Chicory Cichorium Intybus is a perennial, herbaceous wildflower native to Europe. Chicory seeds can be started directly outdoors in fall or very early spring, and the seeds have to be stratified if they are started indoors in winter. The first year Chicory will only make leaf growth and the plant will start to bloom the second year blooming from late spring until mid fall. Also called Italian Dandelion, Chicory produces showy, blue flowers that are formed at end of stems and stem leaf axils, and the Chicory flowers are the most obvious in the morning because they close later in the day.
Chicory is widely knows as an edible plant for medicines and cooking. The whole or shredded Chicory leaves are served with oil and vinegar as salads, and the blanched hearts serve as a vegetable. Cichorium Intybus seeds are very easy to grow, and once established, Chicory will grow without any care at all. Chicory is also cultivated for roots that are used as a coffee substitute. When blended with ground coffee, Chicory enhance the flavor and aroma of the brew.
Height: 48-72 Inches
Bloom Season: Summer/Fall
Environment: Sun/Partial Shade
Soil Type: Rich/Average, Moist well-drained, pH 5.5 and above
USDA Zones: 3-11
Sow Indoors: Winter (8-12 weeks before last frost)
Sow Outdoors: Spring/Fall
Seed Depth: 1/4 Inch
Germination Time: 7-21 Days