Endive Plant: Cool-Weather Greens – Epic Gardening

The endive plant generally is a little complicated. A number of vegetation are known as ‘endive’ and a few endive vegetation are mistaken for greens akin to lettuce and different leafy greens, which have a milder taste.  Hopefully, this text will assist clarify the variations between the several types of endive and offers you some recommendations on how you can develop the lettuce-type leaves it’s possible you’ll acknowledge from grocery store salad luggage.

The primary varieties of endive to be mentioned listed here are Bativan or escarole, an upright selection with a big salad-like broad leaves, and curly endive additionally referred to as frisee with extensive rosettes of finely serrated leaves. Each are very simple to develop and scrumptious to eat!

So why develop endive? Properly, firstly it’s low in energy, packed stuffed with nutritional vitamins and minerals particularly vitamin Ok, folate, and manganese, and excessive in advanced fibers serving to you are feeling fuller for longer. The marginally bitter taste element naturally promotes digestive well being and tells your abdomen to organize for meals. Leaves can be utilized uncooked in salads and wilted or cooked in soups and stews. They’re mostly blanched. Endive is especially grown as a chilly season or fall crop however the curly or frisee sorts develop effectively in the course of the summer time months supplying you with endive choices throughout the entire 12 months. 

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Endive:

Fast Care Information

Curly-leaf endive plant varieties are an excellent selection. Supply: John and Anni
Frequent Title(s) endive, escarole, frisee, curly endive, and endive lettuce
Scientific Title Cichorium endivia
Days to Harvest 90 days
Gentle Full daylight to partial shade
Water Common watering 
Soil Properly draining, moisture-retentive, fertile
Fertilizer Normal balanced fertilizer
Pests Slugs, snails, aphids, flea beetles
Ailments Bacterial fungal rot, backside rot, downy mildew

All About The Endive Plant

Frisee endive
A frisee type of endive plant has beautifully-shaped leaves. Supply: kiri73

You could be shocked to study that endive comes from the daisy household, Asteraceae. In case you ever let your endive vegetation flower you’ll perceive why. The botanical identify for endive is Cichorium endivia with two key varieties, escarole endive, C. endivia var. latifolia, and curly endive, C. endivia var crispum. Belgian endive and radicchio are additionally a part of the Cichorium genus however should not from the endivia species regardless of typically being known as ‘endive’. It’s simple to see how this may be complicated. Frequent names embody endive, escarole, frisee, curly endive, and endive lettuce.

Endive is believed to originate in Europe and Asia the place it stays a preferred vegetable at this time.  Curly or frisee-type vegetation have slender, deeply reduce curly leaves that develop from a big central rosette of sunshine inexperienced leaves to darkish inexperienced on the edges. The darker the leaf the extra bitter the flavour. Purple types of frisee are additionally out there to develop and make a pleasant distinction in a salad bowl.  

Escarole endive has broad easy leaves and is a hardier cool-season plant. The flavour is much less bitter than different endives particularly the lighter-colored internal leaves which can be utilized in salads in the identical method as frisee. The marginally more durable outer leaves are good for cooking like leafy greens or chopped and utilized in soups.

If vegetation are left to go to seed, they’ll produce a tall branching flower stalk with pale blue daisy-like flowers. Endive seeds are small and light-weight brown, enveloped in somewhat paper capsule, simple to gather, and can readily self-seed.

Though the leaves of all endive vegetation are the principle edible half, all endives have a faucet root of varied sizes containing a milky liquid that may be barely poisonous when contemporary. Roots are sometimes dried and floor to make a chicory different to espresso. The very best varieties to make use of for the espresso substitute are from the C. intybus species and are referred to as Magdeburg or Brunswick.

Many growers blanch endive vegetation to provide lighter-colored, much less bitter leaves. That is accomplished by putting a pot excessive of the plant or securing the leafy heads along with a rubber band or string to dam the sunshine from the middle of the plant. Do that two to a few weeks earlier than harvest and use blanched vegetation as quickly as potential as they’ll go to seed shortly after the blanching course of.

Sorts Of Endive

As talked about above there are lots of vegetation within the genus Cichorium which might be generally known as endive. Basically, the identify ‘endive’ is given to the bitter-flavored, leafy components of most vegetation within the chicory household even when they aren’t from the species endivia.

