Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Best performance is with consistently moist soils. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. Self-seeds and can spread in the garden. Some gardeners prefer to remove the flower stalks immediately, both to prevent self-seeding and to promote bushy leaf growth. Plants may be directly seeded in the garden in spring. May be grown as an annual. Plants may not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5.
Bloody dock or red-veined dock is a tap-rooted perennial that is primarily grown as a decorative garden foliage plant. This is a rosette-forming plant that produces basal clumps of oblong to lance-shaped medium green leaves (2-6” long) which are attractively veined with red. Clumps grow to 18” tall. In early summer, tiny star-shaped flowers appear in panicles atop reddish-tinged stems growing to 30” tall. Flowers emerge green, but mature to reddish-brown. Flowers are followed by reddish-brown fruit. In addition to its ornamental virtues, the young leaves of this sorrel are edible and add interesting color to salads. Other species of sorrel are better culinary plants however. Rumex acetosa (garden sorrel) and Rumex scutatus (French sorrel) are more often grown in herb or vegetable gardens for their leaves which may be harvested for use in salads, soups, omelettes and sauces. Other species of sorrel are simply invasive weeds (see Rumex crispus).
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for snails and slugs. Rust and leaf spot may occur.
Attractive ornamental foliage for borders. Also may be grown in herb or vegetable gardens.