Cichorium intybus L.
Chicory, Common Chicory, Blue Daisy, Blue Dandelion, Blue Sailors, Blue Weed, Bunk, Coffeeweed, Cornflower, Hendibeh, Horseweed, Ragged Sailors, Succory, Wild Bachelor's Buttons, Wild Endive, Belgium Endive, Witloof
Cichorium balearicum, Cichorium byzantinum, Cichorium byzantinum, Cichorium caeruleum, Cichorium cicorea, Cichorium commune, Cichorium cicorea, Cichorium commune, Cichorium divaricatum, Cichorium glabratum, Cichorium glaucum, Cichorium hirsutum, Cichorium illyricum, Cichorium officinale
Bloom Time: July to October
Cichorium intybus is a bushy perennial plant with grooved, tough, more or less hairy, and up to 40 inches (1 m) tall stems. Leaves are lanceolate, stalked, and unlobed. Flowers are usually bright blue, rarely white or pink, toothed at the ends, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. It flowers from July until October.
USDA hardiness zone 4a to 11b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Seeds can be started indoors five to six weeks before they are moved outdoors. In warm climates, sowing outdoors or transplanting occurs from September through March. Planting Chicory in cooler climates should be done three to four weeks before the danger of frost has passed.
Sow Chicory seeds 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) apart in rows 2 to 3 feet (60 to 0) apart. You can always thin the plants if they crowd each other, but close planting discourages weeds. The seeds are planted ¼ inch (6 mm) deep, and thinning is done when the plants have three to four true leaves.
You can also sow a crop for fall harvest if you choose a variety with an early maturation date. Planting Chicory seed 75 to 85 days before the anticipated harvest will ensure a late crop.
Chicory plants that are to be forced for blanched leaves will need to have the roots dug up before the first frost. Cut the leaves to 1 inch (2.5 cm) and store the roots for three to seven weeks in the refrigerator before forcing. Plant the roots individually after chilling to force the leaves to grow in a tight, blanched head. See more at How to Grow and Care for Chicory.
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