting a few that you’ve dug up in that. This should keep it one place.

  2. Errol says:

    I purchased my Horseradish on eBay growing fast in a 60 Litre grow bag very large leaves.So Looking forward to some Horse Radish in the Autumn.

  3. Diddy says:

    I am tring to get hold of some Horseradish roots to grow wher I live, France, I have a friend who can take delivery and bring it here ;

  4. Kaz F says:

    Hi every summer my horseradish leaves get eaten, end up looking skeletal I’ve now put raspberry canes next to H.R. Will they be ok and what can I use to get rid of bugs pulse .

    • Herb Expert says:

      Here’s what Alys Fowler, gardener recommends:
      “Old, neglected plants tend to have woody roots that aren’t much use in the kitchen, so split clumps every three years. This can be done now if the soil is workable, or take root cuttings (pencil thickness, 10cm long) in spring. If you dig up your plant, any fragments of root that remain will resprout. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a horseradish. When replanting, add well-rotted compost or manure.
      Many books will tell you the roots need to be harvested in early winter and then can be stored in damp sand somewhere cool and frost-free. In reality, unless you want huge quantities, harvest the roots any time you can dig (though in spring the young roots will be thin). Thin out any very small or crooked roots as you go, otherwise the plant becomes overcrowded.”

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