Beside its culinary use, Fennel makes a perfect decorative addition to any herbaceous border, with its umbels of tiny yellow flowers and dark green or bronze wispy leaves, where it makes a good background plant. Do not plant Fennel near coriander, dill, caraway, or wormwood as they hinder each other.
Fennel will grow in almost any soil, but it will develop more tender foliage if grown in a richer soil. It prefers a well-drained, loamy soil and a place in full sun. In order to develop well it needs regular watering and a good watering over dry periods. Moisture stress causes the basal stalk to split. Plant them out after all risks of frost have passed. As it can grow to heights of 2.5 m, fennel will need to be sheltered from strong winds. Established plants will not need winter protection as they will die back during the coldest months, but if you live in an area where temperatures will fall to below -10 Celsius degrees (14 F) then some protection will be useful to help it over the winter. Cut back the old growth in winter months. It can be grown in containers also, with a container size of 25-40 cm wide and at least 30 cm deep. Feed it with a liquid feed every month, during the hotter months.
The young stems and leaves can be picked when you need them. The white bulb of Fennel can be harvest just before the plant is flowering, lifting the plant, including the bulbs, roots, and some foliage. Clean of the soil and wash the Fennel bulb, keeping some foliage, than store in a cool place. Harvest Fennel seeds as soon as the flowers start to turn brown. Put the seeds in a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dry place until you will use them for sowing or in the kitchen.
You can propagate Fennel by sowing seeds, directly in the garden – the seedlings do not transplant well – in the late spring or early summer. Sow seeds about 38-50 cm apart at a depth of about 1 cm. Keep the beds moist for about 2 weeks or until the first leaves appear, but take care then not to over-water.