Cichorium intybus 'Indigo'
Also known as
This plant has no fragrance
Chicory 'Indigo' Overview
Cichorium endivia 'Indigo' is a modern variety of chicory that has been bred for its dark red salad leaf and produces a reliable & uniform crop. The Radicchio types of Chicory or Red Chicory's respond to the change in daylight by turning red. They can be blanched to produce crisp red and white round heads. Sow in June and July, thinning seedlings to 30cm apart and provide plenty of water during dry periods. After 12 weeks of growth the heads can be blanched by placing a black plastic pot over the dry and loosely tied leaves, excluding all light. However, many of the Radicchio types will form good heads whose outer leaves will cause the heads to self blanch with out the need of additional material. Chicory is very similar to Endive and can be grown in the same way and to confuse matters it is commonly known as Endive by the French.
Common problems with Chicory 'Indigo'
Pests include aphids, darkling beetles, flea beetles, leafminers, loopers, slugs and snails, and thrips. Diseases include anthracnose, bacteral soft rot, bottom rot, damping-off , downy mildew, sclerotinia blight, septoria blight.
How to harvest Chicory 'Indigo'
The entire head should be cut at ground level using a sharp knife. Blanching will keep the core white. Harvest the plants early if very hot weather or a hard frost is expected.
How to propagate Chicory 'Indigo'
Sowing time is during Spring and Summer. Space 30cm apart and sow 25 mm deep. Germination time is from 5-10 days.
Special features of Chicory 'Indigo'
Attracts useful insects
Flowers attract bees and butterflies.
Repels harmful insects
The plants are resistant to tipburn and bottom rot.
Can be grown in large containers with good drainage holes.
Can be autumn sown for young leaves.
Other uses of Chicory 'Indigo'
The leaves are used to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and protect against lung and mouth cancers. A very beneficial tonic to the liver and digestive system.
Rosette or curled leaves are eaten raw in salad, boiled, steamed, sautéed, or cooked in soups, stews and mixed vegetable dishes. Blue flowers are used raw as salad, served as a garnish, or pickled.