Although Endive has been used as a medicinal crop for thousands of years, it's only in the last few years that it has become a popular ornamental crop. If you enjoy planting colorful flowers in your flowerbeds, you're in luck - Endive is an easy plant to grow from seed. In fact, it's so easy that if you already have an established garden, you may grow an entire garden of Endive just to enhance your current flowerbeds. You can also start an Endive garden from cuttings and take cutting services from neighbors who grow them for a profit!
Although Endive seeds do very well in the garden, they're not so easy to take care of and need special attention when planting. Be careful where you prune your new Endive plants as the vigorous growing endives can make pruning difficult. Failing that, use an old toothpick to get rid of any dead leaves or branches and try growing endives out of your existing garden. When you've finally developed a large, healthy border, try growing endives in small containers on your deck or patio - close enough to your kitchen garden to add flavor to your dinner!
As with most perennials, endives should be planted in well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine. If you're planting seeds rather than cutting off an existing plant, you'll need to fertilize regularly to help the roots develop. Consider a bane or weed-killer fertilizer if you plan to be a frequent weeding. Keep in mind that it's important to place your containers on a firm, level surface to promote healthy root growth. If the soil in your outdoor garden is too moist or dry, the roots won't get proper drainage and you risk root rot.
Once your seeds are in place, be careful about where you plant them. Endive trees grow slowly and, depending on how much room you have available, you may have to replant the entire plant over again after a few years. Be sure to place icons or other flowering herbs close to each other, to provide additional support. Plant your seeds about two feet apart, in pots that allow room for their roots to spread out and develop. Keep in mind that if you're planting more than one plant per pot, you will want to place them closer together, in order for the roots to have plenty of room to connect and form roots.
After your seeds germinate and your Endive bushes begin to develop, you may have to water less often. If your soil is dry, you may need to water every other day. You can help your chimes to grow better by providing them with regular amounts of fertilizer. As your plants get healthier, you can increase the amount of fertilizer you give them. Always check to see if the fertilizer is being added at the proper time, and always read the instructions on any gardening products before you start using them.
It is also important that you keep your plants from becoming too crowded. If your planting area is not big enough, try growing chimes alongside other flowering plants, like chrysanthemums or daffodils. Also, be sure to mulch your Endives to keep them from drying out. Your new friends will also enjoy the shade offered by your Endive plants, so try to keep them trimmed to avoid crowding.
Before you buy your Endive seeds or plants, be sure to ask your local nursery for advice on caring for your new additions. Ask about the best time to plant them and about when to move them after they've been planted. Most experts will recommend that you move your Endive plants at least two weeks after planting them, to give them the best chance to thrive. Remember that even with the best care, your Endive plants will eventually fade. As with all types of flowering plants, you need to give them some room to grow.
When you're ready to move your Endive trees or plants, be sure to take careful measures to ensure they get to their new home. While most companies will allow you to transport your chimes, only a few will provide you with a safe way to do it. Most common methods include using pallets, wire mesh, or even pallets stacked on top of one another. The most important thing is that your chimes make it off the ground safely. You can always make do with just old pallets if you aren't planning to use a transportation method, though it's better to be safe than sorry.