Beetroot Beta vulgaris
An annual vegetable, grown for its edible round, dark red taproots. Young leaves can also be eaten. Shows resistance to bolting
About this plant
Beet, Fodder beet, Mangel wurzel, Mangold, Root beet, Root of scarcity, Sugar beet
Beta vulgaris L.
Beets are generally considered safe and non-toxic for human consumption. However, consuming excessive amounts of beets may cause temporary discoloration of urine or stool due to the presence of pigments called betalains. This is a harmless condition known as beeturia.
In terms of animals, beets are not toxic to most common domestic pets such as cats and dogs. However, it's always important to feed them in moderation and introduce new foods gradually to monitor any potential allergic reactions or digestive upset. Some animals, such as horses, may need to be monitored for sugar intake as beets contain natural sugars. It's best to consult with a veterinarian for specific guidance on feeding beets to animals.
Color of leaves
Green with purple veins
Up to 2 feet
- General Benefits
Nutrient-rich: Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including folate, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
Heart health: The nitrates present in beets have been linked to improved cardiovascular health, helping to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Detoxification: Beets contain compounds that support liver function and aid in detoxification processes in the body.
Digestive health: The high fiber content in beets promotes healthy digestion and may help prevent constipation.
Stamina and exercise performance: The nitrates in beets can enhance exercise endurance and improve oxygen utilization, leading to increased stamina and improved athletic performance.
Weight management: Beets are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help with weight management and contribute to feelings of fullness.
Eye health: The presence of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin in beets can help protect against age-related macular degeneration and promote eye health.
Anti-inflammatory properties: Beets contain betalains, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Skin health: The antioxidants in beets can help promote healthy skin by combating oxidative stress and supporting collagen production.
Hydration: Beets have a high water content, contributing to overall hydration and helping to maintain proper bodily functions.
- Medical Properties
Blood pressure regulation: The naturally occurring nitrates in beets can help lower blood pressure by relaxing and dilating blood vessels, promoting better blood flow.
Anti-inflammatory effects: Beets contain betalains, which are pigments with potent anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms associated with chronic conditions like arthritis.
Liver detoxification: The betaine content in beets supports liver function and aids in the detoxification process. It helps the liver eliminate toxins and waste products from the body.
Antioxidant activity: Beets are rich in antioxidants, such as betalains and vitamin C, which help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This antioxidant activity may have a positive impact on overall health and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Digestive health: Beets are a good source of dietary fiber, which supports healthy digestion and can help prevent constipation. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and promotes regular bowel movements.
Anemia prevention: Beets are naturally high in iron and folate, which are essential for the production of red blood cells. Regular consumption of beets can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia and support healthy blood cell formation.
- Air-purifying Qualities
Beet plants have the ability to absorb certain air pollutants through their leaves and roots. They can help remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and benzene, which can be present in indoor environments due to the use of certain household products and materials. By absorbing these pollutants, beets can help create a cleaner and healthier indoor atmosphere.
- Other Uses
Natural Dye: Beets can be used as a natural dye to create vibrant shades of pink, purple, and red. The juice extracted from beets can be used to dye fabrics, yarns, and even food items.
Beet Ink: Beet juice can be used as an alternative ink for writing or drawing. It can create a unique and earthy color on paper or other surfaces.
Beet Stain: The deep red juice of beets can be used as a natural stain for wood, giving it a rich and rustic appearance. It can be applied to furniture, flooring, or other wooden items.
Beet Beauty Products: Beet extract is sometimes used in beauty products such as lipsticks, blushes, and nail polishes to provide a natural red or pink tint.
Beet Juice Infusions: Beet juice can be infused with other ingredients like fruits, herbs, or spices to create unique and flavorful beverages. It can be mixed with lemon, ginger, or mint for a refreshing drink.
Beet Sugar Scrub: A homemade sugar scrub can be made using beet juice or grated beets. This natural scrub can help exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
Beet Salad Dressing: Beets can be used to create a tangy and vibrant salad dressing. Blending cooked beets with vinegar, oil, and seasonings can result in a delicious and colorful dressing for salads.
Beet Sauerkraut: Adding grated or shredded beets to the traditional sauerkraut fermentation process can enhance the flavor and color of the fermented cabbage, creating a unique twist on this traditional dish.
Beet Chips: Thinly sliced beets can be baked or fried to create crispy and flavorful beet chips. They make a healthy and colorful alternative to traditional potato chips.
Beet Jam: Beet jam can be made by cooking beets with sugar, lemon juice, and spices until thickened. This sweet and tangy jam can be enjoyed on toast, scones, or as a condiment for cheese platters.
