Fernleaf Dill

(Anethum graveolens "Fernleaf")
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Sometimes known as “the fish herb”€ because it’s such a delicious complement to fish, dill is used in many dishes, especially dips, soups, vinegars, and salads. Fernleaf is an improved variety of the ordinary dill that is more compact. A 1992 All-America Selections winner, this variety of dill continues to be a favorite for its garden performance and the fact that it offers a lot of foliage. It is also slower to set seed than ordinary dill varieties, which means that you can harvest foliage longer. As the flowers do appear, you can harvest the dill seed for making dill pickles or other dishes calling for dill seed. Dill leaves or seeds are used in the cooking of many cultures around the world.

  • Type Warm-season annual
  • Planting time Spring, fall in frost-free climates
  • Features Feathery foliage, yellow blooms, dill seeds
  • Light Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Rich, well drained, pH 5.5 to 6.5
  • Spacing 12 to 15 inches
  • Plant size 18 to 24 inches tall
  • Garden use Herb and flower gardens, to attract swallowtail butterflies
  • Culinary use Foliage and seed for a variety of dishes

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

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At a glance
Nutrition Information

Light requirements: Full sun to part shade.

Planting: Space 12 to 15 inches apart.

Soil requirements: Dill craves well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with compost or other organic matter prior to planting.

Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season.

Frost-fighting plan: Although dill grows best in cool weather, plants don’t tolerate frost. Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts with a frost blanket. Harvest fall crops before a freeze.

Common issues: Plants readily self-sow, which can be a problem in some settings. Dill and fennel easily cross-pollinate, so don’t grow plants near each other. Dill is generally pest-free.

Harvesting: Pick dill leaves at any point between seedling and flowering stages. Peak leaf flavor and quality occurs just before flowers open. Snip individual leaves or branches. Allow seeds to turn brown on plants before harvesting by clipping seed heads. If you’re not interested in seeds, cut off entire plants for preserving just before flowers open.

Storage: Refrigerate unwashed leaves in an airtight bag or container. Leaves store 7 to 14 days. For longer storage, dry or freeze leaves. Individually quick freeze leaves on a parchment-lined tray and store in freezer bags, or freeze in ice cubes.

For more information, visit the Dill page in our How to Grow section.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup, fresh:
  • Calories: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Dietary fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Vitamin A: 14% DV
  • Vitamin C: 13%
  • Vitamin K: 0%
  • Vitamin B6: 1%
  • Folate: 3%
  • Potassium: 2%
  • Manganese: 6%

Nutritional Information

High in Vitamins A and C, dill contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage, boost the immune system, and form collagen in the body. Often paired with lemon in seasonings for poultry or fish, dill adds a tangy kick to main entrees or can be blended with vegetable side dishes like pasta or potato salads. Because dried dill can lose its appealing flavor during cooking—often replaced by a somewhat bitter aroma—it’s best to maximize flavor by adding it at the end of cooking. Dill freezes well; just wash and dry thoroughly before tightly sealing in freezer bags.

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