Renee's Garden - Striking 4 to 5-foot plumes of filigreed coppery leaves and lacy golden flower umbels that ripen mellow anise-flavored seeds. Smokey Bronze Fennel makes a stunning addition to flower or herb beds and is a major nectar & pollen host for many butterflies and beneficial insect species. Season seafood, salads, or cooked vegetables with feathery copper-bronze leaves. Tea made from aromatic leaves or sweet seeds soothes upset stomachs and calms the nerves.
Pollinators & Beneficials
Aromatic anise scent and flavor
Instructions - In spring when the danger of hard frost is past, sow seeds 1 inch apart in finely worked, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Cover 1/2 inch deep, firm soil, and keep the seedbed moist. Germination takes 2 to 3 weeks. After seedlings are well established, carefully thin or transplant 1 foot apart to allow plants room to mature. Sow thinly in a container of seed starting mix, 4 to 6 weeks before the last expected frost. Keep warm and evenly moist, and provide a good light source. When seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall, acclimate gradually to outdoor conditions before carefully transplanting as above.
Growing Notes: Plant in very well-drained soil and keep a close eye on young seedlings, which grow slowly at first – their unusual 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.
- Plant in March-June
- Full Sun
- Plant 1/2" deep
- Space 1" apart
- 14-21 days to germinate
- Mature Height: 4-5 feet
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