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Fennel Plants

Q.Florence Fennel Perennial

jan_sangl added on July 10, 2011 | Answered

Hi! My fennel plants are on their 3rd year, the first year no bulbs, the second year they had huge bulbs. This year, it seems to be mostly stems with seed heads. Will these same plants produce bulbs again, or is the production of bulbs a one time thing for this plant, and I need to start from seed again every 2 years?

I have searched, and understand I can harvest the feathery leaves and seed heads forever off of these plants, but can’t seem to find out if they will produce bulbs again—as that is the part I am interested in using. Thanks in advance!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 16, 2011

It is my understanding that harvesting the bulb essentially kills the plant, though in warmer areas, they will grow offshoots (which have smaller bulbs) from the severed base.

Also, in warmer climates, this plant is prone to fast bolting. It likely flowered before it had a chance to develop its bulb due to the heat.

You should try to keep the roots cool, with mulch and frequent watering. This should help keep it from bolting in the future which will allow it to develop the bulb.

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