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 = 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
  • A fennel seedling
  • 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

01 Oct 20, Anita (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Have you found Florence fennel seeds, ??I could spare some, I grow this Jummy veg over the winter months in northland, cheers anita
22 Aug 20, Phil Jones (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, Can anyone tell we where to buy the Florence Fennel plants or seeds please? I live in Wellington. Thanks.
06 Oct 20, Penelope Bedggood (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Phil. I may be a bit late but if you're still after fennel seeds I have a bunch I can post to you.
24 Aug 20, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Check internet seed selling companies.
12 Jul 20, EG (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I started a shoot from a store-bought fennel. It's about 3" high. When can I plant this? From your chart it seems like only March? Thanks!
05 Apr 20, Joan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Have lots of this growing wild on my place. The only recipe we tried with the bulb was a stir fry but we got put off because the flavor was too strong. Are there recipes to take the strong taste off it!? Thanks.
08 Jul 20, Frances (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I recommended sauteeing or roasting it slowly in butter or olive oil with a dash of balsamic vinegar - this caramelises it and makes it taste sweeter. You can add a dash of brown sugar too.
06 Apr 20, anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try looking on the internet - Google it.
12 Dec 17, Ilka Howell (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What happens if you plant fennel with beans? I didn't know they shouldn't be grown together and have planted them in a large garden bed together. They are not right next to each other, have lettuce and radishes separating so approx 1m apart. Will they grow ok?
13 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
From Houzz Fennel is allelopathic to most garden plants, inhibiting growth, causing to bolt, or actually killing many plants. Like black walnut or elder, it produces some chemical or other which does bad things to its neighbours. Although it causes coriander to bolt, the coriander does help to prevent fennel from becoming too much of a weed. It depends which one you want to sacrifice, I guess! It will cross-pollinate with dill, resulting in a horrible-tasting plant. I think fennel will be OK if grown in a pot, but you'll need to be vigilant to stop it from going to seed (a pity if you want those seeds!) - those seeds can travel far and wide, making it a very invasive plant indeed.
Showing 1 - 10 of 57 comments

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

- jaye

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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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