Growing watercress is best done in a garden pond or other body of water. But the healthy green can also thrive in pots and on the balcony. We tell you how to grow watercress while being successful at

When you grow watercress, you can harvest the leaves and use them for delicious meals. Watercress is healthy and is especially appreciated for its vitamin-rich leaves. Therefore, it is not only a beautiful ornamental and spice plant, but also a valuable medicinal herb.  

As a result of a 2014 study, watercress is often called “the healthiest food in the world” because it provides the daily requirements of many important nutrients. One thing to anticipate: Watercress is definitely a very healthy vegetable, but other studies that would include other factors (e.g., phytochemicals) would also come up with different results. A balanced diet is still, the essential approach to a healthy diet.

Watercress belongs to the cruciferous family (Brassicaceae) and thrives mainly in swamps and running waters. With a little effort, you can create a suitable habitat for the cruciferous plant and grow watercress yourself. 

Grow watercress: Choose a location

To grow watercress, you should mimic its natural habitat. Outdoors, watercress grows in clear, shallow, clean streams. For example, you can find watercress in shallow streams, springs, and shady riparian areas.  

If you want to grow watercress in the garden, a clean pond, a natural water source or a permanent mud bed is especially suitable.


  • Cool and (semi-)shaded: so the soil does not dry out quickly.
  • Loamy and humus-rich soil: It provides watercress with enough nutrients and water.
  • Moisture: Watercress likes wet soil and thrives best directly in water.
  • The water should be oxygen-rich and slightly alkaline.
  • The optimal water depth is 5 to 30 centimeters. 
  • By the way, watercress shows you the oxygen content of the water. It thrives exclusively in oxygen-rich waters.


If you don’t have a water source in your garden, you can alternatively grow watercress in a water pot. To do this, you need a flower pot with nutrient-rich, peat-free soil, which you place in a water bucket. This way, the watercress is always supplied with moisture.

How to prepare a pot for growing watercress: 

Install a drainage system to prevent waterlogging. To do this, place a two-centimeter layer of coarse gravel at the bottom of the flower pot. 

Mix the peat-free garden soil with a little sand so that the cress can absorb the water well. 

Fill the pot with the soil, leaving one to two centimeters of space at the top.

Place the flower pot with the soil in a slightly larger planter.

Fill the planter with water until the water is about an inch above the soil.

Replace the water completely every two days once the watercress has begun to grow.


You can grow watercress from seed. You can grow watercress by growing the plants from seeds or by planting young cuttings. 

Here’s how you go about sowing watercress:

  1. Prepare a pot of moist soil. 
  2. Place the seeds on the soil.
  3. Press them lightly. However, do not cover them with soil: watercress seeds germinate in the light.
  4. Keep the soil very moist, preferably with a spray bottle. 
  5. After about a week and at a temperature around 20 degrees, the seeds will begin to germinate.
  6. Place the young plants in the designated watering place when they reach a height of at least ten centimeters.

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