Lactuca sativa var. longifolia
Romaine Lettuce foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spacing: 12 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Cos Lettuce
A perfect addition to any container or garden; sweet and crunchy, these tall heads of crinkled, oval shaped leaves are perfect for salads, braising, soups and grilling; can be planted closer to harvest as baby leaves for a more tender and sweet flavor
Romaine Lettuce is an annual vegetable plant that is typically grown for its edible qualities. The large crinkled oval green leaves with showy dark red variegation and tinges of coppery-bronze are usually harvested from early summer to early fall. The leaves have a sweet taste and a crunchy texture.
The leaves are most often used in the following ways:
- Fresh Eating
- Eating When Cooked/Prepared
Planting & Growing
Romaine Lettuce will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When planted in rows, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. This vegetable plant is an annual, which means that it will grow for one season in your garden and then die after producing a crop. Because of its relatively short time to maturity, it lends itself to a series of successive plantings each staggered by a week or two; this will prolong the effective harvest period. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.
This plant is typically grown in a designated vegetable garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average conditions that are neither too wet nor too dry, and is very intolerant of standing water. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is not originally from North America..
Romaine Lettuce is a good choice for the vegetable garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.