Cichorium intybus, Chicory, Succory
Clear blue flowers in the second year. Oval mid green coarsely toothed leaves, with tiny hairs on the underside. Culinary; use young leaves and flowers in salads. The root is used to make a form of coffee.
• Hardiness: H5 (-10 to -15C)
• Type: Herbaceous Perennial
• Height: up to 1m
• Spread: 30cm
• Soil type: Fertile Light Loam
• pH: Neutral Acid
• Habit: Upright
• Flowering colour: Blue
• Flowering time: Summer in second year
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: Yes (Read Jekka's Guide to Pollinators for more information)
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: Yes
• Caution: Excessive and continued medicinal use may impair the function of the retina.
• Indoor Sowing: late summer, into prepared plug trays or pots. Winter young plants in a cold frame.
• Outdoor Sowing: In mid spring, into a prepared site. Thin seedlings to 20cm apart.
• Propagation: Cuttings
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: N/A
Chicory has been much valued as a bitter digestive tonic throughout history. It is seen as supporting the liver, stomach and bowels, and has a gentle laxative and restorative action.
Chicory root also contains a high proportion of a starch-like compound called inulin, which may be effective in encouraging the growth of helpful gut bacteria and assisting in the regulation of glucose and certain fats in some people.
It is often used to support those with rheumatic conditions and gout. The dried and roasted root has been widely adopted as a coffee substitute.
Caution: No major issues identified.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.