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Bronze Fennel Herb Plants (Foeniculum vulgare Purpureum)Bronze Fennel Herb Plants (Foeniculum vulgare Purpureum)

Bronze Fennel Herb Plants

Foeniculum vulgare Purpureum

The details

Foeniculum vulgare

Pot Grown Herbs
  • Height: 2.5m.
  • Spread: 60cm.
  • Colour: Green-grey divided leaves, bronze when new.
  • Flowers: Yellow umbels.
  • Uses: Culinary, medicinal.
  • Taste: Anise.
  • Harvest: Spring-Autumn.
  • Storage: Can be dried.
  • Life: Hardy perennial.
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators.
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Description

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum', Bronze Fennel. p9 Potted Plants

Practically the same as Sweet Fennel in appearance, apart from the purple-ruddy-bronze new foliage, Bronze or Purple Fennel has a slightly milder flavour, so it's worth adding to any veg plot or herbaceous border even if you already have the "normal" kind.

Browse all of our Mediterranean herbs, or all of our herbs & vegetables.

Features

  • Height: 2.5m.
  • Spread: 60cm.
  • Colour: Green-grey divided leaves, bronze when new
  • Flowers: Yellow umbels.
  • Uses: Culinary, medicinal.
  • Taste: Anise.
  • Harvest: Spring-Autumn.
  • Storage: Can be dried.
  • Life: Hardy perennial.
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators.

Growing Bronze Fennel

You need full sun with a light, free-draining soil for great results.

Like most herbs, the intensity of its essential oils strengthens in full sun and poor, well-drained soil, mimicking its natural environment. Harvest leaves as you need them for salads, eggs and fish from spring to autumn.

For seeds, don't deadhead the flowers. Gather them on a dry day in late summer or early autumn by placing a paper bag over the flower head, gently inverting it, and cutting it off. They can be used fresh, or dried for the winter.

Planting Companions

For such a tall plant, it doesn't dominate. Like airy grasses, it has an almost see-through effect, drawing the eye vertically with pleasing movements in a breeze and looks especially good if it is somewhere that catches the light. It looks at home in a mixed border, contrasting with large flowers such as dahlias, and cottage garden perennials.

A go-to plant for the Mediterranean, gravel, or drought garden, the glaucous foliage tones will be picked up by lavender, and their shapes and flower colours are a great foil for each other.

Plant it at the back of a herb garden with other tall plants like lovage. Sweet fennel's airiness will bring out the solid, dark colours in varieties like purple sage.

Do not plant next to tomatoes, or any tomato cousins in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family like aubergine, peppers, or potatoes.

Did You Know?

Bronze fennel is actually the highest ranking fennel, gold and silver were simply unnecessary because this one is so charming.

Planting Instructions

How to plant Bronze Fennel

Choose a spot in full sun. Improve the soil from the hole by removing roots, weeds, large stones and other rubbish and mixing in about 25% by volume of well-rotted compost or manure.

Position your plant so its roots are spread out, wet them and sprinkle them with Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi.

Then backfill the hole with mixed soil and compost, firming it gently as you go. Water in thoroughly.

Once established, it is drought tolerant but dislikes root disturbance, so don't move them if you can help it. They self-seed freely.

Trim back dead stems in late autumn.

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