Edible Chrysanthemum: How to Grow Shungiku Seeds into Unique Microgreens

Edible chrysanthemum is quite a fantastic microgreen to grow. If you like different, then these are for you.

Edible Chrysanthemum & Shungiku Are The Same

But before we get into how to grow edible chrysanthemum microgreens and how they are different, let me introduce this plant.

Edible chrysanthemum is known by several different names. These include Three Color Daisy or Tri-Color Daisy and Shungiku.

Shungiku is translated from Japanese to English to mean Springtime or Spring. 

There does seem to be some confusion about the species and cultivar of Shungiku (Shun-gee-cue) by seed companies. I'm not sure which is correct, but the article's end is a summary of my findings

edible chrysanthemum

What Does Edible Chrysanthemum (Shungiku) Taste Like?

Shungiku, a three-color daisy, or whatever you want to call this microgreen, has a citrusy carrot flavor.

Edible chrysanthemum microgreens add flavor and texture to a salad.

The frilly leaves and pleasant green color will provide a visual contrast to other greens in the salad.

Why You Should Grow Shungiku Microgreens

In the opening paragraph, I mentioned that Shungiku microgreens are different.

So let's talk about these differences. 

For one, Shungiku isn't a vegetable like most microgreens. Instead, as the name edible chrysanthemum or three-color daisy suggests, this is a flower.

Shungiku belongs to the botanical family Asteraceae

The flower is a daisy, and the common name three-color daisy or tri-color daisy comes from the white and yellow petals and the darker yellow floral disc.

It will take intense light and a long time to flower in the house.

three color daisy

Another reason is the very serrated true leaves. They're also thick, adding another visual dimension to the leaf.

edible chrysanthemum leaf

We've mentioned the flavor, an almost acidic citrus carrot flavor. It's a flavor that makes you wonder what it is because it's different from anything else you have tasted.

Lastly, at least of what I can think of at the moment is how long they will last in a small tray and still be edible. 

The photos below are of a tray of Shungiku that has been growing in the same tray for 49-days!

Grow radishes, broccoli, or sunflowers microgreens that long and try to eat them!  

edible chrysanthemum
edible chrysanthemum

We think everyone should grow a tray of edible chrysanthemum at least once to see these unique characteristics and have fun growing them!

How to Grow Edible Chrysanthemum

The first time I grew edible chrysanthemum, it was complete guesswork.

But it worked out, and I found Shungiku very easy to grow.

home microgreens

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Equipment You'll Need to Grow Edible Chrysanthemum

We used a Home Microgreens planting and watering tray with soil.

These trays have a planting area of 37-1/2 square inches. The soil is composed of coconut coir with some peat and added natural soil amendments.

If you're not using the Home Microgreens tray setup, you will need another tray or a piece of coroplast that will rest on seeds and help hold them against the soil.

Something that weighs 2- to 3-pounds and can rest on top of the tray. 

A tea towel.

Spray bottle with some room-temperature tap water.

1.8-grams of Shungiku seed for the Home Microgreens Tray. If you are growing in a 1010 tray, we recommend 4.5-grams. These seed densities are estimates. A little more or a little less will work fine. 

Sowing the Shungiku Seed

Shungiku seed is semi-oval in shape and thin, and not very dense.

edible chrysanthemum three color daisy seed

Spread the seed evenly on a pre-moistened soil surface.

We recommend only wetting the upper 1/3 of the soil profile at this stage. This is because germinating seeds do not need wet soil at the bottom of the tray.

We will talk more about watering the tray later in the article. Or we also have this article that explains how to water microgreens in detail.

After the Shungiku seeds have been sown, mist them one or two times to wet the seed surface.

Putting the Edible Chrysanthemum into the Black Out Period

Place the tray somewhere that it won't be disturbed for 3 or 4 days.

Put the Home Microgreen opaque lid or a piece of coroplast on the tray so that it pushes the Shungiku seed onto the soil surface.

Add the weight to the lid and cover the tray with a tea towel.

This is what we call the blackout.

The process imitates the seeds being covered with soil. Don't worry about the weight on top.

It won't hurt the seeds or germinating plants. Instead, the weight creates better seed-to-soil contact and aids in the germination.

adding weights to microgreens trays during the blackout period

Leave the tray alone for 3- or 4-days. If the house is warm (above 75-degrees), check them on day three. Cooler than that, and they will be okay for 4-days.

This is called the blackout period. 

Lifting the cover before that might damage the fragile new roots and stems. The seeds have everything they need for that short time.

Placing Edible Chrysanthemum Under Lights

It took 3- to 4-days for our Shungiku seed to germinate. This time frame may be different for you, depending on your home's temperature.

We sowed the Shungiku seed in winter and kept the house at what many would say is too cold. Temperature ranges from the mid-50s to the upper 60's. If your home is above 70, the germination time will likely be 2- to 3-days at the most.

Take a look at your tray of edible chrysanthemum in 3-days, and if they look like the ones below, they are ready to go under the lights. 

shungiku seed germinated

Now is also the time to give the plants water. The best way to water is from the bottom.

Water is added to the tight-fitting solid watering tray. The planting tray which, has holes in the bottom, is gently placed into the watering tray.

