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7 Radish Plant Growth Stages From Planting to Harvest

Do Radishes grow Fast? Let’s explore radish plant growth stages. 

That is one thing I love about growing radishes! Radish Plant Growth Stages do go very quickly and you can get more than one crop in a growing season. How fast do radishes grow? Radish days to maturity is about 30 days so with radishes, you could end up with a LOT of radishes in early spring and for a fall crop. 

In this post, I will:

  • List and describe the 7 radish plant growth stages
  • Explore the growing conditions a home gardener should know about radishes
  • Prove to you that radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow

Every home gardener who wants to grow radishes should know the radish plant growing stages. Radishes are a root crop so they need a well-drained soil in your vegetable garden. It’s also important to know how many radishes per plant you can grow. The answer is one! One radish per plant so it’s important to make it count. Let’s go into the different life cycle stages of radishes. 

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How many stages does a radish plant go through?

Radish plants go through several distinct growth stages from seed to harvest. Here are the typical stages:

  1. Germination
  2. Seedling
  3. Vegetative growth
  4. Bolting
  5. Flowering
  6. Pod development
  7. Maturity

Understanding these growth stages can help you care for your radish plants and harvest them at the right time for the best flavor and texture. Let’s Dig in to the first growth stage. 


This is the initial stage of growing. As an early stage, the radish seed absorbs water and begins to sprout. A small root emerges first, followed by a shoot that grows upward. The seed germination of radishes begins with the absorption of water by the seed, which activates enzymes and begins the process of sprouting. This root grows downward into the soil, anchoring the seedling and absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Next, the shoot begins to emerge from the seed. The shoot grows upward toward the soil surface. As it grows, it pushes through the soil, eventually breaking through the surface and exposing the cotyledons, or seed leaves, to light. The cotyledons provide energy and nutrients to the seedling until the true leaves emerge and begin photosynthesis. The true leaves are the first leaves produced by the plant after germination and are different in shape from the cotyledons.

Overall, the germination of radishes is a relatively quick process, typically taking 3 to 7 days under optimal conditions. Factors such as the right soil temperature, soil moisture, and seed quality can affect the germination process.

Check out this awesome soil temperature AND Moisture thermometer


In this stage, the young plant continues to grow, developing its first true leaves. The seedling stage lasts until the plant is well-established and starts to produce more radish leaves.

During the seedling stage of radishes, the plant undergoes rapid growth and development as it establishes itself in the soil.

Here are the key characteristics of the seedling stage:

  1. Leaf development: The seedling produces its first set of true leaves, which are distinct from the seed leaves (cotyledons). The true leaves are usually smaller and more defined in shape compared to the cotyledons.
  2. Root development: The radish seedling continues to develop its root system, with the primary root (taproot) growing deeper into the soil and secondary roots branching out to absorb water and nutrients.
  3. Stem elongation: The stem of the radish seedling elongates as it grows, pushing the leaves upward and allowing more light to reach the plant.
  4. Photosynthesis: As the true leaves develop, the seedling begins to rely more on photosynthesis for energy. The leaves contain chlorophyll, which captures sunlight and converts it into energy for the plant.
  5. Vulnerability: Seedlings are more vulnerable to environmental stresses, pests, and diseases than mature plants. It’s important to provide proper care and protection to ensure the seedlings grow healthy and strong.

Overall, the seedling stage is a critical period in the growth of radishes because it sets the foundation for future growth and development. Providing adequate water, sunlight, and nutrients during this stage is essential for healthy plant growth. Radishes don’t need full sun but partial shade with some sun is a good idea.

Vegetative Growth

During this stage, the plant focuses on leaf and root growth. It produces more leaves and develops a strong root system. The plant focuses on leaf and root development to support its overall growth and prepare for reproduction.

