Learn How to Grow Fenugreek in your garden or containers on your balcony! Growing Fenugreek is easy and rewarding all year round!
Fenugreek or ‘Methi,’ as it is popular in the Indian subcontinent, is native to Southwest Asia and widely cultivated for its medicinal and culinary uses. It’s an all-purpose plant: Seeds are used as a spice, dried leaves as a herb, and fresh and tender leaves as a green leafy vegetable. Let’s have a look at How to Grow Fenugreek easily in home and garden!
USDA ZONES: All the zones as a seasonal crop
Growing Season: Spring, summer, and fall (year-round in warm climates, i.e., USDA Zone 9-11)
Botanical Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Other Names: Samudra methi, Shanbalile, Abesh, Hilbeh, Hilba, Helba, Halba, Kasturi methi
Here are the best tips on growing herbs in pots
How to Grow Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is as nutritious as spinach and one of the tastiest green vegetables, not to mention the fact that it’s the fastest-growing vegetable along with some others listed here! Growing fenugreek is really easy from seeds:
- When growing the seeds in the garden, plant them 8-14 inches apart.
- Plant the seeds in the spring, summer, fall, and even winters, either indoors or outdoors, if you live in a frost-free region.
- Being one of the quickest vegetables, you’ll be able to harvest it in a month.
- Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in a rich potting mix.
- Water well and ensure that it gets at least 4 hours of direct sun. The more, the better!
- The seeds will sprout in 3-8 days (as they germinate fast), and the plant will be ready to harvest in 4-5 weeks.
Note: Buy the best quality seeds from the garden center or online. You can also buy it from grocery stores or spice shops as its seeds are sold as a spice but beware of poor germination rate.
Growing Fenugreek in Containers
- Take a shallow but wide planter at least 6-8 inches deep with good drainage. Fenugreek has shallow roots so that it won’t mind the low depth.
- Fill the pot with a rich potting mix. You can mix a 1/3 part compost or well-rotted cow or horse manure to the soil.
- Sprinkle seeds all over the pot and dust a thin quarter-inch layer of soil briskly to cover them.
Growing Climate and Temperature
- Fenugreek grows well in a wide variety of climatic zones but is best in warm and hot regions when the temperature ranges from 50 to 95 F (10 C to 35 C).
- When planting it for seeds, grow it in spring or early summer. If you’re cultivating it to use as a vegetable or herb, then you can plant it anytime between spring to mid-fall.
- If you live in USDA zone 9-11 or any warm place with frost-free winters outside the U.S., you can grow them year-round.
- Similarly, you can grow this vegetable indoors year-round on a bright windowsill.
Requirements for Growing Fenugreek
Fenugreek prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH level around 6.5 to 8.2. Plant it in a spot that receives partial 4-5 hours of direct sun, if the sun is mild in your area, you can also grow this in full sun, and it won’t mind. In a hot climate, shade in the afternoon helps the plant.
Do regular watering to keep the soil slightly moist all the time. If you’re growing fenugreek indoors or in a shady area, be vigilant about watering.
Indoors or in low light, it is important not to over-water the fenugreek plant and avoid waterlogged soil. This will impede the growth and kill your plant.
Fenugreek does not require heavy feeding. To boost the growth, feed the plant with a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer every other week or check the label on the fertilizer packet for dosage and instructions.
Pests and Diseases
Usually, this vegetable remains pest-free, but some of the common pests and diseases that affect it are aphids, powdery mildew, charcoal rot, and root rot. You can easily save your plant from these problems by using organic pesticides regularly and watering properly.
In favorable conditions, fenugreek will be ready for the first harvest in 20-30 days. Trim the leaves gently to use as a leafy vegetable and prepare delicious recipes, or air dry it to use as a herb.
Leave the twigs or bottom growth, which will grow back again in 14-20 days. You can do this up to four times. To harvest fenugreek seeds, you will have to wait for 2-4 months, depending more on the growing conditions.
Its sour and sweet flavor gives it a distinctive taste, which you can’t compare with another vegetable! But some people say it tastes like spinach with a hint of sweetness.
It is popularly used in Indian, Persian, Egyptian, and Ethiopian cuisines, to prepare the tastiest recipes. Fresh seeds are used to sprinkle on salad and dried seeds in pickles.
Fenugreek as Microgreens
You can also grow fenugreek as microgreens, and this way, it will taste much sweeter, slightly tangy, and spicy with that signature earthy flavor. Growing Fenugreek Microgreens is also easy.
- Take a shallow container, fill it with a seed starting mix and sprinkle fenugreek seeds densely all over. Do remember to soak the seeds overnight as it will help them to sprout quickly.
- Water well and keep it at a spot that gets bright daylight.
- When the seedlings are 3-4 inches tall having 3-4 true leaves, you can start harvesting them. Use a pair of scissors to make a clean cut.
- You can use them in curries, fresh greens, and salads.
Can You Grow Fenugreek Indoors?
Being one of the fastest-growing greens, it also grows well in indirect light. If you live in an apartment where you have a bright window that gets 1-2 hours of sunlight a day, you can easily grow it in pots to enjoy a fresh harvest!