Growing Chicory, also Witloof, Belgian endive

Cichorium intybus : Asteraceae / the daisy family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 25 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 16-24 weeks. Will need forcing before final harvest.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots, onions, Florence fennel, tomatoes.
  • Forced (blanched) witloof

Prepare to store for forcing at around 4 - 5 months. The second stage, blanching will take 8 - 12 weeks.

To Blanch: Lift the plants and cut off the leaves about 5 cm (2 in) above the roots. Shorten the roots to about 20 - 25cm (8 - 10 in) and replant close together (3 - 5 cm apart)in a pot filled with loose soil. Keep damp but not soggy.

Cover to exclude light and keep out of the sunlight, but not below 10 °C (50 °F)

Exclude light until you use the witloof, if it goes green it will be bitter.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chicory

Good in salads.
Grill lightly with butter.
Bake with ham and cheese.

Your comments and tips

09 Oct 23, Annemieke Tempelaars (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Where can I buy the seeds? To grow witlof myself can I buy that on line, I'm in Invercargill NZ
29 Aug 23, Perya Short (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can anyonenadvise please where I can buy chicory seeds in the Wellington region? Or links to sites that sell online in NZ?
06 Sep 23, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Google seed selling companies.
20 Dec 21, Hans zwets (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Where in the western cape can I buy witlof .?
21 Sep 22, Bee-Pie (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Seeds for Africa and sell seeds.
09 Mar 22, Marius (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I bought mine online from Living seeds ( They are in Henley-on-Klip, Gauteng.
04 Jan 22, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Google where to buy it.
08 Jul 21, Ria De Wild (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live in Papatoetoe and have been to many supermarkets to look for Witlof , Nobody knows where to buy it please help me
01 Aug 21, Wendy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The Dutch market in Cambridge sells it. They are a monthly market, though don't always have endive.
21 Jul 21, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Seed selling companies on the internet.
Showing 1 - 10 of 65 comments

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