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Growing Queen Anne’s Lace

Nothing adds a touch of class to a garden bed quite like the delicate-looking blooms of Queen Anne’s Lace. Named for the lace-like white flowerhead, it is a flower that brings a cottage garden or potager garden to life.

Queen Anne’s Lace grows from one to two feet high, and its feathery foliage fills garden gaps nicely. This plant boasts lovely fern-like foliage with long, hairy stems supporting a wide upright cluster of little white flowers with a darker centrally located floret.

When growing Queen Anne’s Lace you will have little worry about how to take care of it. Wildflower-like in nature, this lovely plant is easy to grow and proliferates rapidly, spreading its plentiful seeds freely through the breeze. Queen Anne’s Lace flowers also draw beneficial pollinators to the garden like bees and butterflies, making it a friendly companion plant in the backyard garden. It is also an edible plant with string herbal properties.

Follow our guide on how and why to grow Queen Anne’s Lace in your garden bed and enjoy the beauty and herbal benefits of this understated and refined bloomer.

Close up of Queen Anne's Lace flower unfolding

Queen Anne’s Lace Ideal Soil and pH

Queen Anne’s lace thrives in more nutrient deficient soils and dry conditions. It grows best in loamy soil that is either neutral or slightly acidic.

How to Plant Queen Anne’s Lace

Sow seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your region. Queen Anne’s lace also grows well when sown directly into the garden bed. Once planted, it is unlikely that you will have to plant them again, as the flowers propagate their seeds freely.

Plant Queen Anne’s Lace in an area where you can allow the plant to spread. If you do not desire a plethora of Queen Anne’s Lace adorning your garden, you can counteract the spread by deadheading and disposing of the flower heads.

Some regions refer to this herbaceous plant as invasive, in some locations Queen Anne’s Lace has become an issue and has crowded out native plants. Please check with your local extension office to find out if you can grow this plant in your area. When growing any plant that can easily spread outside of your yard and garden it is important to do your research, understand the risks, and be diligent and proactive to keep the plant from spreading.

Queen Anne’s Lace Varieties

Queen Anne’s Lace “Daucus carota’ is an ornamental or wild carrot and is considered invasive. False Queen Anne’s Lace ‘Daucus Dara’ is a biennial plant that can be grown as a hardy annual, it flowers in shades of dark purple, pink, or white. The look-alike ‘Ammi majus’ is better behaved and sold by most seed companies as a less invasive alternative.

Queen Anne’s Lace Companion Plants

Aside from being beautiful, tasty, and easy to grow Queen Anne’s Lace also acts as a phenomenal companion plant. Companion planting is the act of interplanting flowers, herbs, and vegetables with one another to attract beneficial pollinators, bugs, and boost soil health. Companion planting can help create an ideal growing environment in your garden.

Growing Queen Anne’s Lace can help attract beneficial insects to the garden such as ladybugs who will eat aphids, mites, and other soft-bodied insects that commonly plague gardeners. Queen Anne’s Lace is also a great plant to mix in with other wildflowers and native plants. It is a great plant to fill in wholes in your landscape, though through reseeding it can spread quickly so keep that in mind when planting it.

For edible gardens, it has also been shown that Queen Anne’s Lace can boost tomato plant production and help create a cooler, moister microclimate for lettuce when planted nearby.

A yellow and black Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly nectaring on white Queen Anne's Lace flowers.

Queen Anne’s Lace Light and Temperature Requirements

Queen Anne’s Lace enjoys full sun to partial shade conditions, enjoy areas where there is relatively low humidity and moderate temperatures. They bloom from mid-spring through early fall and thrive in planting zones 3 through 9.

How to Water Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace thrives in dry conditions, so there isn’t much need to actively water plants once they are established unless there is a drought.

Queen Anne’s Lace Plant Maturation Time

This biennial plant develops its root and leaves in its first year, so you will have to be patient and wait until year two to watch shoots form and create magnificent white flowerheads.

Growing Queen Anne’s Lace for Pollinators

A great way to give your garden a boost is to plant pollinator-friendly plants and flowers. Having more pollinators in and around your garden helps to increase pollination which can lead to higher yields and healthier plants.

Queen Anne’s Lace is a favorite among pollinators such as bees, wasps, butterflies, and beetles making it a great addition to your garden. The position of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers is ideal for pollinators as it puts the nectar near the base of the plant where pollinators can easily gather it.

Queen Anne's Lace surrounded by other flowers in the garden.

Queen Anne’s Lace as an Edible Flower

Growing Queen Anne’s Lace will reward you with delicate beauty while also providing nourishment. The plant is not only beautiful but also edible in its entirety. Often referred to as Wild Carrot or daucus carota, the taproot of this plant is best when cooked. The roots of the plant may be dried, roasted, and ground into a fine powder, and brewed as a coffee. Roots are most tender in their first year of growth.

The older the plant, the woodier and more fibrous the roots can be. Flower heads can be steeped in teas or used to make aromatic oils and bottles of vinegar. The flower heads can also be battered up and fried! Queen Anne’s Lace leaves have an intense carroty flavor and can be used readily when seeped in stews and soups. Some may be sensitive to its leaves, so use them with care.

However, it is crucial to note that Queen Anne’s Lace closely resembles some other plants that can be poisonous, such as poison hemlock. One way to tell the difference is the smell. Queen Anne’s Lace smells sweet and carrotlike, while other similar looking plants do not smell good at all. It is pertinent that you do not eat wild plants and only eat the plants that you know for certain are truly Queen Anne’s Lace.


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