Growing Florence Fennel, also Finocchio

foeniculum vulgare dulce : Apiaceae / the umbelliferae family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • 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

Your comments and tips

29 Jan 11, Tracey (Australia - temperate climate)
Ingrid, I don't know if any of the big seed companies like Yates sell them. I order my fennel seeds from the Italian Gardener. I have also bought seeds from Digger Club in the past (but the quality of the bulbs wasn't as good as the italian ones). Most of the mail-order companies carry them - Cornucopia, Eden Seeds and New Gippsland Seeds are a few. A quick google will take you to their websites. Hope this helps
09 Feb 11, Geoff Hudson (Australia - temperate climate)
The Italian Gardener has organic (Montebianco) and conventional (bianco perfezione) fennel seeds.
28 Jan 11, Ianessa (Australia - temperate climate)
Ingrid you can get Florence Fennel from Diggers, they have mail order.
07 Mar 11, Katie (Australia - temperate climate)
I read that fennel is a good companion plant for citrus to help prevent gaul wasp infestation. Can I plant florence fennel or is the "vulgare" variety the best for this?
12 Mar 11, Simon Grove (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I had a good crop of Florence fennel (swollen bases) in its first spring in my Tas garden, but then left the residual roots and stems to grow over the summer, which they have done flourishingly (I removed the flowerheads before they seed). Is it feasible to get another crop in subsequent springs if I cut these plants right back now - or will these older plants not redevelop those swollen bases next time around?
14 Mar 11, Ray South (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I doubt that the you'll get a second crop of swollen bases but you can eat the new spring shoots in the same way.
22 Mar 11, Erin (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Ingrid, I also live in Monbulk. I got my seed through Diggers as i heard that most of the local nurseries are prohibited from selling Florence fennel as it is considered an invasive weed up here. They sell bronze fennel, but it is non-bulbing and only good for foliage and seed. Good luck!
03 Apr 11, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone know where Fennel seedlings can be purchased around inner city Melbourne?
05 Dec 11, Karen McGregor (Australia - temperate climate)
My fennel seems to be making more frondy vegetation and the bulbs don't seem to be growing.What am I doing wrong? My soil is good and I feed my plants with worm tea.
11 Feb 12, peter (Australia - temperate climate)
I think you should be sowing seed late summer for picking in June / July
Showing 11 - 20 of 60 comments

Hello, I live in Edmonton. At our community garden, we are trying to grow Florence Fennel. The plant is healthy, with fronds a metre high, but it is not forming a bulb. The root is ten centimetres long. If we cover it to get over the early threat of frost, which is often a risk in early September, we may get warm and sunny days trough to October. Is there anything we can do encourage the plant to form a bulb? Thank you for taking our question. Morris

- Morris Lemire

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