Can you grow your own licorice? You betcha!
Licorice is a great plant for new gardeners because it needs very little care and isn’t picky about soil types or light levels.
You can find seeds at most hardware stores, nurseries, and online retailers such as amazon.com .
The best part of all: if you have children (who are old enough), they will love planting it.
Start by planting licorice seeds in containers that are about twice as deep as they are wide. You’ll want the potting mix to be moist but not saturated with water before you put the seeds in, then cover them up with an inch of dirt or more if needed. Keep them warm (about 70 degrees) and out of direct sunlight until they sprout; this can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on how quickly your particular seed germinates.
Where can you get licorice seeds from?
Finding the seeds for a licorice plant can be difficult and they are not common in garden centers or other retailers.
The only place where I could find licorice seeds for sale was Amazon, with one or two varieties available.
You may have more success locally than I have had but, if you do struggle to locate seeds then you can find some good quality ones here on Amazon.
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Is licorice easy to grow?
Once the plants have become established it needs very little care or attention.
Apart from harvesting the licorice root and perhaps tidying the plant up, you’ll have very little work to do.
The most difficult part of growing your own licorice is in getting the seeds to germinate.
Sow more seed than you think you will need and always use good quality seed for best results.
How to grow licorice from seeds
Growing plants from seed is not difficult, but it can be hit and miss. The best plan is to sow extra just in case they don’t germinate.
Sow seeds onto potting compost in the middle of spring or early autumn.
Leave them uncovered and keep them warm at around 70 degrees fahrenheit until they sprout a in two to three weeks.
You will need to transplant the seedlings when they are big enough to handle into 2 to 3 inch pots.
Keep them in a warm place and allow them time to grow in their pots before planting out.
Ideally the plants should be around 9 to 12 months old before they are planted outside.
How long does licorice take to grow?
Licorice plants are ready for harvesting in around four to five years.
Growing licorice in pots outside
You can grow your licorice plants in pots.
Although licorice is a hardy root plant there may be areas that are simply too cold – where the ground regularly freezes – for licorice to grow – so a pot would be a good option.
Licorice sends roots deep into the soil so you will need a container that is deep enough to accommodate them.
Do you need to feed licorice plants?
Licorice plants are not heavy feeders, although a general purpose plant food such as Fish, Blood and Bone will help them to grow strong and sturdy.
They don’t need much feeding – so once or twice a year should be plenty.
How to harvest licorice
When you harvest your liquorice root, dig up the brownish-yellow roots that are long and flexible with a yellow interior.
Harvest the thickest horizontal roots, but leave the deep tap root and thinner horizontal roots to grow on.
You can grow your own licorice, but it takes a lot of patience.
Licorice plants require full sun and a long growing season to produce their sweet roots that are used for candies.
They are perennial plants that can be grown in containers or directly in the ground.