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How to Grow Chicory in Your Garden

Chicory is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. It is grown worldwide as an ornamental plant and planted in gardens as an alternative to coffee. Chicory has been used traditionally in many cultures, including the Mediterranean and Indian regions, for centuries.

How to Grow Chicory From Seeds

Growing Chicory plants from seeds is a simple but slow process. Plants from seeds take longer to grow than plants from cuttings or divisions. Plants grown from seeds will also have more pronounced characteristics than those grown from cuttings or divisions. 

The chicory seed should be kept in a cool place and germinate within two weeks. It should be kept moist during this period, but not wet. Once your chicory seed has sprouted, move it into an area with full sunlight and keep it well-watered throughout its life cycle.

What Hardiness Zones Does Chicory Thrive In

The Chicory Plant grows in the USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. It can be found in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Chicory grows best in areas that have a mild climate with little to no frost.

What is Chicory Maturity Size

The mature size of the chicory plant is 1.2–1.5 m tall and 0.6–1.2 m wide. It produces large, deep-green leaves arranged in a rosette at the top of the plant, with flowers spaced along the stems (rarely alternating on a single stem). The basal leaves are opposite, but those above it often alternate in clusters of 2–4, each with a petiole 5–18 cm long. The chicory flowers are large, about 3 cm across, and blue-purple with white inner petals.

Where Should I Plant My Chicory

The Chicory Plant needs light to grow. It can be grown indoors in a sunny spot or outdoors in partial sunlight. Chicory will tolerate low light conditions but will not produce as much as it would if exposed to more light. The chicory plant prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but its best growth occurs between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant may suffer if the soil temperature is too cold or too hot.

How Much Water Does Chicory Need

The chicory plant prefers moist soil but not standing water. If the soil gets too wet around the roots, they can rot and die. This is especially true after taking cuttings from your main plant. You should immediately remove and replant these plants in a pot or window box with suitable drainage holes to dry out before they rot.

Watering is essential when growing chicory plants indoors in pots or seedlings. A little bit of water daily will help prevent root rot, although you do not want to overwater them as this can cause their leaves to wilt and drop off.

What Soil Does Chicory Like

The Chicory plant can be grown in almost any well-drained soil in a sunny spot. It prefers rich, moist soils and even tolerates quite dry conditions. The best results are obtained when the soil is rich in organic matter, such as well-decomposed leaf mold or compost. The Chicory plant needs fertile soil to develop its roots and flowers. It likes a pH between 5 and 6 but can grow in neutral or slightly acidic (around 6.5) soil as well. This plant does not like very alkaline or salty soils.

How Should I Fertilize the Chicory Plant

The chicory plant needs a lot of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). It also needs trace elements like boron, zinc, and copper. A well-balanced fertilizer will provide all these nutrients to your chicory plant. You can use any one of the following types of fertilizers for your chicory plant:

Organic fertilizer: Organic fertilizers contain no artificial chemicals or synthetic ingredients. They are made from natural sources that are safe for plants. These include manure, compost, kitchen scraps, and cottonseed meal. The best organic fertilizers contain slow-release nitrogen (N) along with other essential nutrients like phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and calcium (Ca). Organic fertilizers are more expensive than synthetic ones but more effective at nourishing plants.

Synthetic fertilizer: Synthetic fertilizers include ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate, urea, and ammonium chloride, and others contain synthetic chemicals such as ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulphate that are not found naturally in our soil or water supply.

Pest Control for Chicory Plants

The most common pest problems for chicory are flea beetles, aphids, and cabbage worms. Flea beetles are the most severe problem for seedlings in fields. These tiny black beetles feed on the foliage of young plants and can cause severe damage to the leaves. Aphids often appear on the underside of leaves, sucking juices from the plant. They tend to cause pale green spots on the leaves and are often first noticed when they cluster near the base of a plant. Cabbage Worms are small flies that lay eggs in leaf tissue. The larvae hatch as white grubs tunnel through the plants' stems. They can be managed by applying an insecticide formulated for this pest at planting time or when you see them first appearing on your plants.

