Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lettuce, Loose Leaf Lettuce
Lactuca sativa 'Red Sails'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lactuca (lak-TOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: sativa (sa-TEE-vuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Sails

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One vendor has this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Days to Maturity:
Early (55-68 days)

Grown for foliage

Seed Type:
Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Jan_FL_zone8 On Apr 11, 2011, Jan_FL_zone8 from Lady Lake, FL wrote:

Zone 8, raised bed, 80 degree heat - could not compare to "New Red Fire" for color, substance, productivity, or heat resistance.

Positive vossner On Apr 4, 2010, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

For the first time in winter 2009 I grew in a container just for fun. Very satisfying to eat homegrown lettuce in salads/sandwiches.

Positive DAKOTA31400 On Mar 4, 2010, DAKOTA31400 from Petersburg, ND (Zone 3a) wrote:

Easy to grow, Container friendly.

Positive crwilley On Jul 18, 2008, crwilley from Pittsfield Township, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

A beautiful plant - good color in the salad bowl! Grew like a dream.

Positive nolabug On Apr 22, 2008, nolabug from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This was the best tasting, most prolific, most beautiful lettuce in my first salad garden. It is hard to find a lettuce that grows reliably in my climate (Zone 9) without bolting. This one is a real find. Very tasty, as well. I had more salads than could be eaten from November until February.

Positive CurtisJones On Feb 11, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests:

This fancy buttery lettuce with ruffled burgundy-tinged leaves is a salad lover?s dream. 1985 All America Winner with a long harvest period. Red Sails lettuce grows mature leaves in just over six weeks and is very heat resistant. The soft buttery leaves will grow for quite some time in warm weather without getting bitter or bolting. A good choice for a colorful salad with only one variety! Try growing its deep burgundy to bronze leaves in containers for a beautiful edible ornamental. This packet plants? Five 8 foot rows or five successive plantings of 8 foot rows. When to start outside: RECOMMENDED. Early spring, 3 to 4 weeks before average last frost, and successive plantings thereafter every 3 weeks until 2 weeks before the first fall frost. (Skip very hot summers.) USDA zone 8 or warmer: sow in fall for winter harvest. When to start inside: 6 weeks before average last frost and in summer when soil temperatures are too warm outside to germinate lettuce seed."

Neutral Farmerdill On Jun 11, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A bronze red oakleaf type.

Positive Lettuceman On Dec 23, 2004, Lettuceman from Dayton, WA wrote:

This very popular variety is also one of my favorites. It's a great "all weather" lettuce, and I grow it from early Spring, through the heat of Summer and as late into the Fall as possible.

Neutral smiln32 On Oct 28, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Leaf lettuce variety and has fringed leaves variegated with green and maroon. It is one of the easiest and most reliable varieties to grow.

Sow seeds in early spring and again after the very hot days of summer are over. In cooler climates, you can make 2 to 3 spring plantings, timed 2 weeks apart.

To harvest, pull the whole plant or just snap off the outer leaves.

Positive Horseshoe On Jan 14, 2003, Horseshoe from Efland, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I totally agree with Lupinelover...excellent lettuce plant, both in growth habit and taste. Can't imagine a year in the garden w/out it. Great also as an ornamental if you let it bolt!

Positive lupinelover On Jan 13, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

A leaf-type lettuce, this variety has much better flavor than most ornamental varieties. Very high Vitamin A and C content. 45 days from seed.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mountain View, California
Redwood City, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Miami, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Lexington, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Troy, New York
Vinton, Ohio
Richmond, Texas
Dayton, Washington
Black Earth, Wisconsin

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