Today is the perfect day to talk about Butter Lettuce!
While reading this text you will find out what exactly Butter Lettuce is, how does it taste and how precisely to grow it indoors.
So pay special attention to what are you about to read because it will be useful and interesting. You are about to hear about a plant that has a special green color and buttery texture.
If you follow the steps described in this gardening guide I am sure your butter lettuce will grow as beautifully as expected.
I am sure you are excited to start so let’s start guiding you through the world of butter lettuce.
What is Butter Lettuce?
Originated from the Mediterranean, butter lettuce is just a type of lettuce. Nevertheless, the Americans started to cultivate it because of their variety of usage and its taste. It is known for its striking light green color and big leaves that pop out in every market.
It got its name because of its buttery texture and mild and sweet taste. This is what makes it a perfect salad, whether as an addition to your lunch or your whole meal.
There are many ways to prepare it as a salad, but sandwich stations also put it into their products.
The important thing is that butter lettuce is always served fresh.
Butter lettuce is also known for its large, loose, and thick leaves that combined with some balsamico and olive oil leave a man speechless.
It usually grows in the cooler areas where the ground is cold and it is often sunny. Butter lettuce needs a lot of sunlight to grow and germinate.
For its uniformly green color, we should thank chlorophyll that they have in every single cell of theirs.
Even though it can tolerate a huge range of temperatures (from -8° C to 28° C) its optimal temperature is between 6° C and 19° C.
Its need for the sun changes depending on the ambient temperature if they are planted outside or room temperature if they are growing indoors.
The one thing is for sure – they need a cool, smooth, well-drained soil to survive and grow out as sensational heads of butter lettuce.
Growing Butter Lettuce at Home? Easy!
In the following steps, I will explain to you the best way to grow your butter lettuce. Like everything else in life, these steps are also not always required to be taken too seriously, so don’t worry if you forget to water it once.
Every plant has its pace of growing and progressing. This velocity of growth is a function of various factors – the ones we can and can’t affect and control.
Step 1: Get the seeds
Of course, you need to buy the butter lettuce seeds if you want to plant them, whether you want to grow them indoors or outdoors.
Either way, you need the seeds first. Since the seeds of butter lettuce are extremely small they are often coated with some organic matter which makes them bigger.
This way you can see the seed easier and the process of planting will also be less demanding.
Once you get the seeds you have to decide on how many of them are you going to plant, depending on the number of butter lettuce heads you need.
Of course, you can never know for sure but some approximation is always welcome.
Step 2: Choose the pot
When you want to grow the butter lettuce indoors the best and easiest way to plant it is in the pot.
Choosing the right pot is not difficult but you need to choose the one with proper dimensions since the butter lettuce seeds are planted in a certain order.
Butter lettuce head usually grows up to 10 cm radius so you have to make sure the heads in the pod do not affect each other’s growth and root stability because the root system of butter lettuce is very sensitive.
So, because of this, the seeds should be approximately an inch apart if there is going to be only one row of butter lettuce heads.
This way they won’t disturb each other’s well-being.
For example, if you want to plant 4 butter lettuce heads you need an adequate pot that satisfies these dimensions.
You will also want to choose a pot that has a saucer so you can easily see if your butter lettuce needs watering.
Step 3: Correctly cover the seeds with soil
These small seeds need sunlight to grow healthy so while putting them in the pot and planting them pay attention to how much soil is covering them.
For a small seed like this to get enough sunlight the soil should be covering it for an eighth of an inch.
But when you are growing butter lettuce at home you need to put the seeds in the soil at the depth of an inch and they will germinate in three weeks or so.
Step 4: Choose the right soil
The soil you should use for growing butter lettuce is an organic one that is filled with minerals, moisture, and humidity.
Butter lettuce prefers cold soil, so you have to pick the one that is rich and smooth, so avoid hard soils.
The soil should not be acidic. Their pH level should be between 6.0 and 6.8.
Step 4: Carefully choose a place for the pot
The pot is the only home for your butter lettuce until (or if) you decide to move it outside. This is why you should choose the right place for it.
Butter lettuce is usually planted in spring or fall because it likes cool weather, so you have to act accordingly when deciding on where to put your butter lettuce if you are growing it indoors.
Even though it likes and needs sunlight, you have to pay attention to the temperature you are exposing it to.
The optimal sunlighting exposure is 4 to 7 hours a day if the temperature is lower or around 10° C but it can tolerate temperatures of even -8° C or 28° C which is admirable and very practical.
Depending on your living area – sun exposure and temperature, you should choose a partial shade for your butter lettuce if the temperatures are higher or complete sun exposure if the temperatures are lower.
You should be guided by the temperature of a room you are growing your butter lettuce in, not the outdoor temperature.
Step 5: Give her some air
If you are living in an area that is breezy and not too chilly, you should open the window for your butter lettuce.
Since you are probably keeping it somewhere near the window anyway, this should not be a problem for you.
By opening a window, you will give fresh air to your butter lettuce and it will get the optimal temperature it needs to grow in healthy conditions.
Step 6: Follow the watering routine
Before the seeds of butter lettuce sprout, the soil should be moist all the time.
To check if the soil is moist enough you can either place a finger in it and check or pick the pot up and check the level of water in the saucer.
Before the seeds sprout you should water the lettuce every day to keep her growth correctly and healthy. Once the sprout is out, watering can take place every 2 days.
By following the exact watering routine your butter lettuce will have the perfect sweet mild taste you wanted.
Step 7: Fertilizing Butter Lettuce
If you want to give your lettuce special look and taste you can use some of the fertilizers besides just watering it properly and using the right soil.
It is best to use fertilizers that have nitrogen and potassium in themselves. Rotted manure is also very suitable because it enriches the soil and makes it softer.
This way the seed germinates through the soil more easily.
Butter lettuce usually takes a month to fully grow and become ready for eating or other purposes.
Step 8: Keep the calendar
Since butter lettuce grows continually indoors because it does not have variable conditions, it is advised to keep the calendar of its growth and progress.
Many changes like germination are precisely defined by a certain date and are also visible, so it is easy to recognize the time to change the watering routine for example.
Also, after a month your butter lettuce will ripen so you will be able to eat it and ripening is also a visible state of this lettuce, so keeping the track of time won’t be such an issue.
Nevertheless, growing butter lettuce still needs dedication and patience.
Step 9: Harvesting Butter Lettuce
Harvesting is probably the best part of the whole growing process, but besides harvesting the good and green leaves, you should also harvest the bad ones.
The unhealthy leaves are usually recognized by discoloration and they should be cut off with a knife or some kind of a blade, making the room for other potentially healthy leaves to grow out.
The darker, usually brown, leaves are easily recognized because of their color that indicates calcium deficiency.
Also, it is important to harvest your butter lettuce maximum 9 days before planning on eating it because that is the period the lettuce can stay fresh and eatable in a refrigerator.
I hope these steps encouraged you to start growing your own butter lettuce. Still, there is one secret step that I purposely avoided to mention and that is – no plant can grow without your love and care.
And remember that plants should be treated with kindness and respect, among all because they are the ones giving us fresh breathable air.