The Complete Guide to Plant, Care, and Harvest

The herb fennel has a long history and a multitude of uses including culinary and medicinal ones. Nowadays, most people use fennel in the kitchen for their unique fennel or licorice-like taste.

But many people pass over the growing herb fennel because they have no idea how to use it, instead the more familiar bulb is an option to grow fennel.

It’s a shame, because the herb fennel is a real star in the kitchen. Here’s how to get started with it.

Herb fennel vs Vegetable fennel

Phenyl is known for its role in Italian cooking. It is high in fiber, low in calories, and is rich in healthy nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.

But do not confuse herb fennel (Finnicul Vulgare), Sometimes called mango fennel with vegetable (Finnicul Vulgare var. Dulche) Belongs to.

Here’s a little bit about the differences:

Herb fennel

Mango fennel has an anise-like taste with feathery leaves and strong seeds.

The leaves have a delicious taste that combines well with fish and eggs. The seeds are somewhat spicier and stronger, but with a similar flavor.

Plants have very small bulbs, if any, and have leafy top growth.

Popular herb fennel cultivation for growing in the home garden includes:

  • Sweet fennel: This is the standard herb fennel that you can grow for fresh or dry leaves.
  • ‘Rubrum’: This fennel type has bronze leaves which stand out. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant, although it is edible.
  • ‘Purpuram’: This variety grows dark red bronze, and is also a decorative and edible fennel plant.

Bulb fennel

Sometimes called Florence fennel, this variety produces crisp, celery-like bulbs with a strong anise flavor with aromatic leaves and seeds. It is used as a vegetable in dishes.

While the leaves and seeds are edible, they are slightly milky compared to the herb fennel. Plant bulbs have a more sweet taste than leaves.

These plants have large bulbs and thin leaves.

Some popular bulb fennel farming include:

  • ‘Rondo’: This variety produces early maturing round bulbs.
  • ‘James’: Here is a vigorous variety that resists bolting more than other types.
  • ‘Cantino’: This is a slow-moving variety that you can plant early in the spring.

Planting herb fennel in your garden

Those who live in the USDA growing 6-10 may develop common fennel as a perennial or biennial. It is not able to withstand a hard frost, so most gardeners in North America grow it annually.

When to apply fennel

The best time to plant fennel is in the spring as the soil is warm enough to work. Fennel is a cool-season crop, so if you don’t plant it during the spring, you can also plant it for the fall crop at the end of summer.

Just try not to grow it in summer or when a harsh frost is expected.

Where to grow fennel

This herb grows in a place with full sunlight. The plant needs to receive at least six hours of direct sun each day.

Fennel plants grow up to five feet, depending on which way you grow. When you choose a location, make sure that you keep in mind the final shape of this plant.

When you reach full maturity you do not want to cast too much shade on other plants.

Perfect soil for growing soil

The herb fennel is happiest when it grows in soil rich in organic matter and on the acidic side. It is best to modify the dirt with compost to ensure that the plants have access to all important nutrients while improving soil drainage.

These plants tolerate an acidic pH level as low as 5.5. Before messing with the pH range, make sure you test the soil with a pH meter or send-away kit from your local county extension office.

If you need to make your soil more acidic, there are some modifications to consider:

  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Element sulfate
  • Nitrogenous fertilizer

Planting seed

Seeds are the easiest way to sow fennel; Plants can be divided, but since fennel has long tapotes, it prefers not to move or split. Seeds have the best results.

Before planting, be sure to soak your fennel seeds for 24–48 hours. Soaking the seeds gives the best germination rate possible.

Fennel seeds are small, so plant in a thin ditch and keep the area moist until the seeds germinate. Once sprouted are a few inches long, thinning the plants 12–18 inches apart.

Can you grow fennel in containers?

Growing herbs in containers is possible to succeed on fennel, but tapotes are up to a foot long, so you need a deep pot.

In addition, this plant does not like dry soil, and pots tend to dry faster than in ground gardens. You have to watch your soil and water moisture again and again.

Fennel plant care

Once you are growing your herb fennel plants in your garden, it is easy to take care of these plants. The most important part is watering them.

Here is what you need to know.

Water your plants

The soil around your fennel plants needs to be constantly moist. Check the dirt regularly by sticking your finger in it. If it is one inch below, then it is time to water. If it is still moist, wait until the next day for water or check it later in the day.

In general, fennel requires at least one inch of water per week. If the weather is hot, make sure to have more water to avoid dry soil.

Feed your plants regularly

Evidence suggests that regular feeding with nitrogen-heavy fertilizer will produce excess leaf.

Try feeding your fennel plants with water-soluble plant food. Another option is mixing slow-release fertilizer into the soil, releasing nutrients slowly throughout the growing season.

Country around your plants

Multani helps to retain soil moisture around its plants. Remember, the soil cannot dry around fennel plants. This helps prevent the growth of weeds around your plants that compete for nutrients in the soil.

Pinch flowers

When the flowers begin to appear, you can pinch them to prevent them from going from seed to plant. If your goal is to just cut leaves, then pinching is a good idea.

If you want it for flowers and seeds, don’t pinch it. Once the seed head starts turning brown, you can harvest the seed.

Fennel companion plants

Unfortunately, fennel has no friend. Most annual herbs do not like growing near fennel, so this is best in itself.

Fennel also inhibits the growth of other plants, especially coriander and caraway. Dill and fennel cross-pollinate, so keep them separate.

Fennel pests and diseases

Fennel does not have too many pests, but there may be some problems when fennel grows in your garden.


Aphids are small, soft-type insects that stick to the leaves and trunks of plants. Minor violations rarely cause problems, but serious infections give rise to issues.

See our guide about aphids and how to get rid of aphids in your garden.

Army bug

Another insect that troubles fennel is armyworms. These pests cause closely rounded or irregularly shaped pores in the foliage. The larvae feed on the leaves, leaving skeletal leaves.

Army insects breed quickly; Five generations grow and grow in a year. There are many ways for the army to control insects. An alternative is to use BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) As a biological control method.

downy mildew

If your plant has yellow spots or white bloated growth on the upper surface of its leaves, then your plant may notice mild mildew. It is a fungal infection that is disappointing to handle.

Read our guide on how to identify and treat downy mildew.

powdery mildew

Due to this fungal infection, there is a poor growth on the leaves, flower stalks and the blocks. The flowers become discolored due to severe infection.

Learn how to identify and treat powdery mildew in our handy guide.

Harvest fennel

Mali can harvest fennel leaves at any time in the growing season. The more you trim it, the larger the plants become. It makes a big crop, so don’t be too shy about harvesting fennel leaves.

Some also produce fennel types of bulbs as well as leaves. Bulbs can be cut when they fill several inches.

Using fennel

Many people never try to grow fennel herb because they have no idea how to use it.

The leaves and seeds have an anise flavor that is slightly similar to licorice. This flavor works well in salads, soups and stews. Fennel flowers are also edible. They serve as garnishes for various meat and potato dishes.

Fennel fronds make a delicious pesto, or chop them and use them on pasta dishes.

If you have cut more than you used to, wrap the leaves in a paper towel and place them inside a plastic bag. They can store in the fridge for up to a week.

If you want to dry and use the seeds in your cooking, peel off the head of the seeds and hang them in a sheltered area with air circulation. After a week or two, gently rub the head of the seed between your hands to release the seeds.

If you want to try a new plant in your garden, consider growing herb fennel. Do not be afraid to use it; It adds delicious flavors to the dish.

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