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BETA vulgaris 'Detroit Dark Red'

Image of Beta vulgaris 'Detroit Dark Red'

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

BETA vulgaris 'Detroit Dark Red'

Plant Common Name

Beet, Detroit Dark Red Beet

General Description

Beets are wonderfully colorful root vegetables. Standard red-rooted forms, like ‘Detroit Dark Red’, have rich red roots with brilliant magenta juice that stains everything. This fine selection produces firm, round, sweet roots quickly and early in the season (60-harvest days).

Usually grown as annuals, beets are actually biennials, which means they generate large roots and lush foliage in the first year and flower, set seed and die in the second. The flowers are unimpressive but produce lots of seed that can be saved from year to year. Beets originate from Europe where they have been cultivated for hundreds of years.

This is a cool season vegetable that can be grown in two seasonal cycles, if the growing season is four or more months long. For a spring harvest, sow seeds in the garden in early spring, thin them so they are approximately five-inches apart and harvest in early summer. For a fall harvest, sow seeds in late summer and harvest roots before the first frost of autumn.

Grow beets in full sun and fertile, friable garden soil. It is best to berm up the soil where they are grown to ensure the roots have lots of loose, well-drained soil. They require regular water and light fertilization. The seeds germinate more quickly if soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before planting.

Beets are especially popular in Northern European and Russian cooking because they grow best in cooler northern regions. They taste great pickled, roasted, sautéed or added to soups, like borscht, and salads. Beet leaves can also be cooked and eaten as a green.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Red, Green

  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing