The Q&A Archives: Bulbing Fennel Life Cycle

Question: When in the life cycle of the Italian Bulbing Fennel (Finoccio Romy) plant does the bulb develop, and does the bulb appear above ground or below ground?

Answer: Fennel is a perennial plant that grows with ease from seed. It's generally treated as an annual in that all parts of the plant are edible and are therefore harvested at all stages of development. Leaves are clipped throughout the season; seeds are harvested at the end of summer. If you allow fennel roots to remain in the soil, a fleshy bulb will develop after the second summer. It's at this point that the bulb can be harvested by digging below the soil surface. If you save seeds from the plant you can grow additional fennel plants. Hope this clears the confusion!

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