Fennel Plant

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is usually classified as both an herb and a vegetable and it are often utilized in some ways within the kitchen. It’s also a well-liked plant among herbalists and has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy, most ordinarily for digestive problems.

Fennel features a wonderful anise flavor that works well in both savory and sweet recipes. It’s a well-liked ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. The bulbs are commonly roasted or grilled or added, raw, to salads, and therefore the feathery fronds are often added to salads and soups to impart a more delicate fennel flavor.

There are two sorts of fennel that you simply might want to grow in your garden, counting on how you propose to use it. “Florence Fennel” (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum) is employed more sort of a vegetable and is grown for its bulbous stem. “Herb fennel” doesn’t produce much of a bulb, and it’s typically grown for its foliage and used as an herb.

Botanical NameFoeniculum  vulgare
Common NamesFennel, common fennel, sweet fennel
Plant TypePerennial herb
Mature Size4 to 6 feet tall; 18- to 36-inch spread
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeRich, moist, well-drained soil
Soil pH5.5 to 6.8 (acidic)
Bloom TimeEarly summer
Flower ColorYellow
Hardiness Zones4 to 9 (USDA)
Native AreaMediterranean

Landscape Uses

Fennel is typically grown as an edible herb within the food garden, but it is also utilized in meadow or cottage gardens as a border plant. The feathery, yellow-green foliage and tall stature are attractive in informal landscapes. it’s also an honest choice for butterfly gardens, as swallowtail caterpillars use it as a food source and pupal site.

How to Grow Fennel

Easy-to-grow fennel should be grown fully sun, in fertile, well-drained soil. It shouldn’t be planted within the same area as dill or coriander because the plant may cross-pollinate easily—seed production are going to be reduced. Fennel self-sows easily, so it’s likely that if you plant it once, you’ll see fennel shooting up in your garden each spring thereafter.

Fennel may be a perennial but is grown as an annual in northern climates. Treat it as an annual if winter temperatures in your area regularly fall below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fennel can get older to five feet tall, counting on which variety you’re growing. make certain to require its eventual size under consideration at planting time so it doesn’t shade the remainder of your vegetables. Also, it can inhibit the expansion of tomatoes and beans, so avoid planting them near either of these crops.

Fennel rarely suffers from any serious problems. Aphids can sometimes be a problem which may be treated by spraying with water to dislodge them. Avoid any quite pesticides or oils on edible herbs.

Growing From Seeds

You can direct sow fennel seeds in your garden near your last spring frost date. Seeds should be planted 10 to 12 inches apart and can germinate in 8 to 12 days. you’ll also sow the seeds indoors, under lights, about four weeks before your last frost date, then harden them off and transplant them into your garden.

Growing in Containers

You can also easily grow fennel in containers. Just make certain to plant in containers that are a minimum of 10 inches deep.


This plant prefers full sunlight. Shady conditions will make it leggy and floppy.


Plant fennel in moist, fertile, well-drained soil. It prefers acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.8).


Water deeply and frequently, but don’t overwater or the plants will rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Fennel does well altogether climate conditions over its hardiness range, zones 4 to 9.


Fennel doesn’t get to be fertilized during the season.


You can harvest fennel leaves as required for fresh use. The seeds are often harvested when ripe, in late summer or early fall. the simplest thanks to harvest fennel seeds are to shake the seed heads over a sheet or tarp to gather the seeds. Let the seeds dry well before storing them incool, dark place.

Florence fennel are often harvested as soon because the base of the stem becomes swollen. Pull plants up as required , and harvest any that are left within the ground at the top of the season before the primary fall frost.

Propagating Fennel

Fennel features a long taproot and thus doesn’t divide very easily. the higher method is to propagate by seeds. Seed heads are often collected and planted within the garden the subsequent spring.

Varieties of Fennel

Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum) is that the type to grow if you would like to reap the bulbous stems to use as a vegetable. The leaves and seeds of this variety also are edible, so you get three uses in one plant. There are several cultivars of this variety:

  • ‘Solaris’ produces large semi-flat bulbs that are immune to bolting.
  • ‘Zefa fino’ is prepared for harvest in 80 days, bolt resistant, and really large.
  • ‘Orion’ is prepared to reap in 80 days and has large, thick, rounded bulbs with a crisp texture.

Herb fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is that the type to plant if you’ll use the plant strictly as an herb. There are two common varieties:


  • Grow cabbage in soil rich in organic matter that’s well-drained. Prepare the planting beds before planting by covering beds with 2 to three inches (5-7cm) of aged compost or commercial organic planting mix and turning it under 12 inches (30cm) deep.
  • Cabbage grows best where the soil pH is between 6.5 and 6.8.
  • If clubroot disease has been a drag, adjust the soil pH to 7.0 or slightly higher by adding lime.
  • Add much well-aged compost to planting beds before planting. In regions where the soil is sandy or where there’s heavy rain, supplement the soil with nitrogen.
  • Adding a moderate amount of nitrogen-rich feed or cottonseed meal to the soil before planting will enhance leafy growth.
  • Cabbage seedlings growing in spring

How to Grow Cabbage: Start seeds indoors 4 to six weeks before the last frost in spring. Sow seed outdoors when the soil are often worked in spring.


