A picture of a Sweet Fennel

Sweet Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce

Also known as

Florence Fennel

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

H1a

RHS hardiness

15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

2.5m

Max

1m

1m

Min

50cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Sweet Fennel Overview

Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce is commonly known as Sweet Fennel or Florence Fennel. This flowering plant resides in the Apiaceae family, it produces a delicately flavoured bulb, which is widely grown and consumed as a vegetable, called Fennel. It is grown ornamentally for the edible foliage and swollen leaf bases (bulbs), all parts of the plant are fragrant and can be used in cooking.

Common problems with Sweet Fennel

Fennel may be attacked by the parsley caterpillar which can be removed by hand. Generally, fennel has no other serious pest problems.

    Sweet Fennel Companion Plants

    A photo of Sorrel

    Sorrel

    Rumex acetosa

    How to harvest Sweet Fennel

    Blanch the fennels bulbs by covering the plant base with soil. The bulbs will begin to thicken towards the end of the summer. Harvest the bulbs in autumn when they are about 10 cm in diameter. It is important to keep the plant well watered to encourage it

    How to propagate Sweet Fennel

    Seed

    Planting fennel is easy as seeds can be sown directly into garden soil. Seeds can also be grown in containers and should be covered with a thin layer of potting soil.

    Division

    Fennel plants can be divided and moved as soon as top growth appears in the new season.

    Special features of Sweet Fennel

    Attracts useful insects

    Florence fennel attracts the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.

    Crop rotation

    Light feeder

    Attractive leaves

    Other uses of Sweet Fennel

    Culinary, medicinal, cosmetic

    Edible

    Leaves, flowers, seeds and bulbs are edible and used as a herb, spice or veggetable.