Once an arugula plant germinates from seed it will go through several growth stages until they mature and is ready for harvesting. Arugula is one of the fastest vegetables to grow and harvest but knowing how arugula grows will give people an idea of how to care for them and make them thrive best.
Arugula Growing Stages
Stage 1. Seed
Arugula seeds are very small, and round, and mixes with brown, gray, and black color. The arugula plant starts from a seed. This plant will not grow without it and it will not become a plant if there will be no seeds. Most plants start growing from a seed.
Arugula is commonly propagated through seeds. When arugula seeds are high quality there will be a high chance for them to germinate and turn into a plant. Fresh seeds have more chance to sprout than those old stock seeds.
Stage 2. Germination
Arugula seeds can be planted directly in the soil or be planted in the seedling tray first and do transplanting after. The seeds of arugula take 3-4 days to germinate. A tiny root comes out from the seed and two tiny leaves grow the next.
In just a few days the roots and leaves will grow bigger and longer. Making the soil moist will help the seeds sprout. Many seeds should be sown because there are times that some seeds don’t germinate and if that happens you will still have some seedlings to be grown in the garden.
Stage 3. Seedling
After the arugula seeds have been germinated, they will turn into seedlings. The seedlings have soft and short roots, a few leaves, and thin stalks. During this stage, arugula seedlings need more water, nutrients, and sunlight for them to grow bigger.
When they are planted in the seedling tray they need to be transplanted. If they are a few days old and have enough size, they can be moved to the garden or in a container. They can be transplanted in about 10 to 15 days. Planting them with spacing will give them room to grow.
Stage 4. Vegetative Growth
After the seedling stage, the arugula plant will continue to grow bigger and more mature. They reach the vegetative stage where they grow more roots, leaves, and a little bit thicker stalks. In this phase, they need more water, nutrients, and sunlight.
Usually, arugula are being harvested when the leaves are a little bit bigger but not too hard. Arugula can be harvested 6-8 weeks from seeds. There are times that it can be much faster depending on how they are cared for and the weather condition in a place.
If you want to harvest arugula faster, you can grow it in hydroponics. In just 20-25 days, you will be able to harvest arugula.
Stage 5. Flowering
If you do not harvest arugula and let it continue to grow, after 8-10 weeks it will grow flowers. White flowers with four petals will appear on the plant. The flowers will grow on a long stem. The flowers are edible and they taste just like the arugula.
Usually, when the arugula grows flowers the leaves are a little bit thicker and hard. They are not great to be eaten instead let the plant continue to flower and wait for the flowers to mature. Those flowers will eventually grow pods and have seeds.
Arugula is self-pollinating but some other varieties can cross-pollinate. Pollinators like bees are also helpful in pollinating flowers. When flowers are pollinated, seeds will grow.
Stage 6. Seeding
When the flowers are mature enough they will produce pods and seeds. You can collect and save many seeds from a single arugula plant. If you plant many arugula plants, you can have many seeds to be collected.
In order for you to collect seeds, you need to wait until the seed head turns brown and dry. Cut the seed pods and stalk off the plant and do it carefully to prevent pods from opening.
Once you have those dry pods, you can start opening them and place the seeds in a plastic bag or paper bag.
Stage 7. Plant Dries
After the plant flowers, after a few weeks, it will stop growing and the arugula plant will dry. This is where the life cycle ends. The plant leaves, stems, and roots are going to dry and mix in the soil.
The Life Cycle Of Arugula Plant
The arugula life cycle starts from a seed, it becomes a seedling, then arugula matures, grows flowers, produces pods and seeds, and the plant dries.
The stages of growth of arugula are a little bit shorter than other vegetables. But it is good because you can harvest arugula faster and use them in cooking. You will enjoy getting arugula from your garden and cooking them after.