- Variety Info
- Sowing Info
- Growing Info
Days to Maturity: 75 days
Family: Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae) Carrot family, includes angelica, carrot, caraway, cilantro, dill, fennel, chervil, and lovage.
Native: Africa, Asia, and Europe
Hardiness: Tender perennial in USDA zones 4–9; grown as an annual
Exposure: Full sun
Plant Dimensions: Foliage from 24"–30" tall; the “bulb”, 3"–4" diameter at the base
Variety Info: The crunchy, dense, licorice-flavored "bulb" is comprised of tightly layered, overlapping, swollen stalk ends. The feathery foliage looks similar to dill, but has a delicate, anise flavor. The seeds also taste similar to anise or licorice. 'Dragon' is a Florence type fennel.
When to Sow Outside: For “bulb”: Midsummer for fall harvest is optimal; ideal soil temperature is 60°–75°F. In cool summer areas (under 75°F): 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date. Mild Climates: Sow in fall for cool season harvest. For foliage only: Every 3 weeks after your average last frost date until midsummer.
When to Start Inside: 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date (recommended for spring "bulb" production). Use biodegradable pots for transplant.
Days to Emerge: 7–14 days
Seed Depth: ¼"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 10"
Row Spacing: 10"
Thinning: When 1" tall, thin to 1 every 10"
Harvesting: BULBOUS STEM BASE: Harvest any time after the base begins to fatten, and before plant begins to bolt. Cut just below the soil surface. LEAVES: Can be clipped for fresh use almost any time after plant becomes established. SEEDS: Harvest seeds when they turn from yellow green to grey green. If allowed to turn brown, they may fall to the ground before you can harvest them.
Special Care: Mulch around the base of the plant to blanch the "bulb" and make it more tender. Water stress, root disturbance, heat or lengthening of days can trigger bolting (prematurely going to seed) Florence type fennel is easier grown for fall harvest.