Radishes are one of the most commonly grown vegetables in private vegetable gardens. They taste fantastic and when the weather is ideal for flowering, they exude a summery flair. But what happens to the fruit when radishes bloom? Are they then still suitable for consumption? The answers are below.


In order for the Raphanus sativus var. sativus to start flowering, certain weather conditions have to prevail. Prerequisites for flowering are usually strong temperature fluctuations. When it suddenly becomes warm and dry again after cold days, the Raphanus sativus var. sativus tends to bolt and as a result to produce flowers during the harvest period between spring (early) and autumn. There is therefore no fixed flowering time because the weather conditions can change from year to year, although summer causes many radishes to bloom, but other factors also play a role. But as a rule, sooner or later the radish always starts to bloom.

depth of the seed

The deeper the seed is placed, the higher the chance that radishes will shoot up quickly and, in the worst case, so quickly that no tubers will form in the first place. To prevent this, it is advisable to spread the seed loosely over the surface of the soil and/or to cover it with a very thin layer of soil at most. Then at least nothing stands in the way of the first tuber formation.

heat and drought

Especially during the summer months, the “danger” that flowers will form on the Raphanus sativus var. sativus is greatest when it is particularly warm and dry. It is usually not possible to prevent the formation of flowers, because if the humidity is increased by watering so that it does not dry off in the sun even during the day, there is an increased risk of burning. However, if it is too wet, you should not water it in the morning and evening as a preventative measure, because it does not tolerate wet conditions any more than it tolerates drought.


The ideal location for radishes is sun or semi-shade. Since a sunny spot provides heat more quickly and promotes drought, plants often form flowers more quickly here than in semi-shade.

tuber maturity

One of the key factors in promoting flowering is tuber maturity. If the tubers remain in the ground for too long and are not harvested early, substances are produced that promote flowering.


Contrary to many rumors that vegetables are basically no longer suitable for eating as soon as the plants begin to flower, this is not the case with radishes. In theory, all parts of the plant can also be eaten during flowering if it weren’t for the flavor and fruity texture.

Eat despite flowering

When the radish begins to bloom, woody cell fibers form in the fruit. Here there is the maximum possibility to cut the woody fibers out of the tubers with a little effort in order to save at least a part for eating. Once the first flowers have developed well, the tubers are no longer suitable for cooking/consumption.


Once the shooting is detected, the flavor slowly changes, reaching an increasing bitter note with each passing day. If you still harvest quickly here, you can be lucky and the bitter substances have not yet spread in the fruit. As the flowers develop, the content of bitter substances increases, a furry taste also develops and the radishes become inedible.

Tip: Not only the tubers are edible from the Raphanus sativus var. sativus, but also the flowers and leaves. The flowers adorn all kinds of dishes and provide a tasty accent in salads, while the leaves can be prepared like spinach despite the flowers, provided they are fresh.

secure harvest

So that the flowering does not ruin the harvest of the tubers, one should prepare for the optimal harvest time. The following tips will help:

  • Note the sowing date
  • Set/note the harvest date after four to six weeks
  • Note that spring-like and sunny conditions can shorten the ripening period
  • Harvest immediately as soon as the tubers are between two and three centimeters in diameter

Consumption after flowering

Even if the tuber is no longer suitable for eating, the radish still offers edible parts of the plant after flowering: the seed pods. These form after the flowers have withered. They are ready to be harvested for use in salads, for example, when they have changed from their green color to yellowish-brown and their consistency has changed from hard to slightly soft. Then they have a mild-spicy minimal mustard-oily taste. If you miss the time, you can use the mature seeds for propagation.

seeds after flowering

Theoretically, propagation can be carried out with the seeds that form from the flowers of the radish. However, it should be taken into account that new plants usually form from the seeds of prematurely shot radishes, most of which also tend to shoot quickly. This means that the risk is then significantly higher of not being able to harvest tubers suitable for consumption from the seeds you have obtained yourself. If the risk of harvest loss due to seeds from shot radish plants is too high, you should use “ready-made seeds” from specialist shops.

Note: However, you should distance yourself from very cheap offers and/or ‘no-name’ products. Here it often happens that only seeds from plants that have been shot are included. This is usually not to be expected with seeds from well-known suppliers such as Baldur.

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