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Growing Endive

How to grow Endive (Frisee) in pots, containers, growbags, garden beds and allotments



Family/Latin Name

Asteraceae - Cichorium endivia

Type of Plant

Leaf - Crop Rotation Group = Others

Suitable for

Garden Beds, Containers, Pots, Growbags, Allotments

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Plant Dimensions

Height Up to 30cm/12" -  Spread 30cm/12"

Yield per 1.5cm/5ft row Up to 7 heads

Time between sowing and harvesting

15 - 20 weeks

Where to Sow


Outdoors -  in open ground, growbags or containers


Sowing time

Late April to late August  - temperature   +10C/50F. 


How to Sow

12mm/½-inch deep - very thinly -  in rows 30cm/12" apart or in groups/blocks or in containers. Successive sowing is recommended to prevent a glut. Sow a few seeds every 2 weeks.


After Germination

Start thinning seedlings when the 1st true pair of leaves appear. Protect from slugs. Keep the soil moist but not very wet.


Growing on -   in Pots

Gradually thin to final spacing depending on variety grown around to 22cm/9" apart in troughs, 1 per 20cm/8" pot or 3 per growbag.

Growing on -  in open ground

Gradually thin to final spacing depending on variety grown around to 30cm/12" apart


Keep the soil moist with regular watering, preferably before mid afternoon. Continue to protect from slugs


Cut whole heads.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Indications Leaves puckered with pale or yellow mottling
Treatment None - destroy all infected plants
Prevention Organic
This virus is carried by greenfly. Spray young plants with a weak solution of soapy water as soon as you see aphids.
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Dimethoate  or Pyrethrum
Indications Young leaves are eaten - sometimes completely missing
Treatment Organic
1. Sink small pots filled with beer to ground level. Empty daily
2. Sprinkle slugs with table salt
Use slug pellets
Prevention  Avoid damp or humid sites


 Companion Flower Graphic


Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber  




Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".


To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  Refrigerate for up to 3 days 

Preparing:  Separate the leaves and wash well in cold water. Dry in a salad spinner or with kitchen paper towels.

Cooking Endive is most often eaten raw and can be added to many types of salads.


Endive has a slightly bitter flavour however making a well seasoned dressing - either oil based or mayonnaise based - to serve with it is a good idea.

For more preparation and cooking information about endive plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.


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