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Growing Florence Fennel, also Finocchio

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S T P              

(Best months for growing Florence Fennel in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings. P = Plant in the garden.

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: Thin to 6 inches
  • Harvest in 14-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Lettuce, Chicory, Cucumber, peas, sage
  • Avoid growing close to: Beans, tomatoes
  • A fennel seedling
    A fennel seedling
  • Ready to use
    Ready to use

This is a perennial grown as an annual as the stems become more fibrous with age. Both seeds and leaves have a mild aniseed flavour. With its feathery leaves it makes a good background plant in a border. Grows to approx 1.5m (5ft) Can be repeat sown throughout the year or left to self seed.

Fennel prefers well-drained fertile soil.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Florence Fennel

The swollen base of the stem is used.

Slice and steam/stir-fry the bulb, or use raw/grated in salads. Can be cooked and served with sauces or butter.

Your comments and tips

11 Apr 17, Wayne Grant (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted a fennel seed from a dried herb packet i bought from an organic store. What variety if fennel do they typically sell as a herb?
13 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It could be any variety of fennel and chances are it is imported. I suggest you keep growing it and if you like the end result save some seed for next seasons planting.
08 Apr 16, jaye (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I live in Kingston Jamaica in the area where temperature at this time is 85 degrees. Can fennel seeds grow in this area under a shade cloth
10 Sep 15, Tracy Stanley (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello all, I have havested some fennel but have left the actual root in the ground and now I seem to have baby fennel growing again - from these roots. Does anyone know if I can leave the roots in the ground to keep sprouting? Much easier, if so, as I dont need to bother about tender seedlings. Cheers, Tracy
12 Sep 15, Tiffany (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Tracy, I've had fennel growing from roots left in a large pot a for the past couple of years - just because I hadn't bothered doing anything with them. They don't seem to grow as bulbous like this, and tend to bolt quickly, which is great for the insects. I have eaten a few baby bulbs from it too. :)
21 Sep 15, Tracy Stanley (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Tiffany, Thanks for the reply - I might just leave a couple and see... Cheers, Tracy
10 Apr 15, Chali (Australia - temperate climate)
Goodmorning, could you please tel me the best time to grow fennel in temperate climates. Thankyou (Check under the plant name for Temperate zone - Liz)
02 Aug 14, nokwanda (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
I grew fennel last year in east london. It did very well but I didn't understand how and when to harvest it for some time. It almost overwhelmed me. I would rather have it as an annual in future.
06 Apr 14, Maddison (Australia - temperate climate)
What are the types of pest that attack fennel ????
11 Jul 13, Isy Mc Donald (Australia - tropical climate)
I was given 4 seedlings and planted them about April they are growing well but I was unsure when they would be ready for use, looking at the picture they must still have a way to go as they are all feathery top ( I mistakenly thought the bulb would be underground like a carrot) and no sign of root. We have been have 6-11C degrees mornings here for the last 3 weeks or so and unually drizzely days (2-10mls)
Showing 1 - 10 of 41 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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