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Growing Endive

Growing Endive

Green Curled Ruffed Endive


Easy-to-grow, leafy plants with a strong, sharp, bitter flavor. Endive is a cool season, frost-tolerant crop suitable for spring or fall production. Harvesting after a light frost improves flavor of the leaves. For spring production, sow directly in the garden 2 to 4 weeks before the last expected frost, covering seed with ¼ inch of soil. For fall production, sow or transplant to the garden 12 to 14 weeks before the first expected frost. Can also be sown indoors 4 to 6 weeks before planting outdoors. Space plants 6 to 12 inches apart with 18 inches between rows. Endive is nutritious and rich in fiber, folate, minerals, and vitamins A, E, and K.


For full sun in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Benefits from mulching. To reduce bitterness, plants can be blanched for about a week before harvest by tying or rubber banding the leaves together at their tips or putting a sleeve made from a milk carton or can opened on both ends over plants. Ensure that the foliage is dry before blanching, to prevent problems with rot.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Nature's Source Plant Food Concentrate 10-4-3 (51012), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Radicchio is a related vegetable. Arugula, Lettuce, and Spinach are other leafy vegetables.

Complimentary Products

A moderate feeder that benefits from occasional fertilization. Use a Net Grow Tunnel (53737) to shade plants in hot climates or when planting in summer for fall harvest.

Endive Facts

Generally free from serious problems. Can rot if grown in wet, poorly-drained soil. May develop tip burn if soil is not kept consistently moist. 

Growing Tips