Gardening Q&A: where can I find red watercress seeds?

Horticultural advice from the experts at the RHS
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Question: I am experiencing a problem obtaining red watercress seed. It is available in the supermarkets cut & packed but I cannot find a seed supplier. Can you help?

Answer: It would appear that this form of watercress known as ‘Wild Red’ was found in tropical wetlands in the USA and then developed specially for shoppers and restaurants rather than gardeners. This unfortunately means that, as you have found, seeds are not available.

It is probable that there is the plant equivalent of copyright applied to make unauthorised propagation for sale, illegal. You could grow on rooted pieces without any problem, however. Seeds of other red and purple leaved salads are more widely available. These include red mustard, amaranth, and chard, lettuce such as ‘Red Fire’ and ‘Bulls Blood’ beet.



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