Along with the curly and escarole endives described earlier there may be one other sort of endive referred to as Belgian Endive or ‘Witloof’ which belongs to the species C. intybus var. foliosum. Belgian endive is small, 4-6 inches lengthy, and has cylindrical formed heads referred to as ‘chicons’ with creamy, yellow leaves which might be barely bitter. The heads are produced after harvesting the vegetation within the earlier season, digging up the roots and forcing them to resprout in the identical method mushrooms and rhubarb are grown in darkness to develop a agency closed head with crisp leaves and a fragile taste. 

Belgian endive may be baked, braised on the barbeque, and might even be used as a wholesome different to crackers and chips with dips. 

A crimson model of Belgian endive often known as radicchio makes a wonderful addition to salads.  It can be compelled to provide crisp, lighter-colored leaves.

Sorts of curly and escarole endive to look out for embody:

  • Jeti: Curly/frisee sort with mild inexperienced upright leaves and simple to blanch
  • Pancalieri: A superb self-blanching frisee sort with very curled leaves.
  • Avance: Escarole sort, fast-growing, chilly tolerant with densely crammed hearts.

Planting Endive

Endive seedling
Endive seedlings may be mistaken for weeds when you’re not used to them. Supply: JaulaDeArdilla

As a cool climate vegetable, endive must be sown in the course of the cooler months. In northern climates sow in early spring for harvesting as much as early summer time and sow once more in mid to late summer time to reap into winter. In hotter climates sow endive in early fall to reap proper by way of to the next spring.

Begin seeds indoors 6-8 weeks earlier than the final frost date and transplant outdoors after the final frost when air temperatures are secure. Fluctuations in temperature up or down could cause vegetation to bolt. 

Sow seeds instantly in mid to late spring in rows 18 inches aside, thinning to 7-8 inches aside.  Don’t let the thinnings go to waste! These younger leaves are good for salads. Develop in full solar to half shade in well-drained, constantly moist soil.

Curly and escarole endive are good for rising in massive containers and work effectively as reduce and are available once more sort of salad leaf. Hold containers effectively watered to stop vegetation from drying out and operating to seed. 


Curly and escarole endive are as simple to develop as lettuce! Comply with our ideas beneath and you may’t go mistaken.

Solar and Temperature

A minimal of 4 hours of direct daylight is required to develop endive, so full solar to half shade works greatest.  As a cool-season crop, endive grows greatest in temperatures round 60ºF (15ºC).  An excessive amount of fluctuation in temperature up or down will trigger vegetation to bolt so greatest to sow a bit later in spring when temperatures are extra secure. Bolting causes leaves to turn out to be bitter and unpalatable. Escarole endive is hardier than curly varieties and is the higher choice to develop for fall/early winter harvests however will nonetheless want some frost safety with a frost blanket. Alternatively, extended excessive temperatures will trigger leaves of escarole varieties to turn out to be bitter so it’s greatest to develop curly sorts in summer time. USDA zones to develop endive are 4-9.

Water and Humidity

Rising endive requires constantly moist soil in planting beds to stop vegetation from changing into careworn and bolting. Examine soil for moisture ranges commonly and water as wanted. Mornings are greatest to permit vegetation to soak up all that pretty moisture earlier than the total warmth of the day. Use soaker hoses or a watering can, directing the water to the soil and never the leaves. 


Gentle, fertile, well-drained soil is greatest to develop endive. Most soil sorts are high-quality besides heavy clay which might trigger water logging which rots endive roots and leaves. Unfastened soil is greatest. Digging in a number of well-rotted manure or add aged compost previous to planting tp assist preserve moisture in while offering vitamins for vegetation. Endive likes its pH on the marginally acid aspect preferring a pH 5 to six.8.


Endive sick advantages from fertilizer all through the rising season both by digging in some fish emulsion, blood meal, bone meal, or well-rotted manure a number of weeks earlier than planting or utilizing balanced liquid basic fertilizer a few times a month in the course of the rising season.


Endive doesn’t require any formal pruning aside from the odd tidy-up to maintain vegetation wholesome and naturally to reap. In case you develop endive as a reduce and are available once more then harvest typically to encourage contemporary new development. Take away any particles round vegetation in addition to broken or diseased outer leaves to stop fungus growing in backyard soil, and to discourage slugs and snails. Take away complete vegetation on the soil degree after bolting to stop self-seeding.


Sow endive seeds indoors in module trays 6-8 weeks earlier than the final frost date for transplanting outdoor in mid to late spring when day by day temperatures are extra constant. Harden them off slowly to acclimatize them earlier than lastly planting out into the ultimate rising positions. 

