How To Grow Radicchio In Pots? 

If you’re not familiar with the pretty veggie maybe it’s time to become so. Radicchios are the prettiest among vegetables. They are in many kinds of colors and different forms. 

Growing radicchios at home have many benefits the important one is, that it can save you some money since radicchio in the grocery store can be pricey. Radicchio is Old World chicory with wine-red leaves and a white center. 

Despite its appearance, it’s not related to cabbage. It has a tangy flavor that adds a pungent deliciously bitter note to your dishes. You can grow it as you would cabbage, and cool weather makes it a bit sweeter!

Grow Radicchio

Radicchio or red chicory, adds color to your garden and dining table. This vegetable is widely used in Italy where at least 15 varieties are grown.  Radicchio is an old-world chickpea, a cold-tolerant vegetable that can be thought of like cabbage. 

In fact, the growth of radicchio is very much like cabbage. The heads are small, reaching a size between orange and grapefruit. Many people associate it with a warm climate but it’s a frost-tolerant vegetable.

Growing Radicchio:

Radicchio can be grown in a garden as well as in pots but make sure that these leafy plants need full sun or partial shade to grow best. In the hottest part of the day drag them in partial shade. 

The most important thing is to keep in mind that radicchio does not like heat at all. The growth becomes stunted or the plant will bolt if the temperature exceeds 75 Fahrenheit.

Radicchio also needs moist soil. If you let your plants dry out they will turn bitter and growth could be slowed. They tolerate a range of soil types but a loamy fertile soil is best for their growth. If you do not have the right kind of soil naturally amend your soil with compost or sand. Water retention and drainage are key. 

Best Varieties Of Radicchio To Grow In Pots: 

Varieties Of Radicchio

You can generally group radicchio into two types:

  • Redhead
  • Greenhead.

Some reds only change color in cold weather. And without bleaching, some red varieties may actually turn browner before harvest, due to photosynthesis.


Chioggia is a classic type that you usually see in stores. It looks like a purple color cabbage head but has a stronger flavor. Commercial growers produce it all year round, so it’s easy to find and is a good choice if you are just starting to enjoy the radicchio. Cultivation includes Pala Rosa and Rosa di Veron


This variety looks large, red endive, and has a mild flavor. It’s tall and pointed with deep-red leaves. The leaves are narrow and structured, giving the plant a bit of a football shape. The sturdy narrow plant leaves are made for scooping up dips.

Treviso Tardivo:

Treviso Tardivo is a charming variety as it undergoes a long growth period which enhances its taste profile. Extended development also helps strengthen the structure. 

Chefs like this type because it keeps its shape better, and doesn’t overcook in cooking. It is beautiful in the garden, with a rose-like center and a lettuce-like appearance.


This type has creamy white leaves with red speckles rather than the deep-red color that you would expect. It’s a bitter green but prepared the right way it’s a treat. Creamy white color leaves have deep red speckles and delightfully gentle bites.


Puntarelle is a more difficult type to find but it’s worth the hunt. The plant looks like a bunch of fennel, topped with asparagus stems. This type needs to be blanched for the best taste.

Grow Radicchio In Pots:

Material required:

  • Pot 
  • Mulch
  • Radicchio seeds or roots
  • compost

Radicchio grows fabulous in containers so long as you use a seed-starting potting mix with the proper nutrients. Use a large pot that is at least 8-inches deep and has a drainage hole at the bottom.  

Make sure to water the plants frequently because containers tend to dry out faster than the ground. One of the nice things about growing it in containers is that you can move the plants to the shade when the temperatures start to get too hot during the day.

Spacing adequately is important because it encourages proper airflow, an important preventive measure that can help to prevent disease. But some experts will advise against spacing radicchio too far apart, claiming a bit of crowding can actually help to encourage the heads to develop the ideal shape.

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Mix organic matter into the soil and fill the pot. Mixing of organic matter before planting is basically the goal to add some texture and nutrients to the soil. Organic matter helps to improve the moisture content in the soil. Because of shallow roots, radicchio plants need to have consistently moist soil.


Radicchios can be propagated through seeds or transplants.

From seeds:

Plant radicchio seeds in biodegradable containers. Sprinkle the seeds in a pot and then cover with compost. It’s ok if seeds overlap as the seedling will be thin later on. Seeds will sprout in 7-14 days depending on the variety. Some gardeners start radicchio seeds indoors for later transplanting.

