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Butterhead lettuce

Lactuca sativa var. capitata

Butterhead lettuce is a member of the Lactuca (Lettuce) family. Its botanical name is Lactuca sativa var. capitata. The scientific name epithet sativa means 'having been cultivated'.

Butter lettuce is a loose-leaf head with a crisp, tender texture and mild, sweet flavor. Contains vitamins A and K.

Butterhead lettuce grows as an annual and is an edible vegetable. Being an annual plant, it tends to grow best over the course of a single year. Butterhead lettuce normally grows to a stemless habit with a max height of 7.8 inches (that's 20.0 cm metric). This plant tends to mature and be ready for harvest in early spring.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Butterhead lettuce have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Butterhead lettuce

  • Partial Sun

  • High

Plant in a location that enjoys partial sun and remember to water often. Use Zone 4 - Zone 9 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Butterhead lettuce needs a soil ph of 6.2 to 6.8 (weakly acidic soil). Butterhead lettuce is generally regarded as a tender plant, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Butterhead lettuce to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Butterhead lettuce from seed

Sow 0.49 inches (1.25 cm) deep with a guideline distance of 5.85 inches (15.0 cm). For optimal germination, soil temperature should be a minimum of 5°C / 41°F.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Butterhead lettuce about 60 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Butterhead lettuce

Butterhead lettuce is tender, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

Seed Saving Butterhead lettuce

Save seeds from the plants that are slowest to bolt. When the flowers have changed to seed heads remove seeds and dry indoors. Head lettuce may require cross-cutting. 1

Seed viability is three years.

Common Butterhead lettuce problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Butterhead lettuce plants:


Other names for Butterhead lettuce

Butter leaf lettuce, Butter lettuce, Buttery lettuce, , Butterhead

Latest Butterhead lettuce Reviews

Butterhead lettuce care instructions

How long does Butterhead lettuce take to grow?

These estimates for how long Butterhead lettuce takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

When should I plant Butterhead lettuce?

Our when to plant Butterhead lettuce estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!


1 :The New Seed-starters Handbook; Published 1988

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