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

31 Aug 07, Ellen (Unknown climate)
Hi, I grew witloof two years ago in NZ cold/mountain climate with quite a success. I sew the seeds in spring and up rooted them in autumn to go into the dark. I got my seeds from KingSeeds and have another go this year. Brilliant website though, just what I was looking for. Thank you very much for setting it up. Keep up the good work. Cheers Ellen
14 Sep 07, yvan garcia (Unknown climate)
i would like to grow witloof chicory i live in qld australia but i do not know how can you help? thankyou yvan
07 Jun 21, Wendy Stone (Australia - tropical climate)
Yeah I just bought seedlings from Coles.. Now is the time to plant Yvan. All the best Wendy
11 Sep 12, piero carrarq (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
where can I get witloof seeds in za - jhb - your help would be much appreciated.
04 Oct 12, Catharina Claessens (Australia - temperate climate)
I am from belgium and this is one of the very few things i miss from that cold country! In my 5years here i've only found it once, just a random addition to the regular veggies at woolies one week, but sadly never again. Does anyone know where i could buy over here (or seeds and try and grow it i suppose, although thats a lot of hassle in this case i reckon)? And my suggestion is definitely in the oven with ham and lots of cheese ;)
04 Oct 12, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Our local Coles had it for the last 3 months, but I think it's out of season now. Maybe try them instead of Woolies? Eden Seeds had seed
20 Jul 19, marcel Launay (Australia - temperate climate)
i live Kingston SE of SA where i could find chicory witloff seed pls ,,
12 Dec 12, Reinout (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi Piero, I brought some witlof seeds from holland two years back. Don't mind sharing. I'm in Wesdene, JHB.
15 Dec 12, Carol (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How about roots
22 Jan 13, (Australia - arid climate)
On lineThe Italian Gardener
Showing 1 - 10 of 65 comments

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