  • Cabbage grows best in regions where there’s an extended , cool season with temperatures between 45° and 75°F (7-24°C).
  • Cabbage can tolerate frost and briefly temperatures as low as 20°F (-6.70°C).
  • Cabbage will bolt and attend seed in temperatures greater than 80°F (26°C).
  • Start seeds indoors 4 to six weeks before the last frost in spring.
  • Sow seed outdoors when the soil are often worked in spring.
  • Place transplants within the garden once they are 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm) tall as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring.
  • In cool-summer regions, plant cabbage in late spring for a fall harvest.
  • In mild-winter regions, start seed in late summer—about 6 to eight weeks before the primary frost–for a winter or spring harvest.
  • Cabbage involves harvest in 80 to 180 days from seed and in 60 to 105 days from transplants depending upon the variability .
  • Spring cabbage starting tips: Plant Spring Cabbage in Fall.Cabbage planting in spring

Transplant cabbage to the garden when plants are 4 to six weeks old with 4 to five true leaves. These seedlings are shielded from birds and cutworms.


  • Sow cabbage seeds a ½ inch deep spaced 1 inch (2.5cm) apart; thin plants to 18 to 24 inches (45-61cm) apart.
  • Transplant cabbage to the garden when plants are 4 to six weeks old with 4 to five true leaves.
  • Set leggy or crooked stemmed plants deeply; you’ll bury 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5cm) of the most stem even up to only below the highest two sets of leaves.
  • Space seedlings 18 to 24 inches (45-61cm) apart in rows 24 to 36 inches (61-91cm) apart. you’ll space plants closer but the heads are going to be smaller at maturity.
  • In early spring plant cabbage through black plastic or garden fabric set in situ to warm the soil. Cut an x within the fabric to line out transplants.
  • Plant succession crops every fortnight or plant seeds and transplants at an equivalent time or plant early and midseason varieties at an equivalent time in order that they are available to reap at different times.
  • Plant 4 to eight cabbage plants for every household member.


  • A cabbage will grow easily during a container a minimum of 8 inches (20cm) deep and wide.
  • In large containers grow cabbage on 12-inch (30cm)centers.
  • Keep the soil evenly moist, don’t let the soil go dry, and don’t overwater.
  • Feed cabbage growing in containers with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion every fortnight.


  • Cabbage requires regular, even watering. Uneven watering pot end in stunted or cracked heads. Give cabbage 1 to 1½ inches of water every week; 1 inch equals 16 gallons (60.5 liters).
  • As plants reach maturity, crop on watering to avoid splitting heads.
  • Fertilize cabbage at midseason when plants are established with a high nitrogen fertilizer like 10-5-5 or feed plants a dilute solution of fish emulsion every fortnight .


  • Grow cabbage with beets, celery, fragrant herbs, onions, potatoes; avoid pole beans, strawberries, tomatoes.


  • Mulch around cabbage—especially in warm weather—to preserve soil moisture and keep the soil cool in warm weather.
  • Cabbage heads will split once they grow too fast and take up an excessive amount of water.
  • To prevent this damage, twist heads 1 / 4 address separate some roots and interrupt water uptake every week beforehand of harvest.
  • If heads are small at harvest, add nitrogen to the soil next season and plant earlier.


  • Cabbage are often attacked by cutworms, cabbage loopers (preceded by small yellow and white moths), imported cabbage worms, cabbage root maggots, slugs, and aphids.
  • Place a protective collar around young plants to exclude cutworms.
  • Handpick loopers and worms and destroy them or spray with insecticidal soap or Bacillus thuringiensis.
  • Cabbage maggots are the larvae of a fly. Plant radishes near cabbages to repel the flies. Place row covers over seedlings or plant through the garden fabric to stay flies from laying eggs within the soil. Mound diatomite or hot pepper around stems if maggots are within the soil.
  • Cabbage must be shielded from pest insect

Cabbage looper and other insects will damage heads


  • Black rot, also called blackleg, clubroot, and yellows are fungal diseases that may attack cabbage
  • Blackleg leaves yellow, V-shaped lesions on leaf edges. Plants with clubroot wilt and appearance stunted; there’ll be galls on the roots. Cabbage yellows are marked by the yellowing of lower leaves.
  • To avoid fungal diseases plant disease-resistant varieties or seeds that are predicament treated. Plant in well-drained soil. Water with compost tea.
  • Remove and destroy diseased plants immediately.
  • Rotate crops on a three-year cycle.
  • More tips: Cabbage Growing Problems: Troubleshooting.Cabbage in winter

Cabbage for fall or winter harvest can sit under a blanket of snow without harm.

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