Here are the key characteristics of the vegetative growth stage:

  1. Leaf growth: The plant continues to produce new leaves, which increase in size and number. The leaves play a crucial role in photosynthesis, where sunlight is converted into energy for the plant.
  2. Root development: The root system of the radish plant continues to grow and expand, with the primary root (taproot) thickening and producing smaller lateral roots. The roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil to support the plant’s growth.
  3. Stem growth: The stem of the radish plant continues to elongate, providing support for the leaves and allowing them to capture more sunlight for photosynthesis.
  4. Nutrient uptake: The plant actively absorbs nutrients from the soil through its roots, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other essential nutrients. These nutrients are necessary for healthy growth and development.
  5. Water uptake: The plant absorbs water from the soil through its roots, which is essential for maintaining turgor pressure in the cells and transporting nutrients throughout the plant.
  6. Vulnerability: While the plant is more established than during the seedling stage, it is still vulnerable to environmental stresses, pests, and diseases. Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure healthy vegetative growth.

The vegetative growth stage is crucial for radishes, as it establishes the plant’s structure and prepares it for flowering and fruiting. Providing adequate water, sunlight, and nutrients during this stage is essential for healthy plant growth and high yields.


Radishes are a cool-season crop. Therefore, when exposed to high temperatures they may bolt or send up a flower stalk prematurely. Bolting can cause the root to become woody and less palatable.

Bolting in radishes refers to the premature flowering and seeding of the plant. The usual cause is triggered by environmental stress such as high temperatures in the summer heat or long daylight hours. Bolting is a natural response of many plants to stress and is a survival mechanism to ensure the plant’s genetic continuity.

When a radish plant bolts, it redirects its energy from root and leaf growth to flower and seed production. This can result in a rapid elongation of the stem, the development of a flower stalk, and the production of flowers. The flowers are followed by seed pods, which contain the radish seeds.

Bolting in radishes is undesirable for several reasons:

1. It can significantly reduce the quality of the radish roots, as the plant puts less energy into root development. 

2. The roots of bolting radishes may become woody, pithy, or bitter in taste.

3. Additionally, once a radish plant bolts, it typically stops producing new leaves.

To prevent bolting in radishes, it’s important to provide the plants with optimal growing conditions. This includes planting radishes in cool weather, providing adequate water and nutrients, and ensuring they receive the right amount of sunlight. Harvesting radishes promptly when they reach maturity can also help prevent bolting.


If a radish plant bolts, it will produce flowers on a tall stalk. The flowers are typically white or pink.

Flowering in radishes occurs when the plant reaches maturity and is triggered by environmental factors such as temperature and day length. Radishes are cool-season crops and tend to bolt and flower in response to warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours.

When a radish plant flowers, it produces a tall stalk, called a flower stalk or inflorescence, that grows from the center of the plant. The flower stalk is topped with clusters of small white, pink, or purple flowers. These flowers are attractive to pollinators such as bees, which help facilitate the pollination process.

After the Flowers are Pollinated

they develop into seed pods that contain the radish seeds. The seed pods are typically green and elongated, and they eventually dry out and split open to release the seeds.

Flowering in radishes is a natural part of the plant’s life cycle, but it is generally undesirable for culinary purposes. Once a radish plant flowers, the root tends to become woody, pithy, or bitter in taste, making it less desirable for consumption. To prevent flowering in radishes, it’s important to plant them at the right time and provide them with optimal growing conditions. Harvesting radishes promptly when they reach maturity can also help prevent flowering.

When radishes start to flower, it signifies that the plant is shifting its energy from root development to reproduction. Flowering is a natural part of the radish’s life cycle, but it can impact the quality of the root.

Here’s a general overview of what happens during the flowering stage:

  1. Stem elongation: As the radish prepares to flower, the stem elongates, pushing the developing flower buds upward.
  2. Bud development: The flower buds form at the top of the stem and gradually develop into flowers. Radish flowers are typically small and can be white, pink, purple, or lavender in color.
  3. Pollination: Radish flowers are usually self-pollinating, but they can also be pollinated by insects. Pollination is necessary for the flowers to develop into seed pods.
  4. Seed pod formation: After pollination, the flowers develop into seed pods. These pods contain the radish seeds and will eventually dry out and split open to release the seeds.
  5. End of root growth: Once the radish plant begins flowering, its focus shifts away from root growth. The radish root may become woody, pithy, or bitter as it matures, especially if the plant experiences stress during flowering.

