How to Grow Endive Plants
Endive are greens that are closely related to Chickory. Endive
is loose leafed, with a slight bunching of blanched leaves in the center
of the plant. There are two types: the frilly curled Endive with pointy leaves,
and a smoother-leafed Escarole. Endive has a slightly bitter, buttery taste.
It is very popular, and attractive in salads.
Days to Maturity:
Endive is ready to harvest in 90-100 days.
Sowing Endive Seeds:
Endive seeds are very fine. When planting in rows, spread the seeds as thinly
as possible. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of loose soil or starting
mixture. Water lightly, and keep soil moist. Thin plants to 6" apart, in
rows 18" apart.
Tip: Some people sprinkle the seeds on top of a fine soil, and just
water them in.
Endive are good candidates for container gardens. Try growing Endive in a
container on your patio or deck.
How to Grow Endive Plants:
Endive likes cool weather and lots of moisture, in rich, well drained soil.
Provide an even amount of moisture and fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer works
Weed the patch regularly, as weeds will compete for moisture and nutrients.
Temperatures - Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
Ideal Soil pH -
Endive grows slower than most lettuces. You can harvest leaves as soon as
it is big enough to use.
Insects and Pests:
Bunnies like all kinds of lettuce. Got bunnies!? Then, a rabbit fence is
in your future.
A variety of insects can pose a real problem. Lettuce is delicate and can
absorb many insecticides. If you want or need to use insecticides, look for
brands that are less harmful to you and the environment. We like to avoid
insecticides on leafy vegetables wherever possible. we suggest organic sprays,
and a willingness to give up some of the harvest to insects, versus using
pesticides. After all, one of the reasons most of us have gardens is to avoid
Slugs are a real problem for all types of lettuces. There are a variety of
control methods. More on Slugs and snails.
Disease problems are few, except in wet or hot weather.
Also see: Plant Problems
Like other lettuce, Endive thrives in cooler weather, with moderate moisture.
It is not fond of mid-summer heat, or dry conditions.
More Gardening Information:
Our Garden Recipe Collection