Florence Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare azoricum

Growing Zones 6-10
  • Height: 18-48″
  • Width: 12-24″
  • Spacing:  8-12″
  • Bloom Time: Mid – Late Summer
  • Location: Full Sun
  • Water:  Average





Fennel does not require rich loam to grow properly. The only stipulation it requires is that it be planted in well drained soil. Planting fennel in rich, well fertilized soil is not recommended, because the plant will lose a lot of its aromatic oils and taste if well fed. Be careful to plant fennel away from other plants in the garden, because it will cross-pollinate, and the results of this is disappointing. Grow instead in pots away from the garden plot, or at the very least at the back of the garden. Be aware that fennel grows a very long taproot..Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region, but is now cultivated worldwide. It is an aromatic perennial that grows to about five feet in height, having dark green, feathery leaves, umbels of yellow flowers, and small, ridged, oval-shaped seeds, which are gathered in the autumn. The tall stalk looks like celery and is often consumed as vegetables, while the leaves and seeds are used to flavour foods. Although the taste and aroma of fennel are sometimes mistaken for anise or licorice, the plant is actually related to caraway.

Fennel is one of the oldest cultivated plants and much valued by the Romans. Warriors took it to keep good health, while their ladies took it to stave off obesity.Once the plants have developed an egg-sized bulb at their bases, hill soil up around them to keep them blanched as they grow.  Do not plant near dill, caraway or anise as they are in the same family and flavors can be affected. If you’re growing bulb fennel in pots, this means you have to leave several inches of room between the soil and the rim of the container when you sow. One good way to achieve this is to plant your container grown fennel in a tall grow bag with the top rolled down