Chicory seeds, better known as chicory or cow-pea or chicory, is an annual herb that is commonly planted in the vegetable garden for its edible parts, but little is known about how the herb develops and grows. The plant is a perennial herb with a spreading habit. It is a member of the family of grasses or magnums and is one of the many members of the mint family, Brassicaceae. In fact, it is one of the three main types of mints.
Chicory seeds are about two to five inches tall and dark green in color; they have grayish-green foliage and a dark green stem. It flowers on new growth during late spring or early summer. The flowers are self-pollinated by taking the pollen from the blooming flower. The seeds are enclosed in a thin paper like pod attached to the stem by a short fibrous branch. Chicory is a perennial herb that grows best in cool, dry, open, sun-filled areas.
There are two different ways to grow chicory - indoors or outside. Growing the herb in your home garden will allow you to enjoy the sweet, aromatic flowers all year long, and it will also provide you with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed to keep your digestive tract healthy. Growing chicory in the yard provides you with the same pleasure, except that you can enjoy it all year round. However, there are different growing conditions that you should take note of if you want to grow chicory in your outdoor environment:
Full sun is the best growing condition for the chicory herb. In order for the seeds to germinate, you need a location in the garden where the sun reaches at least 6 hours a day. When choosing the type of herb you want to grow, be sure to choose one with a hardy seed that won't lose its fragrance as it matures. Some herbs do better in partial shade, while others prefer full sunlight.
If you're not sure what type of herb you want to grow, start by picking out the desired seed. If the seed is available, but you're not sure what kind it is, look through books or the Internet to determine its characteristics. It may come in a variety of colors, and it may have a distinctive smell or taste. Once you've found a suitable herb, you can then begin to plant it in a small container. Planting it too early in the season or in an area with a lot of shade can hinder the growth of the seed, so keep that in mind.
Chicory seeds are available both from local garden centers and online. You should be able to order them fairly easily, depending on where you live. If you live in the southern United States, seeds for this perennial herb should be readily available from most garden centers. They are slightly more expensive than intybus wild flower seeds, but they produce much bigger blooms. Keep in mind, however, that planting these seeds in the spring can stunt their growth.
When planting, avoid planting too close to other shrubs or plants, especially in the southern states. The planting area should be at least three feet deeper than the top of the shrub or plant. Once you've selected which zone you are in, select the type of planting height that will be right for your climate. Plant seeds in a sunny and well-drained spot. If you live in a hardy or cold climate, consider planting it in a shade zone.
Chicory seedlings take quite awhile to grow, so there is plenty of time to enjoy them before they bloom. In fact, planting this herb in the spring is one of the best ways to get started with planting your own garden. Chicory is a perennial that does not grow very tall, and its roots spread out very thinly. It can be planted right up against a fence, trellis, or any fence that is tall enough to hold it. The cichorium leaves easily come off and will make a colorful and attractive display as the plant matures.