Foeniculum vulgare

Florence Fennel

Days to Maturity: 80 days

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The best-known Fennichio, loved for its sweet aroma and edible foliage.

Perfect for baby to medium-sized bulbs and prized for its tender, aromatic foliage which can be used like leaf fennel. Bulbs do not fill out as much as standard fennel. Wonderful fragrance comes from increased levels of anethole, an aromatic compound also found in anise.

  • Ideal for baby bulbs
  • Spring crop
  • 2-3" bulbs
  • Open-Pollinated

7M seeds/oz avg. M=1,000

Seeding Rate

400 plants/100’ double row using 6” plant spacing; 58,100 plants/acre, using 6” plant spacing, 18” row spacing.

Cultural Info

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a hardy annual in the Umbelliferae family, which includes parsnip, carrot, dill, chervil, coriander, parsley, skirret and celery.

  • Bulbing-types produce large sweet bulbs.
  • Non-bulbing (leaf) fennel is grown as an herb or for seed and the attractive, feathery leaves.

Soil Nutrients and Requirements

Fennel needs deep, well drained, moderately fertile soil with a pH from 6.1-8.0. It has a very deep taproot.

Seeding Depth


Plant Spacing 

Direct seed at 2” and thin to 6-8"

Row Spacing


When to Sow

Direct seed fennel mid-spring through late summer, or start transplants 4-5 weeks before planting date. Plant outdoors after danger of hard frost has passed. Bolting can result from disturbing the roots.


Harvest bulbs at 3-4” in diameter.


Fennel is delicate and will dry out quickly in storage. Store in cooler as close to freezing as possible. Quality will keep for 3-4 days.

Pest Info

  • Aphids, whitefly and lepidopterous larvae can be controlled by floating row cover in areas where they are a problem.

Disease Info

  • Fungal leaf blights caused by Alternaria dauci or Cercospora carotae can cause severe defoliation and greatly reduce yields. Generally, cercospora blight appears earlier in the season than alternaria blight. Both these fungi are seed-borne but can also be spread by crop residue from previous years.
  • White mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) manifests as a cottony white mycelium around roots and lower plant parts, usually late in the season. Avoid planting in areas which are shady or have poor drainage, practice crop rotations with non-vegetable crops.

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