Planting Guide and Seed Saving Notes for Chicory

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

A somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink.

How to Grow Chicory from Seed

Bed Preparation

Chicory is a cool-season biennial that prefers full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.

Planting

Chicory can be direct seeded outdoors in early spring. Optimal soil temperatures for germination are 65-70°F. Sow seeds ¼" deep in rows 20" apart. Seeds will germinate in 7-21 days. When plants have 3-4 true leaves, thin seedlings so mature plants are 9" apart. Chicory seed can also be started indoors 5-6 weeks before the last frost. Transplant outdoors when plants have 4-5 mature leaves and well developed roots. For the best harvest, ensure chicory plants receive 1-2" of water a week.

Harvest

Chicory leaves should be harvested when temperatures are cool (<75˚F) to avoid bitterness. Roots can be harvested when an adequate size or approximately 120 days after planting.