Flowering in radishes is a natural process, but for the best-tasting roots, it’s ideal to harvest radishes before they start to flower. If your radishes do start to flower, you can still harvest them, but they may not be as tender or flavorful as radishes harvested before flowering. Let’s talk more about pod development. 

Pod Development

After flowering, some radish varieties produce seed pods. These pods contain seeds that can be saved for planting in future seasons.

Pod formation in radishes occurs after the plant has flowered and been pollinated. Here’s how the process typically unfolds:

  1. Pollination: Radish flowers are typically self-pollinating, but they can also be pollinated by insects. Once pollination occurs, the flower begins to wither and fall off, leaving behind a small swelling at the base of the flower.
  2. Pod development: The swelling at the base of the flower gradually develops into a seed pod. Radish seed pods are elongated and can grow to several centimeters in length. They start out green and gradually turn brown as they mature.
  3. Seed formation: Inside the seed pod, seeds develop from the fertilized ovules. The number of seeds in each pod can vary depending on the radish variety and growing conditions.
  4. Maturation: As the seeds mature, the seed pod dries out and turns brown. Eventually, the pod splits open along its seams, releasing the seeds.
  5. Seed dispersal: Once the pod has split open, the seeds are dispersed. This can happen through various mechanisms, such as wind, animals, or human interference.

Pod formation in radishes marks the end of the plant’s life cycle. Once the seeds have been dispersed, the plant dies back, and the seeds remain dormant until conditions are right for germination.


Radishes are typically ready to harvest 3-4 weeks after planting, depending on the variety. The root crops should be firm and crisp, with a good color.

Maturity in radishes refers to the stage at which the radish roots are fully developed and ready to be harvested. Radishes are typically considered mature and ready for harvest when the roots have reached their full size and are firm and crisp to the touch.

Here’s what you can expect during the maturity stage of radishes:

  1. Root development: The radish roots reach their full size and shape during the maturity stage. Depending on the variety, radishes can range in size from small, round varieties to larger, elongated varieties.
  2. Texture: When radishes are mature, the roots should be firm and crisp, with a smooth skin. The flesh inside should be white and juicy, with a mild, slightly peppery flavor.
  3. Color: The skin of mature radishes can vary in color depending on the variety, ranging from red to pink, purple, white, or black. The color should be vibrant and consistent across the root.
  4. Leaf growth: As radishes mature, the leaves may start to yellow and wilt. This is a natural part of the plant’s life cycle as it redirects its energy from leaf growth to seed production.
  5. Harvest time: Radishes are best harvested when they reach maturity, as they can become pithy or woody if left in the ground too long. Harvesting at the right time ensures the best flavor and texture.
  6. Seed production: If left to mature further, radish plants will produce seed pods after flowering. These pods contain the radish seeds and can be harvested for seed saving.

It’s important to harvest radishes promptly when they reach maturity to ensure the best quality roots. Radishes that are left in the ground too long can become tough and lose their crisp texture and flavor. 

radish plant growth stages

Do Radishes Fit In Your Garden Bed?

Overall, a radish crop is a tasty and quick option for a root vegetable in your garden. Radish plant growth stages from young seedlings to radish greens to a healthy radish underneath happens fairly quickly compared to other vegetables you might be interested in growing. 

As a cool season vegetable, check your climate zone to see if radish plant growth stages will thrive in your area. Hot weather will result in a poor crop that bolts too soon and no one wants that. Plant early in the season or late summer for a fall crop. Try out different radish varieties like Cherry Belle or the White and Purple varieties. Check your seed packet for planting instructions, soil type and partial or too much shade. Loose soil is always key to radish plant growth stages. 

I hope this post has helped you feel more comfortable with growing great radishes in your home garden.

~Happy Gardening!~