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Edible Flowers: A Guide to Growing and Using Flowers in Your Kitchen

Flowers aren’t simply a decoration for your kitchen. Did you know you can cook and bake with them, as well? Add a punch of color or flavor to your next dish using edible flowers!

Read on to learn about some commonly used flowers and the Dos and Don’ts of using flowers in your kitchen.

edible flowers

Common Edible Flowers

Squash blossoms

Squash blossoms are known for their yellow flower that appears on the squash and zucchini plants. Regularly used in Italian or Mediterranean cuisines, these flowers are often Stuffed and Fried. Other ways they can be used are baked or added to pasta and soups. To use, clip the flowers first thing in the morning when they are just beginning to open, cutting them ½ inch from the base of the bloom.


With white and purple blooms and heart-shaped petals, during the Victorian Era, violas were Sugared and scattered around the dessert table for an aesthetic pop. They have a fresh, grassy, sometimes minty flavor, are easy to grow, and prefer cooler weather. They can be used to adorn cakes, and salads, or use them in a yummy beverage.


These beautiful orange and yellow blossomed flowers are easy to grow and great for keeping away pests. With a flavor that can be both bitter and sweet, they shine in a dish with pickled vegetables. Try these Marigold Cucumber Quick Pickles! Marigolds are great in teas and can be used as a substitute for tarragon. To use, remove the bitter white part at the end of the petals before eating.


One of the most popular flowers to use in the kitchen, lavender has an Intensely sweet flavor. It pairs well with lemon flavors and is often baked into Lemon Lavender Scones or candied for cakes. Use in teas, on salads, or infuse into a syrup to add to coffee or cocktails!


Hibiscus flowers become a beautiful pink color when made into syrups or teas. With a tart flavor similar to cranberries, they are perfect for homemade sodas or cocktails, made into Popsicles, or even used in Vegan Hibiscus Tacos!


Perfect for summer salads, Nasturtium has a unique peppery taste. Compared to radish microgreens, it works well on pizza, roasted with chicken, served with pancakes, or made into a yummy Nasturtium Butter. With a golden, orange, or hot pink color, Nasturtium is considered one of the most versatile of edible flowers. These flowers are easy to grow and repel common pests in the garden.


Roses have a sweet, fruity essence to them. Great in pies, ice cream, jams, and teas, Rosewater is the most popular way to consume them. The darker the petals, the more intense the flavor they will have. Add roses to ice cubes, sprinkle over cakes or ice cream, top salads, or cook down to a jelly or syrup.


Sometimes called English daisies, chamomile grows easily in most soils. These healing herbs are well known for their use in tea to aid with sleep. They also work great when incorporated into salad dressings or marinades, or made into a Chamomile Syrup to use in coffee or drizzled on yogurt. Harvest the flowers when they are ready to fully bloom and use them immediately.

edible flowers

Fresh vs. Dried Edible Flowers

Whether you use fresh or dried flowers, you can still gain the health benefits all flowers offer. Many flowers have properties such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiobesity, antimicrobial, gastrointestinal protection, and more. Cooking with either fresh or dried flowers can provide both.

Dried Flowers

  • Tend to have a longer shelf life. If stored properly, dried flowers can last 2-3 years!
  • Usually have a stronger taste. This means using less in your recipe, stretching your buck further!
  • Often cost less.
  • Are easily found for purchase online.
  • Easy to have the flower on hand when it’s not in season.

Fresh Flowers

  • Fresh can have a better aesthetic look. Depending on what you’re using the flowers for, this may be the way to go if the final product is all about the show!
  • Add a delicate touch to salads or desserts or other baked goods.

How to Use Edible Flowers

There are countless ways to use flowers in the kitchen. For an aesthetic look, pick a flower with a pop of color to make your dish stand out. If it’s the taste you’re looking for, research which flower has the right flavor for your dish. Some flowers are sweeter and some have a bitter taste. Choose the one that will make your food shine.

Ways to cook with flowers

  • Pastries and baked goods
  • Soups
  • Cocktails
  • Omelets
  • Cake decorating
  • Savory dishes
  • Appetizers
  • Salads

Frequently Asked Questions About Edible Flowers

How do I store my edible flowers?

For fresh flowers, wrap them gently in a paper towel and place them inside a plastic baggie. Store the flowers in the refrigerator for 5-14 days.

For dried flowers, store them in an airtight container out of the sunlight or in the pantry for up to 2-3 years.

How do I prepare my edible flowers?

Wash your flowers well before using them since they can contain bugs and dirt. Next, submerge the flowers in a bowl of cold water and swish them around to release the dirt. Gently pat the flowers dry using a towel.

Note: Don’t wash the flowers until you’re ready to use them.

What flowers are poisonous?

Some flowers are poisonous to humans, so be sure to research the specific flowers before cooking or baking with them.

Poisonous flowers that should not be used in cooking or baking include:

  • Delphinium
  • Tulip
  • Narcissus
  • Sweet pea
  • Daffodil
  • Poppy
  • Foxglove
  • Oleander
  • Clematis
  • Bluebell
  • Rhododendron
  • Larkspur
  • Hydrangea
  • Lily-of-the-valley
edible flowers

Time to Cook With Edible Flowers

Now that you’ve learned a few things about edible flowers, how will you incorporate them into your kitchen?

Check out our post on 10 Edible Flowers for Cocktails to make your next get-together unforgettable!