Can You Grow Fennel In Pots: Learn How To Plant Fennel In Containers

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Fennel is a popular herb that’s usually grown for its distinct anise flavor as a culinary ingredient. Bulb fennel, in particular, is grown for its large white bulbs that pair especially well with fish. Can you grow fennel in pots? Keep reading to learn more about potted fennel plants and how to plant fennel in containers.

How to Plant Fennel in Containers

Can you grow fennel in pots? Yes, as long as the pots are big enough. For one thing, fennel produces a long taproot that needs plenty of depth. For another thing, you grow extra tender fennel bulbs by “earthing up.” This means that as the bulbs get bigger, you pile more soil around them to protect them from the sun. If you’re growing bulb fennel in pots, this means you have to leave several inches (8 cm.) of room between the soil and the rim of the container when you sow. One good way to achieve this is to plant your container grown fennel in a tall grow bag with the top rolled down. As the plant grows, unroll the top to make room for the extra soil. If your pot simply isn’t deep enough, you can fake the earthing up process by surrounding the bulb with a cone of cardboard or aluminum foil. Fennel is a Mediterranean plant that loves warm weather. It also hates having its roots disturbed, so it grows best if sown directly into the soil after all chance of frost or cool nighttime temperatures has passed. Container grown fennel has to be kept moist at all times without getting waterlogged, so plant it in well-draining soil and water frequently. Harvest the bulb before it bolts to get the best flavor.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.