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Sweet Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce

Also known as

Florence Fennel

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • 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


    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


    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.


    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


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

    Edible to Sow Under Cover in May

    Successional sow small batches on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator, ready to plant out later in the month.

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