Many herbal gardeners extend their harvest by continuously sowing fennel seeds 1-2 weeks apart to ensure fresh fennel stalks from midsummer to December. The branches grow up the sides of this core into delicate, feathery branches like shown above. The aromatic plant consists of stalks, leaves and yellowish or greenish flowers containing seeds. Fennel is best harvested when the plant is about to bloom. The core of the fennel plant is similar in appearance to celery but more of a shape like an onion. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.. All three parts of the plant can be used, each with distinct purposes. How to care for fennel Herb fennel. Each umbel has 20-50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels. Tiny, yellowish-green flowers in clusters on stalks. Cut them off to the ground and use them as you would celery. Seed is most viable when fresh but is known to have germinated after 4 or more years. After months of watching, you can finally make use of what you have sowed. Fennel stems are considered a great delicacy and are often served raw with the leaf stalks around them. While it is considered an invasive in much of the world, it makes a spectacular addition to any garden. Farmers of fennel harvest it for its different attributes at different times throughout the year. Fennel seeds are usually distilled with water producing a pale yellow liquid with a sweetish aromatic odor and flavor used to scent perfumes and soaps. Fennel flowers are cut at peak season and put into paper bags to dry. Plant Description: Fennel is a perennial herb that grows to a height of about 2.5 m. It has hollow stems, feathery leaves, and flowers that grow in terminal compound umbels about 5-15 cm wide. Unless seed is desired for successive plantings, flower stems should be cut as soon as they appear. To harvest fennel seed, snip off the seed heads into a paper bag. The herb fennel is grown for leaves and seeds. Often used for garnishes and flavoring for salads. Tiny Green Gardens is all about fairy gardening, miniature plants and moss gardening. This can be the most expensive part of a fennel plant, selling for between 20-80 U.S. dollars per ounce. Once seedlings are 3 inches tall, transplant to a placement of 15-18 apart in rows two to two and one-half feet apart. The old Latin name for fennel, Fæniculum is derived from the word for hay. Don’t stop at growing fennel for its vegetable-like bulb. Fennel flowers are cut at peak season and put into paper bags to dry. Feed with a general granular plant food each spring.. Store this bag in a dry location until it is bone dry and the seeds readily fall off the foliage. Removing developing flower heads will prolong the supply of leaves, but the seeds themselves are also useful and can be used in cooking. Fennel is best harvested when the plant is about to bloom. The licorice-like flavor is iconic, and it permeates the entire plant from stalk to leaf to flower. Fennel pollen is a lesser-known resource that some farmers prize. (seeds, fennel oil, young plants & tender leaves and stems). Add fennel flowers to your garden to see more butterflies. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is native to the Mediterranean region which is why it is prevalent in many European styles of cooking and mythology. If you like OurHerbGarden.com, you're sure to love Tiny Green Gardens too. You can also plant fennel in the fall, about 6 weeks before the first frost. This can be the most expensive part of a fennel plant, selling for between 20-80 U.S. dollars per ounce. (Seeds, sowing, cultivation, and harvesting). This yellow powder packs a huge punch of sweet licorice-like fennel flavor. Conversely, if you need to remove fennel from you garden, make sure that you get all of the roots. After the flowers bloom and wilt, the blooms on the flower heads are replaced with seeds. Foeniculum vulgare, commonly known as fennel, is a flavorful culinary herb and medicinal plant.. Fennel plants are green and white, with feathery leaves and yellow flowers… Our fennel is doing quite well in a pot which provides allows us to have it where we want to in our herb garden. It is said that fennel pollen is sweeter and 100 times more intense than fennel seed. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. Fresh wild fennel should be used within three days of harvesting, so take what you need right away and leave the rest for the near future. Fennel and its carrot family relatives are a favorite food of the growing swallowtail caterpillar. The seeds carry loads of flavor and store for very long periods of time. Consider all the other parts of the plant that are useful: The fennel flower in the garden adds a whole new layer of life. Seeds should be carefully harvested otherwise you might find your garden being dominated by a wall of fennel – fennel has been compared to bamboo for its ability to function as a screen and overwhelm a garden. Fennel is a Great Garden Addition that Increases Pollination, Stalk – often used in smoking sheds to add flavor, Leaf – used as a fresh herb in teas, recipes, and tonics, Bulb – high in vitamin C and fiber and cooked as a vegetable, Flower – attracts beneficial insects and makes yellow dye, Seed – used as a spice, eaten raw or planted. Fennel pollen is a lesser-known resource that some farmers prize. Snip the leaves and use immediately for optimum flavor. Fennel seeds are used in cooking, confectionery and for flavoring liquors. Harvesting Fennel Bulb: Harvest fennel stalks when they are almost ready to flower. (Thinnings are totally edible so don’t waste them by throwing them on your compost pile.). Makes drills 6 inches apart and plant fennel seeds no more than 1-3 inches deep. The characteristic bulb version of fennel is a different plant that is classified as a vegetable. Conversely, if you need to remove fennel from you garden, make sure that you get all of the roots. It may be necessary to keep the soil moist by watering regularly during prolonged dry periods in summer. Fennel herb has a long tap root. Once dry the bags are shaken allowing all the pollen to fall from the dried flowers. Fennel herb has a long tap root. Fennel leaves are also minced and added to sauces and soups. When growing fennel from seed, sow the seeds in nursery beds or where the plants are to remain. Snip the leaves and use immediately for optimum flavor. Pollinator attractant, fresh herbal tea, ground spice, herbal medicine, household cleaner, air freshener, the list of uses for fennel goes on and on. However, divisions can be made by cutting off the side roots and planting them. Growing fennel plants are quite hardy and can grow in very cold, but not freezing, weather. In some climates, seeds are sown in late summer and in autumn for early crops the following spring. The seed is the most commonly used part of the fennel plant. You can plant almost any flowers with rosemary, but if you want to further improve your vegetable garden, I recommend companion plant sweet alyssum, marigolds, and nasturtiums with rosemary. Shake or pick them off of the heads and store them in a jar for use in recipes, or for next years’ garden. It has spread much as civilization has particularly where Italians have colonized and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world near the sea coast and upon river banks. Did you know that there are two kinds of fennel? About 500 pounds of plants will yield enough seeds to produce 1 pound of oil. Once dry the bags are shaken allowing all the pollen to fall from the dried flowers. However, divisions can be made by cutting off the side roots and planting them. Can Tea Be Made From the Fennel Plant?. We're going to teach you about growing fennel, the herbaceous variety - from sowing seeds to harvest. Fennel is a perennial that is actually invasive, so you must be careful when planting fennel and remove the seed head. Fennel does not generally play well with other herbs and plants and we suggest reading companion planting with fennel prior to growing fennel in your garden. Fennel is a herb that is native to areas of Asia Minor and southern Europe. The bright yellow umbel-shaped flower clusters form little landing platforms for bees and butterflies in the months of July and August. Seeds are produced after the plant has bolted. Learn more of the History of Fennel. Different additives and mordants will create different strengths of color and shades. Harvesting Fennel. The flowers and leaves are used to create dyes ranging in color from bright yellow to green. Similar to caraway seeds in weight, shape, and color, fennel seeds are ripe when they turn brown and the plants’ leaf stalks start to yellow. Many people use fennel as a flavoring for foods and for potential health benefits.