Growing Foeniculum (Fennel)

Latin Name Pronunciation: foe-nik'-yew-lum

This tall, wispy Mediterranean herb resembles Dill, but its leaves and seeds have an anise flavor. The ornamental variety, F. vulgare 'Purpureum', is grown for its dark and smoky new foliage and broad flat heads of yellow flowers in summer. Plants are not long lived but self sow readily and are enjoyed by gardeners and cooks alike.

Light/Watering: Full sun. Water thoroughly after planting and give a new plant a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1 inch per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Moist, well-drained soil. Will tolerate drought when established. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. We fertilize perennials just once--in early spring--with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Remove spent flower stems to prevent and oversupply of seedlings.