Mustard Plant

Common Name: Field Mustard, Black Mustard Seed

Botanical Name: Brassica nigra, Brassica alba, Brassica juncae

Indian Names: Sarson (Hindi), Kadugu ilai (Tamil, Malayalam)

Vegetable type: Cruciferous

Varieties: Dijon mustard, Oriental mustard (Giant Red), Indian mustard, Garlic

Mustard flower
Mustard flower

Mustard is a plant whose seeds are used universally in all cuisines due to its varying tastes and styles. It grows into an impressive looking plant as well. Their health benefits are numerous; no cholesterol, low fat, high protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin B, and much more, so feel free to indulge.

It can be used in all its forms for cuisine, from the shoots, leaves, flowers, or seeds for a flavourful, healthy way to spice up a simple salad. It is also very easy to grow, so you can reap the benefits yourself, and have the satisfaction of growing your own food. Let’s take a look at the features of the mustard plant.

NOTE: You can buy heirloom seeds for mustard at our online garden store – we deliver anywhere in India.

Plant Features

Life-cycle: Annual

Height: 1.2-2m (4-6.6ft.)

Width: 16 cm (6.3in.)

Flowering season: Spring/Autumn

Flower: Yellow in colour, growing in clumps of 2-12 approx. 8 mm (0.3in.) in diameter

Foliage: Toothed and lobed leaves, with occasional larger terminal lobes

Mustard plant
Mustard plant

Plant Growing Details

Sunlight: Partial shade, filtered sunlight

Water: Requires regular water, and moist soil conditions for optimal growth



Depending on your living climate, the seeds should be sown in February to April for spring time crops, and from July to October for fall crops.


Plant the seeds 1/2 an inch deep (1.25cm), and 15 inches (36cm) apart. Once the plants are up, thin the seeds to about 9-10 inches (24-26cm) apart from each other.

Mustard seeds
Mustard seeds

Care: Needs constant moisture for optimal growth. Make sure that the pH of the soil is not more than 6.0. Cool weather is best for the mustard plant and a light frost can actually add to the flavour of the seeds. However, the hotter and drier the climate gets, the plant can go to seed within a span of 30-60 days. Additional nitrogen helps the plants to maintain their green colour.

Pests: Bacterial black rot, leaf spot, and clubroot are the main pests which affect the growth of the mustard plant. Signs of black rot are yellowing leaves, giving a slightly scorched appearance. It can be avoided with a simple rotation of plants. Leaf spot is disease which is characterised by black or grey spots on the leaf. It is a fungal disease which can be controlled with proper use of fertilizers and fungicides. Clubroot is another fungal disease which stunts the growth of the plant and disfigures the root. It is propagated due to unclean water and once set, it is unfeasible to remove.

Sowing mustard seeds
Sowing mustard seeds

Harvest:  First the outer leaves need to be cut out at the base, and the smaller the leaves, the more tender the texture. The plants are usually ready to be harvested around 1-1.5 months after sowing the seeds. To use the seeds, allow the plant to flower and go to seed before harvesting. The plant should be hung in a cool dry place as the foliage starts to yellow.

Mustard flower anatomy
Mustard flower anatomy

Propagation: Mustard is propagated from the seed, and needs a soil temperature around 5-8 degrees Celsius to germinate.

Mustard is one of the world’s most popular plants in the kitchen. Its vibrant yellow flowers also provide a nice attraction in a home garden, and their minimal requirements make it an ideal and useful plant to add to your repertoire. Spice up your next meal, with your own mustard!

NOTE: You can buy heirloom seeds for mustard at our online garden store – we deliver anywhere in India.

Happy Gardening

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