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Why Is My Romaine Lettuce Growing Tall

A new gardener always has the question, “Why is my romaine lettuce growing tall?” So if you notice that the lettuce on your plant is growing taller instead of wider, this article is for you.

In this article, we’ve discussed several reasons for romaine lettuce to grow tall. The article also contains some tricks which will help in preventing the lettuce from growing tall.

Let’s get right to it!

Why Is My Romaine Lettuce Growing Tall
My romaine lettuce is getting tall! – via Reddit

Reasons For The Romaine Lettuce To Grow Tall


Lettuce is usually made for cool weather. Romaine lettuce is no exception to this trend. So if you see your lettuce suddenly getting tall and beginning to flower, it is probably happening in the summers.

Bolting is something that happens to herbs and vegetables as well. This is more common in lettuce due to its liking for cool weather. If you’ve ever noticed the pot of broccoli from the store get a little too tall, you’ve seen bolting at play.

Bolting happens when the plants start to mature and can be sped up due to the plant’s environmental conditions. When it’s mainly sunny outside, bolting will start happening faster. Even if the weather is often changing, plants can trigger bolting.

How To Stop Your Romaine Lettuce From Bolting

There are several things you can do to ensure that your romaine lettuce doesn’t bolt. One thing that can be done is that you can plant your romaine lettuce in an area where there is no direct sunlight. A lot of the sun can cause bolting to happen faster.

Limiting exposure to light also helps in preventing bolting. Another solution to bolting is to time the hot weather around the plant. For example, if you plant in late summers, you will directly skip most of the hot weather. This gives you a better chance at avoiding the heat and bolting.

Can You Eat Your Lettuce When It Is Bolting?

Nutritionally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with eating bolting lettuce, but you may not want to eat it yourself. Whether or not you want to eat the lettuce depends on how much bolting has already happened with it.

Bolting causes the lettuce leaves to be bitter. If you identify bolting early, you can harvest the leaves and use them for whatever reason you want to. However, if you see bolting happening, start removing those leaves right away to preserve some of them.

If the lettuce has gone bitter, you can collect its seeds from resuming planting in the next season. You can also alternatively remove everything but the roots of the plant. This will make it grow back when the environmental conditions are optimal.

If you have the question of why is my romaine lettuce growing tall, there is only one answer for it, and that answer is bolting.

Watering Your Plants Regularly

Why Is My Romaine Lettuce Growing Tall 2
Romaine lettuce plant flowering. About 2.5’ tall. – via Reddit

If you want to keep your plant from bolting, you should water it regularly. First, watering helps keep the plant cool. In warmer conditions, the plant will need much more water than it usually does. If the soil starts getting hot, the probability of bolting will increase massively.

Moreover, watering the plants also makes the growing leaves succulent. These new leaves are unlikely to fall off from the plant, which is expected during the summer.

Soaking Your Soil For a Few Days Before Sowing

If you happen to be planting in the summer months, it is a good practice to soak the soil in water before sowing your seed in it. This will help increase the moisture level for the soil and will keep it very cool.

It would be best if you also cover the soil with a layer that is wide enough to cover it in its entirety and prevent it from drying up. This is something you might want to keep doing if the soil is arid and hot. 

Repeatedly doing this for two to three days makes the soil much cooler. This makes the condition for planting your seed optimal for growing the plant. After three days, you can begin planting your romaine lettuce seeds and start watering them to keep them cool.

You can even keep the pot covered to conserve moisture. Once the seeds start sprouting, then you can remove the covering from the pot.

Length Of The Day

Another factor that affects the growth of the lettuce is how many hours of sunlight it’s getting in one day. If the length of the day that the plant is used to is suddenly changed, the plant will start bolting.

Plants grow best if they are grown in a consistent environment. If there are sudden changes in the environment around the plant, the growth of the plant might be hindered, and it may suffer.

If your romaine lettuce is getting too much sunlight in a day, that is also detrimental to the plant’s health.

Extreme Temperatures

Romaine lettuce doesn’t prefer extreme temperatures to grow in. If the weather is too cold, there will not be adequate sunlight provided to the plant, which will affect its growth. If the plant is kept in extreme heat, that would also affect its growth as it usually is used to cooler weather.

If you time your planting right, it can help you avoid the extreme times throughout the year.

Does The Container Matter?

If you still have the question of why is my romaine lettuce growing tall, it might just be the container you have put it in. The plant needs some room to grow its roots. If the container is too small, the roots of the plant will not be allowed to grow as much as they want to, which will affect the growth of the plant.


Romaine lettuce starts bolting due to a number of different reasons. Some of the reasons were explained in this article, and some remedies for these were also explored.

If you had the question of why is my romaine lettuce growing tall, I hope it is answered now.

Best of luck!