Seed Swaps


Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel is a member of the Foeniculum family. Its botanical name is Foeniculum vulgare. The scientific name epithet vulgare means 'common'.

Highly aromatic and slightly odd plant that is a poor companion for everything. It can grow close to dill, however, they tend to cross pollinate. On the other hand, fennel attracts a variety of beneficial insects into the garden. Aphids dislike fennel so they are repelled by it. Fennel is also a flea repellent.2

Blooms normally display as a colour very similar to   Blanched Almond.

It is a flowering edible herb that typically grows as a perennial, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of three years or more.

Fennel is known for its forb-like habit and growing to a height of approximately 1.80 metres (5.85 feet).

This plant is a great attractor for butterflies, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Fennel is a great choice.

Popular varieties of Fennel with home gardeners are Bronze, Purpureum, Bronze fennel, di Firenze and Perfection.

Fennel is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Fennel have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Fennel

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

Grow fennel by itself as it is not liked by a lot of other plants.

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 4 to 9 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Fennel needs a soil ph of 6.1 to 7.8 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Fennel is generally regarded as a hardy plant, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

See our list of companion Plants for Fennel to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Fennel from seed

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.25 inches (0.64 cm).

Transplanting Fennel

Fennel is hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

Harvesting Fennel

Harvesting Fennel Seeds : Harvest only when the seeds are completely mature (late Autumn / Fall) Dry out by spreading the seeds in a thin layer over a screen in a cool dark place. Make sure the area is well ventilated and check often to turn the fennel seeds over to make sure all sides dry completely. After drying, store in an airtight container until use.

Seed Saving Fennel

Seed viability is four years.

How long does Fennel take to grow?

These estimates for how long Fennel takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Fennel to germinate?
10 days

Average 10 days | Min 5 days | Max 22 days (29)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Fennel?
+ 46 days

Average 46 days | Min 25 days | Max 68 days (7)

Days to Maturity How long until Fennel is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 277 days

Average 277 days | Min 154 days | Max 1331 days (7)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Fennel?
= 333 days

Fennel Folklore & Trivia

Dried fennel leaves protect dogs from fleas when the leaves are put inside the dog’s house.2

Other names for Fennel

Sweet fennel, Bronze fennel

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Latest Fennel Reviews

  • One fennel plant was eaten or chewed by a rabbit or the gopher turtle.

    0 stars

    Kevalsha about growing Fennel Zeta Fino

See all Fennel reviews and experiences »


1 Missouri Botanical Garden

2 “Our herb garden” entry on fennel"

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