If Your Carrot is Flowering, You’re Not Alone. Here’s What’s Happening
The Dirt on Dirt’s Kristin recently experienced an interesting development when growing rainbow carrots in her garden. One of her carrot plants started flowering.
The flowers resembled Queen Anne’s Lace, and it wasn’t something Kristin had seen before. That meant she had no idea what the root underground looked like or if the flower would still produce an edible plant.
When she harvested the carrot, she discovered though it might be edible, the carrot was tiny. She joked she’d be making baby carrots with dinner. We did a little of our own research to figure out how common a flowering carrot is.
It turns out it’s not an anomaly. Often, a flowering carrot is a sign that the plant has bolted and will not be good to eat. Flowering carrots will grow every so often after a batch of seeds is planted for a few reasons. One is because of premature warm weather. Warm weather will trick the plant into putting energy into the flower rather than the root, causing white flowers and an inedible carrot. Flowering carrots can also occur if they are left in the ground over winter and a mild spring follows, as this confuses the plant on its life cycle.
Carrots are biennials, meaning they have a two-year life cycle. During the first season, they grow in a vegetative state with no flowers. Then after winter, they bloom and send their progeny into the world to reproduce and regrow. Just remember that some seeds in a package will always be outliers. They could either be duds or they could flower early, causing a bolted carrot before the two years are up.
To keep your carrots from flowering, try regularly sowing carrot plants every couple weeks during the season to assure some of them will do well, regardless of weather fluctuations.
Have you ever hosted a flowering carrot in your garden? What are your best tips for preventing premature bolting? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels to celebrate GYO (“GROW YOUR OWN”) Month! Read more about The Dirt on Dirt’s GYO Month, an August full of gardening specials, on our blog.