Alternatively, sow seeds instantly into the bottom from mid to late spring when soil temperatures are a minimal 59°F (15°C).  Seeds won’t germinate when soil temperatures exceed 80°F.  Sow thinly ½ inch deep (1cm).

Harvesting and Storing

Straight leaf endive plant
Some endive vegetation produce straight leaves and vanish seamlessly into salads. Supply: intheburg

There are a few methods to reap and retailer your endive crops for optimum use. 


Curly/frisee endive is grown primarily as a summer time crop and may be harvested as reduce and are available once more, just by snipping a number of leaves as wanted, or harvesting as a mature head from late spring onwards normally round 3 months from the sowing date. To reap a whole head reduce the stem on the base of the leaves with a pointy knife. The broader leaves of escarole sorts can be harvested in the identical method however normally later within the 12 months. 


Endive is greatest used quickly after harvesting – particularly blanched vegetation which deteriorate extra shortly. Unfastened leaves and complete heads will retailer within the fridge for as much as every week if wrapped in damp kitchen paper.


Endive leaves aren’t very tasty to commonest pests though there are a few bugs to look out for in addition to one or two ailments.

Rising Issues

As a temperature-sensitive plant, one of many major rising issues to cope with when rising endive is bolting (vegetation operating to seed). All vegetation finally go to seed when the time comes however you need to be sure to can harvest first. To keep away from vegetation bolting, guarantee you might be sowing and rising your vegetation on the proper time of 12 months to your local weather and preserve the soil moist always.


Slugs and snails generally is a drawback when rising endive as they thrive within the moist soil circumstances that endive prefers. Handpicking notably at evening and eradicating hiding spots akin to damp wooden, logs, and plant particles will assist to cut back populations. An natural slug and snail bait could also be helpful as effectively.

Aphids (Aphidoidea) benefit from the contemporary new leaves produced on the coronary heart of endive vegetation making it unattractive and troublesome to scrub. Develop companion vegetation like marigolds or calendula to assist deter aphids and encourage useful bugs into the backyard to feed on them. Alternatively, spray them with an natural insecticidal cleaning soap or neem oil. Squishing aphids with fingers or a fast blast of water may assist to cut back numbers. 

Flea beetles are shiny black bugs that feed on leaf matter forsaking yellow stippling. They seem like tiny, black grasshoppers and leap whenever you attempt to catch them. Yellow sticky traps will seize them, however these may entice useful bugs. A light-weight mist of neem oil earlier than the solar rises, and out of doors instances when temperatures are 90°F will kill them and preserve them away. 


Endive is a cool season plant that can also be the right surroundings for bacterial leaf spot to thrive. This fungal illness may be carried in soil and water and causes brownish water spots on foliage which finally flip yellow and the leaves rot. Keep away from disturbing the soil round vegetation when the world is moist and keep away from watering from overhead every time potential. Take away contaminated vegetation instantly to stop the micro organism from spreading and rotate crops every year.

If endive vegetation are sitting in soil that’s too moist or after extended interval of rain the underside leaves can start to rot, often known as backside rot. Signs embody reddish brown spots on the underside of leaves which shortly deteriorate. In very moist circumstances take away essentially the most outer leaves so they aren’t resting on the soil and keep away from overhead watering. Take away contaminated vegetation and keep away from crowded vegetation by offering satisfactory spacing. Rotate crops every year.

Downy mildew may have an effect on endive in cool, moist climate. It seems in stark white patches on leaves, indicating this fungal illness has taken maintain. The very best remedy is prevention within the type of copper fungicide sprayed because the plant is rising. 

Incessantly Requested Questions

Endive plant
An endive plant might be the right addition to your backyard. Supply: John and Anni

Q: Is endive a lettuce?

A:  ​​Endive is sometimes called a sort of lettuce and is comparable in look to a number of lettuce varieties. Each lettuce and endive are from the identical household, Asteraceae, however in a distinct genus; endive is from Cichorium and lettuce, Lactuca sativa.

Q: Is endive troublesome to develop?

A:  Endive is temperature delicate and susceptible to bolting. Other than this, it’s reasonably simple to develop.

Q: What does an endive style like?

A:  Endive taste ranges from delicate to robust bitter greens. When cooked the flavour turns into mellow and nutty.

Q: Is endive a superfood?

A:  Endive is taken into account by many to be a superfood. The bitter taste is helpful to intestine well being and the leaves are wealthy in nutritional vitamins and minerals.

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