From radicchio roots:

Cut roots about 1cm above the growing point. If roots have side roots cut those of as well. Roots should not be higher than your container if it is then cut some lower parts. 

Fill the containers with potting soil put the roots into the container and press the surrounding soil so the roots are firmly fixed into the soil. There should be a bit of distance between roots. 

Place the container in a dark dry area and add water keep adding water until all soil is wet. Check regularly and add water. After about two and half weeks you see they grow.

Thin The Seedling: 

The radicchio seeds must be germinated in about a week. When seedlings are about one inch tall thin them so that the plants are spaced 8-15 inches apart. To remove them use a pair of scissors.


Maintain adequate moisture around the radicchio plants because when the plants get drought stressed the leaves turn tough and bitter. Add a generous layer of mulch around the base of radicchio plants to cool the roots. Prevent weeds and maintain adequate moisture.

Use Of Fertilizers:

Use fertilizers to boost the growth of radicchio plants. Mix well-rotted manure into the soil before planting to give radicchio seedlings a nutrition boost. Avoid using too many nitrogen fertilizers because it can cause the plant to bolt. And too much nitrogen also increases bitterness.


Be sure to keep the herbs in the bay during the growing season as they fight with the growing plants for nutrition and water. The best way to control them is the use of organic mulch.

 Radicchio PIN

Companion Plants For Radicchio:

Growing radicchio with companion plants can have many important advantages. Companion plants provide shade, loosen the soil, keep it moist, keep away pests, attract pollinators, and can also improve the flavor of your radicchio.

Yet, while some plants have a positive effect on the growth behavior and the yield of your radicchio, others will do more harm than good.

Good companion plants for radicchio are carrots, beets, strawberries, lettuce, onions, radishes, mustard greens, and cucumbers.

Bad companion for radicchio:

You should not plant radicchio next to endives, beans, peas, and escaroles. Because they take away water and nutrients from radicchio as well as some attract insects.


How you cut the radicchio will depend on the type of vegetable you grow. Redheads should be pruned when they are strong enough to touch, about 65 days after sowing. Make sure you don’t wait too long to harvest, because the older the head, the bitterest the taste.

To cut the heads, cut the whole plant above the soil line. If you cut off the head on the right side of the trunk, you may get another head at the end of the year. You can choose any stage or size for harvesting. 

Some people want it to be as big as a stone or grapefruit, while others like it young and soft. The leaves of the radicchio can be cut at any time, which makes it an excellent alternative to lettuce in salads.

Preservation Of Radicchio For Later Uses:

Radicchio will store best in a cold place like your refrigerator or vegetable drawer. loosely wrapped in plastic or a perforated bag. It will last for at least a week (and oftentimes longer) this way.

Uses of Radicchio:

Radicchio has the following uses:

  • You can eat radicchio raw or cooked, using either individual leaves or the entire head. Serving leaves with salt counteracts the bitter flavor and draws out the flavor of the high sugar content.
  • Toss raw leaves with olive oil and salt for a simple side dish. Blend them with milder lettuces and greens for a fresh salad.
  • Roast or grill chunks of radicchio until edges turn brown. You can even skewer entire heads and roast them on a spit. Bake or flour and fry individual leaves. Count on radicchio to add color to pasta, soups, legumes, rice dishes, or omelets.
  • Raw or cooked, the bitter flavor pairs well with the acidic sweetness of balsamic vinegar. Other great flavor partners include butter, prosciutto, Italian cheeses, lemon, salami, and fresh shell beans. Use radicchio as a substitute for endive in recipes.
  • Core small radicchio heads, removing much of the center of the head, to create a leafy bowl for holding seafood, tuna, or chicken salad. Strongly cupped individual leaves form ideal individual bowls for serving mixed salads like fruit, potato, or seafood. On a buffet, use individual cupped leaf “bowls” to hold olives, cheese chunks, croutons, or toothpicks.

Keep Reading

  1. 20 Best Vegetables To Grow In Buckets
  2.  8 Fast Growing Vegetables That You Can Grow In A Hurry
  3. 20 Best Fruits And Vegetables To Grow On Balcony

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