Suggestions for Rising Ice Queen Lettuce

Lactuca sativa ‘Reine des Glaces’

Iceberg lettuces have a fame for being splendidly crisp however disappointingly bland.

They’re the most well-liked kind of lettuce produced and bought commercially, however in all probability not the one you consider while you’re searching for a leafy inexperienced with a number of taste.

A close up vertical image of ice queen lettuce growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Not ‘Ice Queen,’ although.

This lettuce is the pinnacle of the iceberg state due to its refreshing crunch, however it additionally has candy, flavorful leaves – way more flavorful than among the different would-be rulers of the iceberg kingdom.

Her royal highness will get her identify from the truth that she doesn’t thoughts chilly temperatures, however that’s not all she’s about. Warmth is simply high quality, too, and the plant is gradual to bolt even when the mercury begins to rise.

It is a crisphead, semi-heading cultivar, which implies you may harvest particular person leaves in addition to the total, mature heads.

Significantly, is there something to not love about our leafy monarch? We’re going to get to know ‘Reine des Glaces’ on this information. Right here’s what you may count on, coming proper up:

I’ll admit, I sort of uncared for the entire iceberg class for a very long time.

I caught with spinach, kale, arugula, and different choices with extra zing to them.

After which sooner or later I wanted a wrap to carry my miang kham and I couldn’t discover the wild betel leaves which might be historically used within the recipe.

So I grabbed some lettuce out of my roommate’s backyard.


I used to be completely stunned by the candy, nice taste. Not overpowering, however not the tasteless stuff I used to be anticipating. Ever since then, me and the queen have been on good phrases.

Hopefully, she’s about to develop into your BFF, too. Get that salad dressing prepared and let’s bounce in.

Cultivation and Historical past

Her Royal Highness was developed in France and was first launched in 1883 by the French Vilmorin & Cie seed firm.

Vilmorin & Cie was based by seed vendor Madame Claude Geoffroy, alongside along with her partner Pierre d’Andrieux, who went on to develop into the pinnacle botanist for King Louis XV, in 1743.

A close up horizontal image of 'Ice Queen' lettuce growing in the garden.

The corporate provided the royal gardens with seed and so they developed ‘Reine des Glaces’ as an impressive iceberg or crisphead kind.

Each time one thing sticks round for 150 years, you need to suspect it has some good issues going for it.

‘Regina delle Ghiacciole,’ because it’s identified in Italy, is an heirloom kind, so you may let it go to seed, harvest the seeds, and begin your personal vegetation subsequent 12 months. Don’t you like a plant that retains on giving?

You’ll generally see this Batavian cultivar bought as ‘Frisée de Beauregard’ as properly. Doesn’t matter what we name it, it’s implausible.

The leaves are deeply notched and considerably frilly, with a pale to medium inexperienced coloration. Every head grows to a couple of foot tall and eight inches huge.


Whether or not you purchase plugs on the retailer or sow seed, propagation needs to be executed within the spring.

You possibly can plant within the late summer time or fall if in case you have sufficient days left within the rising season, however spring usually gives higher situations.

This plant matures in about two months, so that you solely want about 65 days with temperatures within the vary of 32 to 80°F to supply harvestable heads, and even much less time if you wish to pluck the immature leaves.

Principally, anybody in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10 can take pleasure in this crop and people in hotter areas can develop their lettuce indoors.

It’s one of many greens that I develop usually through the winter in my Zone 8 local weather.

From Seed

There are 3 ways to develop seeds.

You possibly can sprinkle them liberally on the soil to supply microgreens, or unfold them a bit additional aside for child greens. To develop full-sized heads, plant the seeds 5 inches aside.

A close up horizontal image of a seed packet with seeds and soil scattered on a white surface.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

Seeds needs to be floor sown or pressed no deeper than a quarter-inch.

As soon as the seeds are in place, fastidiously water the soil. You don’t need to displace the seeds and should you water an excessive amount of abruptly, you are inclined to create channels the place the seeds circulation collectively. As a substitute, sprinkle the soil gently.

As soon as the seeds anchor into the soil, you may water nevertheless you need, however for the primary week or two, ensure to sprinkle the soil moderately than utilizing a gentle stream of water.

Hold the soil moist. Think about while you wring a moist sponge out very well. That’s how the soil ought to really feel.

Should you choose to begin vegetation indoors, sprinkle a couple of seeds onto the floor of a three-inch container crammed with potting soil.

I favor a biodegradable possibility like CowPots as a result of they’re higher for the surroundings than plastic, and so they cut back the possibility of transplant shock.

A close up of a biodegradable CowPot isolated on a white background.

CowPots Biodegradable Pots

I at all times maintain a bunch available for my spring seed beginning. Should you’d like to offer them a attempt, head to Arbico Organics to seize packages of 12, 400, or 1176 three-inch pots.

Water the medium as described above and place the seeds in a location the place they’ll obtain eight hours of sunshine per day. Or higher but, place them beneath develop lights.

As soon as the seeds sprout, skinny them out to 1 per pot.

A close up horizontal image of plastic pots with seedlings being thinned set on a wooden surface.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

After the seedlings are a couple of inches tall and the final predicted frost date has handed, transplant the seedlings out into their everlasting spots.

To be trustworthy, you may plant earlier than the final frost date. A bit of snow received’t scare the queen of ice. You’ll need to harden them off for per week earlier than you transplant them within the backyard.

Harden seedlings off by setting them outdoors for an hour on the primary day in a sheltered spot in direct daylight.

The next day, add an hour. Add one other hour on the third day and one other on the fourth, and so forth. After per week, go forward and plant them within the floor.

From Seedlings

Should you discover seedlings on the retailer, placing them within the floor is a fairly simple course of.

