Welcome to Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development
Climate: Fennel is a cool season crop mainly grown during winter season in north India, and does not thrive in south India except at higher elevation.A dry and cold weather favours higher seed production. Fennel thrives on long sunny days. A temperature of 15-20 C is the optimum and above 250 for extended period usually retards development and in early growth may result premature flowering and very low seed yield. Crop is susceptible to frost injury at flowering stage. The optimum temperatures for seed germination is 25-290 C. High winds at the time of maturity can cause shattering and very hot winds at flowering reduce seed setting.

Soil: Fennel thrives well on drained loamy soil, which is rich in plant nutrients and lime. However,   heavy soils are more desirable   than light soils. A neutral to slightly alkaline soil in the range PH 6.5-8.0 is preferable, but saline soils should be   avoided, as even low level of salinity significantly reduce seed yield. Fennel is low accumulator of heavy metals and thus can be   grown on polluted soil.

Improved varieties:
 (A) Gujarat : PF-35,Gujarat Fennel-1, Gujarat Fennel-2 Gujarat ,Fennel-11 and Fennel-S-7-9
 (B) Rajasthan : Ajmer fennel -1,RF-101 ,RF-125 and RF-143
 (C)  Haryana : Hisar Swarup
 (D) Tamil Nadu :  Co-1

Field preparation: Field preparation should start with early rain. The land may the irrigated if the moisture is not sufficient. The first ploughing should be done by soil turning plough and afterward 2-3 ploughing should be done by cultivator or harrow. The ploughed field should be made fine and leveled by planking. There should be moisture in soil for good germination.In order to manage problem of termite apply Quinalphos 1.5% or Methyl Parathion 2% dust, @25kg/ha in soil before planting.

Raising seedling in nursery: For raising seedlings in the nursery, select fertile land having good drainage. About 2.5-3.0 kg seed is sown in a nursery area of 1000 m2 for raising seedling for one hectare. In the well-prepared seedbeds, seeds are broadcasted The beds are covered with straw or stalk-mulch to protect against high temperature and strong sunlight and are irrigated. The seeds germinate within7 to8 days. The mulch is removed after germination. Irrigation is given as per requirement. The seedlings are ready for transplanting after 5 to 6 weeks.

Sowing/ Transplanting: The transplanting of seedling should be done at line-to-line spacing of 45 to 60 cm. and plant-to-plant distance 20 cm. The transplanting of fennel seedling should be done in the evening otherwise hot sunny days plant may die. Immediately after transplanting irrigation should be given for main season crop the sowing is done either by broadcasting method or in line. The line sowing of seed is more connivent to facilitate proper weeding and other intercultural operations.

Time of Sowing: The sowing of fennel may be done in both late kharif and rabi season .For early fennel, seed is sown is nursery in the month of June-July and 45-60 days of sowing in nursery. Seedlings of fennel should be planted in the main field. The first fortnight of October is ideal for direct sowing of the fennel as main season crops.

Seed rate: About 2.5-3.0 kg seed is required for raising seedling in nursery for one hectare but for main season crop 8-10 kg/ ha seed is required for direct sowing.

Seed treatment: In order to control the crop with seed borne fungal diseases, it is necessary to treat the seed before sowing by Bavistin or Captan or Thiram @ 2.5g/kg seed or with Trichoderma @ 6.0 g/kg seed. Seed soaking for 5 days, before sowing is found to increase germination percentage.

Manures and fertilizer: For good production of fennel about 15 tonne/ha well decomposed FYM should be applied at least 3-4 weeks before sowing. In addition to this in soil of normal fertility status 90 kg N, 40 kg P2O5 and 30 kg K2O/ha should be applied. 1/3 rd N and full dose of P2O5   and K2O should be applied as basal dose at the time of sowing and balance nitrogen should be top dressed in the field  at 30 & 60 days after sowing in the standing crop.The proper soil moisture should be maintained before broadcasting of nitrogenous fertilizer. In the early growth, stage of fennel if plant seems week, then spray 1% urea on the crop 3 weeks after sowing.

Inter cropping: The initial slow growth of fennel for first 70 to 80 days results unutilized vacant space which allows growth of weeds resulting in wasteful utilization of nutrients and water. This ideal space in between the rows may be utilized by growing short duration vegetable crops. Intercropping of fennel with chilli, potato, palak, carrot and methi has been traditional practices. Intercropping  of fennel with knolkho;l in 1;2 ration a nd with cabbage in 1:1  ratio  is  very effective and efficient for realizing higher yield and system productivity. Fennel has been very successful crop  to be grown as intercrop with  Ber and Aonla in initial orchard.

In comparison to other seed spices it requires more number of irrigation due to longer duration. Depending upon temperatures soil type, 6-8 irrigation during growth period is needed. The irrigation interval should be kept 15-20 days. Immediately after transplanting irrigation should be given. In direct seed crop light irrigation is given immediately after sowing if initial moisture is low.  Irrigation   at 4 days  interval with  pressurized and  low pressure drip  have been found very effective for realizing higher  yield along with saving of water and nutrients.

Intercultural operation: 
The crop growth is slow for first 50 days. Therefore, it is prone to severe weed crop competition.Therefore, in order to harvest good yield it is necessary to keep crop weed free. About 2 to 3 weeding and hoeing is required. Pre emergence application of  Oxadiargyl @ 75 /ha   with one hand weeding at 45 DAS has been  very effective for  ensuring  effective weed control fennel.

Plant protection

Control against frost
: Fennel crop is susceptible to frost during initial flowering and seed formation stage. Irrigate the crop to protect it form frost. In the situation of frost probability, an arrangement of smoke should also be made in the field.


Blight: It is an important disease of fennel .It can be controlled by spraying of 0.2% Dithane M-45 or  0.1 % Propiconazole at 60 to 90 days old crops or at the time of diseases appearance and also during cloudy weather. The spraying should be repeated at 15 days interval.

Powdery mildew: Dusting of sulphur @20-25 kg/ha  or spraying Karathane 0.1% or wettable sulphur 0.2% at 15 to 20 days interval during flowering control the attack of powdery mildew in fennel.


Aphids: Aphid attack fennel crop at flowering stage causing serious damage.  For the chemical control of aphids, the systematic of insecticide are widely used. Foliar spraying with 0.03.% Dimethoate  (30 EC) or 0.025% Thiamethoxam is effective for control of aphids in fennel. The botanical insecticide, nemarin (1%) and seed extract (1%) of neem (Azadirachtra indica) Karanj (Pongamia sp) have been reported to reduce aphid population by more than 50% within 7 days.

Harvesting and yield: Time of harvesting depends upon the type of the products marketed .For green saunf used for chewing purpose, umbels are harvested about 30-40 days after flowering when these are still green and have attained half length size. Since not all the fruits mature at a time, therefore harvesting of umbels has to be done 4-5 times as and when they become ready. Umbels are plucked when fruits have changed their colour from green to yellow and are fully mature. Harvested umbels should be dried in shade under well aerated conditions particularly for green fennel. Umbels should never be piled as it may deteriorate the quality. The dried umbel are separated and cleaned by winnowing.Under scientific management conditions of the crop, an average yields of 20-25 q/ha can be harvested.