The water is forced up into the planting tray, where the soil media begins to wick and spread the water to all the soil. 

This method keeps the greens dry and reduces the chance of fungal and bacterial growth.

For more information on this watering method, click here to see the watering article.

Caring For Edible Chrysanthemum Microgreens

Once the Shungiku seeds have germinated, and the tray is placed under the lights, all the remaining work is watering them when the microgreens need it.

How do you know when it is time to water your microgreens?

The best way is to lift the tray and judge the weight. If the tray feels the same weight as when you removed it from the blackout period, then it is time to water.

shungiku microgreens one day under lights

Edible Chrysanthemum after 1-day under the lights. The plants have stood-up and are reaching for the light.

If it feels heavier, then wait.  

Coconut coir and peat moss absorb so much water that the weight difference between dry and wet is very noticeable. 

Using a time schedule to water microgreens is difficult because they use different amounts of water as the microgreens grow.

Also, the root mass increases, changing how much water the soil can hold.

Some microgreen varieties, such as beet, chard, and amaranth, are also susceptible to overwatering, so letting them dry out between waterings is better than overcaring for them.

Less is best.   

Judging the need for watering by feeling the weight of the tray is the best method.

True Leaves on Edible Chrysanthemum

After approximately 13-days after planting (might be less in warmer conditions), the first true leaves start to form on the Shungiku microgreens.  

shungiku first rue leaves

You could start to harvest these microgreens if you choose to do so. However, I would wait.

These small first true leaves will get much larger, more visually appealing, and beautiful, and there will be no loss or change in the flavor.

In 10 to 12 more days, these first true leaves will transform into longer and deeply serrated leaves. They seem almost succulent-like. 

Thick and appear to hold water. 

closeup of edible chrysanthemum

Harvesting Edible Chrysanthemum

Shungiku microgreens are one that you definitely don't need to harvest all at once.

These might be the longest living microgreens we have ever grown. 

Even 40+ days after sowing the Shungiku seeds, the microgreens thrive in the small tray and still taste exceptional.

We recommend using a pair of scissors or a small, very sharp knife and harvesting what you need at that time. Let the rest grow.

harvesting shungiku microgreens

We will get back to you if the edible chrysanthemum regrows after harvesting. We do not believe so but will confirm our suspicions when we know for sure.

The Flavor of Edible Chrysanthemum Microgreens

When the Shungiku microgreens are young, we think the microgreens have a citrus flavor followed by a mild carrot aftertaste. 

The citrus bite goes away as the microgreens grow older, and the edible chrysanthemum microgreens have a more robust carrot flavor.

While harvesting the microgreens in the above photo, we noticed an aroma we hadn't smelled since we were much younger.

If you have grown up in the country and pulled up or played with Queen's Anne Lace (wild carrot), that is the aroma we smelled while harvesting.

How to Use Edible Chrysanthemum Microgreens

Edible Chrysanthemum have unique and beautiful leaves. They make a great addition to a salad because of the contrasting leaf shape, light green color, and flavor.

The leaves make for a great garnish and would look great on a serving of steamed carrots and add to the flavor.

It has been suggested that adding the leaves to a cup of mild tea will add a refreshing flavor.

Japanese cuisine uses Shungiku as a herbal flavoring in hotpots like shabu shabu or sukiyaka. This makes sense as the carrots go well with meat dishes.

using shungiku in food

Image from thisnzlife.co.nz

Edible Chrysanthemum is also a great choice in sushi or California rolls!

shungiku in california rolls

Image from thisnxlife.co.nz

The above two images and suggestions have come from thisNZlife website.

We add edible chrysanthemum microgreens to our homemade chicken and beef soup once it has been heated up. But, of course, there is no reason it would be wonderful in veggie soups too!

Overall, Shungiku microgreens are good to add to most dishes where a carrot flavor and aroma would be a good match. 

Edible Chrysanthemum and Shungiku Latin Naming

When I visited several different seed companies' websites, there was a lot of confusing or conflicting information.

However, the confusion in naming the species or cultivar does not take away from how cool this microgreen is or whether or not it is edible.

The latin name for Shungiku is Glebionis coronariaThe common names for G. coronaria include Garland chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum greens, edible chrysanthemum, crown daisy chrysanthemum, chop suey greens, crown daisy, and Japanese greens.

Many seed companies list their edible chrysanthemum as Glebionis carinata, which has been changed to Ismelia carinata. Wikipedia lists the common names of I. carinata as tricolor chrysanthemum or tricolor daisy and annual chrysanthemum.

Where to Buy Edible Chrysanthemum or Shungiku Seed?

Home Microgreens carries Shungiku seed in several different size packets. 

The seed is light so a little goes along way. 

We hope you found this article educational, and it convinced you to grow edible chrysanthemum microgreens. 

They are a unique microgreen that can be used in so many different ways in the kitchen!

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Author of this Article is Todd

Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MyViewFromTheWoods.com.

His microgreens have appeared in Better Homes & Garden magazine and other websites.
Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20-years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. He will be in the garden, trout stream, or on a mountain trail with his Springer Spaniel Caden when not at the computer.

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