Growing Fennel From Seed: Step-By-Step Guide

How to successfully grow your own fennel Growing fennel, Plants
How to successfully grow your own fennel Growing fennel, Plants from

Fennel is a versatile and flavorful herb that is easy to grow from seed. Whether you want to add a touch of licorice flavor to your dishes or enjoy the health benefits of fennel tea, growing your own fennel can be a rewarding experience. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of growing fennel from seed, from selecting the right variety to harvesting your own fresh fennel.

Choosing the Right Variety

There are several varieties of fennel to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are a few popular varieties to consider:

  • Florence Fennel: This variety is known for its bulbous growth at the base, which is often used in cooking. Florence fennel has a milder flavor compared to other varieties.
  • Bronze Fennel: This variety is primarily grown for its ornamental value, with attractive bronze-colored leaves. It has a strong anise flavor and is often used in salads or as a garnish.
  • Common Fennel: Also known as sweet fennel or finocchio, this variety does not form a bulb and is primarily grown for its flavorful leaves and seeds.

Preparing the Soil

Fennel prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting your fennel seeds, prepare the soil by following these steps:

  1. Remove any weeds or grass from the planting area.
  2. Loosen the soil with a garden fork to a depth of about 12 inches.
  3. Add compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil’s fertility and moisture-holding capacity.
  4. Rake the soil to create a smooth and level surface.

Sowing and Caring for Fennel Seeds

Now that you have prepared the soil, it’s time to sow your fennel seeds:

  1. Sow the seeds directly into the prepared soil, spacing them about 12 inches apart.
  2. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, about 1/4 inch deep.
  3. Water the seeds thoroughly after planting to ensure good germination.
  4. Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period, which typically takes about 7 to 14 days.
  5. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to a spacing of about 6 to 8 inches apart.
  6. Water the fennel plants regularly, providing about 1 inch of water per week.
  7. Apply a balanced fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks to promote healthy growth.

Harvesting Fennel

Fennel can be harvested at different stages, depending on your preference:

  • Leaves: You can start harvesting fennel leaves when the plant is about 6 to 8 inches tall. Simply cut the outer leaves close to the base of the plant.
  • Seeds: Fennel seeds can be harvested when the flower heads turn brown and start to dry out. Cut the flower heads and place them in a paper bag to dry. Once dry, shake the bag to release the seeds.
  • Bulbs: If you are growing Florence fennel, you can harvest the bulbs when they reach a size of about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Use a sharp knife to cut the bulbs at the base of the plant.


Growing fennel from seed is a simple and rewarding process. By selecting the right variety, preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, and caring for the plants, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh fennel leaves, seeds, or bulbs. Whether you use fennel in cooking or enjoy its health benefits, growing your own fennel allows you to have a constant supply of this flavorful herb at your fingertips.

How To Grow Fennel Greens/ Leaves in a Container at Home with Soil | Home Gardening​ Tips #shorts

How To Grow Fennel Greens/ Leaves in a Container at Home with Soil | Easy Home Gardening​ Tips #shorts #growfennel ...

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