How to Prune the Chicory

The main pruning requirement for chicory is to remove old foliage. This encourages new growth and keeps the plant from looking leggy. A chicory plant will grow outwards and upwards if left alone, eventually forming a large bush or tree. You can prevent this by pinching off the tops of the plant when you see it starting to grow outwards.

What Is the Best Season To Plant Chicory

There are three main seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Spring is the best time to plant chicory because it has the most sunlight and moisture. However, if you can't wait that long, you can take advantage of the cooler temperatures in summer and fall to get your crop started early.

How To Plant Chicory Plants in Your Garden

Dig a trench 6 inches deep and wide, place the root ball at the bottom of the trench, and cover it with soil. Water it well and keep it moist until roots are well formed, then water every other day until plants are strong, then water once a week.

Once planted, keep weeds away to encourage root development and resist crown rot as much as possible by mulching around the base and adding organic matter to the soil.

How To Transplant Chicory Plants

You can also transplant chicory in your garden to grow more plants and have a few extra beds. To transplant chicory, follow these steps:

  1. Dig up the plant and pull it into sections about 4 inches wide and 2 inches thick. This will help with root growth once you put it back in the ground.
  2. Fill a bucket with about 1 inch of potting soil or compost and add some fertilizer if needed. Then place each piece of the chicory plant into the bucket and let it sit for a few hours until all pieces are moistened evenly throughout.
  3. Remove any debris from around each piece of root before gently pushing it back into the soil around its base using your hands or wooden spade, making sure not to damage any new roots.

Chicory is a sun-loving, drought-tolerant perennial with lovely blue flowers. This attractive, fragrant herb is native to Europe and grows well in containers and as ground cover.

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If you have any questions about chicory or if you have any other plant needs, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Chicory Plant - TN Nursery


Chicory has vibrant blue flowers that are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This fosters biodiversity and supports the local ecosystem - As pollinators visit its blooms, they also pollinate nearby plants, enhancing the overall fertility and productivity of the landscape. This plant is commonly known as the "blue daisy" for its attractive and round blue flowers with a petal and sepal pattern that is similar to daisies. The plant is also known to have white or pink blooms, but these examples are rare. Chicory Is A Stunning Perennial Chicory grows to 5 feet tall, but it's most commonly about 2 feet tall. The light blue flowers form a canopy when grown close together, creating a pleasing focal point in any garden. Being blue, these flowers mesh well with other blue varieties, such as California bluebells or Northern Blue Flags. Because blue daisies are lighter in color, you can ring them around any flowers of darker blue to create a visual transition to flowers of other colors. The Leaves Of The Plant These flowers have different leaves based on how old they are. In their first season, leaves form at the base of the stems. These attractive, curly leaves can grow to about a foot long and create a separate focal point for the blue flowers. During their second season or any following season, the leaves are smaller and grow further up the stems instead. Unlike many other plants, blue daisies lack petioles, so the leaves seem to clasp the stem lovingly, which creates a sweet effect. The Blooms Of The Plant The flowers of this plant only last one day, but the plant grows new flowers every day throughout the spring and summer. The flower buds generally open at or shortly after dawn, and by sunset, the flowers are closing again as new ones prepare to open the next day. It's possible to take time-lapse photos or videos of these flowers and see them "wink" throughout the day. This charming phenomenon is not unique to blue daisies, but they are particularly noteworthy among these flowers. TN Nursery Offers Environment Friendly Plants Even though their blooms only last a day or so each, they are still an important source of nectar for pollinators like the bumblebee and certain species of butterfly. Generally, these insects will begin to flock to a cluster of blue daisies in the early afternoon. These plants are quite hardy, too, so in addition to being good-looking, they prevent soil leaching and erosion and contribute to the health of any garden.

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