Fennel was one of the nine sacred curative herbs of medieval times. A strong butterfly plant, bronze fennel has 4 - 5' plumes of filigreed coppery leaves and lacy golden flower umbels that reipen mellow anise-flavored seeds. These plants are stunning additions to flower or herb beds. Season seafood, salads or cooked vegetables with sprigs of the feathery copper-bronze leaves. Tea made from the aromatic leaves or sweet seeds soothes upset stomachs and calms the nerves.
While Renee's Garden seeds are not all certified organic, they do not sell treated or GMO seeds and have signed the "Safe Seed Pledge.”
Planting & Care
In spring, when danger of hard frost has passed, sow seeds 1" apart in finely-worked, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Cover 1/2" deep, firm soil and keep seedbed moist. Germination takes 2 - 3 weeks. After seedlings are well established, carefully thin or transplant 1' apart to allow plants room to mature.
Start Early Indoors
Sow thinly in a container of seed starting mix, 4 - 6 weeks before last expected frost. Keep warm and evenly moist, and provide a good light source. When seedlings are 3 - 4" tall, acclimate gradually to outdoor conditions before carefully transplanting as above.
Growing: Plant in very well-drained soil and keep a close eye on young seedlings, which grow slowly at first - their usual bronze color can make them easy to weed out by accident! A prime butterfly plant, the copper-bronze fronds of Smokey Bronze fennel send up tall branching stalks crowned by intricate yellow flowers that provide valuable nectar and pollen to ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. Bronze fennel's deep colored foliage provides a beautiful contrast to the green foliage and bright hot colors of summer annuals like cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers.