Lettuce, Loose Leaf Lettuce 'Red Sails'

Lactuca sativa

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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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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Reedsville, West Virginia

Black Earth, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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

Easy to grow, Container friendly.


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.


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.


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 f... read more


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

A bronze red oakleaf type.


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.


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.


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!


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.