- Feng Shui
In Feng Shui, beets are associated with the Earth element and can be used to enhance grounding and stability in the home. They can be placed in the kitchen or dining area to promote nourishment and abundance. Beetroot colors, such as deep red and purple, can also be incorporated in decor elements or artwork to bring the energy of vitality and passion.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
In astrology, there is no specific zodiac sign compatibility associated with beets.
- Plant Symbolism
Nourishment and Vitality: Due to its rich nutritional content, beets symbolize nourishment and vitality. They are often seen as a symbol of good health and well-being.
Abundance and Prosperity: The deep red color of beets is associated with wealth and abundance. In some cultures, beets are considered a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
Grounding and Stability: Beets grow deep in the earth, symbolizing grounding and stability. They represent the importance of staying rooted and connected to one's foundations.
Transformation and Growth: Beets go through a transformative process, growing from small seeds into vibrant vegetables. This symbolism represents personal growth, development, and the ability to thrive in challenging circumstances.
Passion and Love: The vibrant red color of beets is often associated with passion and love. They can be seen as a symbol of deep emotions and romantic connections.
Beets require consistent moisture to grow well. It is recommended to water the beet plants deeply once or twice a week, ensuring that the soil remains evenly moist. The frequency of watering may vary depending on the weather conditions and the moisture retention capacity of the soil. It is important to avoid overwatering, as it can lead to rotting of the roots. Regularly check the soil moisture level by inserting your finger into the soil up to an inch deep. If it feels dry at that depth, it's time to water.
Beets thrive in full sun to partial shade. They require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and development. However, they can tolerate some shade, especially in hotter regions where partial shade can help protect them from scorching sun and bolting.
Beets are cool-season crops and prefer moderate temperatures for optimal growth. The ideal temperature range for beet growth is between 55°F (13°C) and 75°F (24°C). They can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C) and can survive light frosts. However, prolonged exposure to temperatures below freezing can damage the beet plants. Beets are not well-suited for hot summer temperatures above 85°F (29°C), as excessive heat can cause the roots to become tough and woody. Providing some shade and mulching the soil can help protect the beets from extreme temperatures.
Beets do not require pruning
Beets prefer well-draining soil that is loose, fertile, and rich in organic matter. A sandy loam or loamy soil texture is ideal for beet cultivation. The soil should have a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5, which is slightly acidic to neutral.
Adding organic compost or well-rotted manure to the soil before planting can help improve its fertility and moisture-holding capacity. It is important to avoid heavy clay soils or compacted soils that can impede root development and cause misshapen beets.
Beets are growing as an annual plant and do not require repotting
- Humidity & Misting
Beets prefer moderate humidity levels. They can tolerate a range of humidity conditions, but excessive humidity can increase the risk of fungal diseases. Ideally, the humidity level for beet cultivation should be around 40-60%.
Adequate airflow and ventilation in the growing area can help prevent excessive humidity and reduce the chances of fungal issues. If you are growing beets in a greenhouse or high-humidity environment, ensure proper ventilation and spacing between the plants to promote air circulation and reduce moisture buildup.
- Suitable locations
Cultivated all over the world in the right conditions
3 - 11 USDA
- Life cycle
Planting: Beets are typically planted from seeds directly in the ground. They can be sown in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked and temperatures are consistently above freezing. In some regions, beets can also be planted in late summer for a fall harvest. The exact planting time may vary depending on your location and climate.
Germination: After planting, the beet seeds will germinate within 7 to 14 days, depending on the soil temperature. Optimal soil temperature for beet germination is around 50 to 85°F (10 to 29°C). The seeds will sprout, and the first pair of cotyledon leaves will emerge.
Vegetative Growth: As the seedlings continue to grow, they develop true leaves and establish a root system. During this stage, the plants focus on building foliage and root mass. Beet plants require regular watering and sufficient nutrients to support their growth.
Bulb Formation: Around 8 to 10 weeks after planting, beet plants start forming bulbs. The size of the bulbs will depend on the variety and growing conditions. Beets prefer cool temperatures for bulb development, ideally around 60 to 70°F (15 to 21°C).
Flowering: Beets are biennial plants, meaning they usually complete their life cycle over two years. In the second year, if left in the ground, the beet plants will send up flower stalks, known as bolting. The flowers are typically small and inconspicuous, with green or reddish tinges.
Harvesting: Beets are ready to harvest when the bulbs have reached the desired size. Depending on the variety, this can range from golf ball-sized beets to larger ones. The time from planting to harvest varies, but generally, beets can be harvested around 60 to 70 days after planting. Young beet greens can also be harvested for culinary use throughout the growing season.
Propagation: Beets are typically propagated through seeds. The seeds can be purchased from seed suppliers or collected from mature beet plants. They are sown directly into the soil where they will grow.
Aphid, Slugs and snails, Cutworms
Downy mildew, Root Rot, Powdery mildew