A close up horizontal image of a single Ice Queen lettuce seedling growing in a plastic pot.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

To start out, prep the planting space. Dig down about six inches and out a couple of foot. Take that soil you eliminated and blend it with equal elements well-rotted compost.

Put that soil combine again into the bottom and make slightly gap the scale of the unique container.

Take away the plant from its container (until you used these useful CowPots, then you may simply plop them within the floor of their container) and place it within the gap.

Agency the soil up across the roots and provides the plant a pleasant, lengthy drink.

The way to Develop

As with most kinds of lettuce, these vegetation want full solar, no less than eight hours per day. You will get away with offering a bit much less, however development might be slower.

A vertical image of two rows of 'Reines des Glaces' crisphead lettuce growing in the garden.

Ideally, the soil might be barely acidic, with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. However something near that’s high quality.

The soil wants to stay moist always. Not moist, however not dry, both. Discover that candy spot proper in between.

Keep on high of weeding. Lettuce doesn’t require a lot upkeep, or actually, any in any respect. However it may’t outcompete weeds when it’s younger. Gently tug away any weeds that attempt to encroach on its house.

Should you see any yellowing or diseased-looking leaves, pull them off. That’s just about it. No must pinch the plant again, fertilize, or in any other case take care of ‘Reine des Glaces.’

Rising Suggestions

  • Plant in full solar.
  • Hold the soil moist however not moist.
  • Don’t let weeds encroach on the realm.

The place to Purchase

You might be able to discover transplants and/or seeds at your native backyard heart, in any other case packets of seeds can be found on-line.

A close up vertical image of a packet of 'Reine des Glace' seeds with text to the left of the frame and a hand-drawn illustration to the right.

‘Reine des Glaces’

As an example, you may decide up seeds in one-gram packets at Botanical Pursuits.

Managing Pests and Illness

‘Ice Queen’ is immune to many ailments, together with bacterial leaf spot, attributable to Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians.

It’s fairly uncommon that you simply’ll ever need to don your go well with of armor and go to battle on your sovereign in opposition to pathogens.

Whereas she could also be powerful sufficient to face up to illness, pests generally is a downside. None of us are good, even queens, proper?

All the standard culprits apply right here. Aphids, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, fungus gnats, slugs and snails… oh my!

Much more troublesome are herbivores like rabbits and deer. I used to like seeing slightly bunny with its lengthy fuzzy ears hopping round my backyard. Now I simply see pink.

Our information to lettuce pests may help you establish and take care of any of the frequent marauders listed above.


Child greens are prepared so that you can take pleasure in in about three weeks. Eat these tender outer leaves because the interior head varieties and matures, which is able to take about 65 days.

The plant might be a couple of foot tall and eight inches huge when mature.

To reap leaves, simply snip a couple of off on the base with a pair of scissors.

A close up horizontal image of a hand from the bottom of the frame holding up a head of ice queen lettuce freshly harvested from the garden.
Picture by way of Alamy.

To reap the complete head, seize a pair of clippers and gently elevate up the outer leaves. Find the bottom and clip the pinnacle off as near the bottom as you may.

Alternately, dig down and gently elevate up the plant, roots and all.

The plant will last more in storage within the fridge with the roots hooked up. Simply you should definitely try to knock off as a lot of the soil as you may otherwise you’ll herald a number of filth.

Our information to harvesting lettuce has some useful suggestions that can ship you in your option to salad heaven very quickly.

Recipes and Cooking Concepts

Lettuce has a fairly countless quantity of makes use of, and anyplace that iceberg is helpful, ‘Ice Queen’ is further superior. Salads, sandwiches, the standard.

A close up horizontal image of a freshly harvested head of Ice Queen lettuce set on a white and red dishcloth on a wooden surface.

I like to make use of it to make lettuce wraps, because the leaves are the right measurement and add a crisp, refreshing chew.

Our sister website, Foodal has a flavorful recipe so that you can attempt, made with spicy floor beef, garlic, ginger, and chilis.

Are you a salad lover? I like a basic beet salad with lettuce. As soon as once more, Foodal’s obtained you lined with a tasty rendition wearing a do-it-yourself inexperienced onion French dressing.

This cultivar can be my favourite possibility for making lettuce soup.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Kind: Annual vegetable Tolerance: Snow, freezing temperatures, drought, warmth
Native to: Mediterranean area Upkeep: Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 3-10 Soil Kind: Free, wealthy
Season: Spring, fall, winter Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
Publicity: Full solar Soil Drainage: Properly-draining
Time to Maturity: 65 days Companion Planting: Asparagus, carrots, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, marigolds, nasturtiums
Spacing: 5 inches Keep away from Planting With: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsley
Planting Depth: <1/4 inch (seeds), identical depth as authentic container (seedlings) Order: Asterales
Peak: 12 inches Household: Asteraceae
Unfold: 8 inches Genus: Lactuca
Water Wants: Average Species: Sativa
Frequent Pests and Illnesses: Aphids, caterpillars, crickets, fungus gnats, slugs, snails Cultivar: Reines des Glaces (Ice Queen)

Lengthy Reside the Queen

If I may solely advocate one iceberg, that is the one I’d sing the praises of. It ticks all of the packing containers.

Illness resistant? Test. Flavorful? Test. Fast rising, crisp, heirloom? Test, verify, verify.

A close up horizontal image of an ice queen lettuce growing in the garden almost ready for harvest.
Picture by way of Alamy.

I can’t wait to listen to how you propose to make use of up all of the heads you’ll be rising. Are you a giant salad fan? Can’t get sufficient sandwiches and wraps? Share within the feedback.

For extra lettuce rising info, we have now a couple of guides price trying out. Check out the next subsequent:

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