Fenugreek is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. Seeds found in ruins in modern day Iraq were carbon dated to 4000 BCE. It grows best in fertile soil in full sun. Learn more about how to grow fenugreek from seed below.

Trigonella foenum-graecum
Family: Fabaceae


Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun

Fenugreek responds poorly to root disturbance so either direct sow once the soil begins to warm up in late spring, or start indoors in peat pots or other compostable pots that can be transplanted whole. Ideal temperature for germination: 18°C (65°F). Seeds should sprout in 7-10 days.

Sow 5mm (¼”) deep. Transplant at a spacing of 10cm (4″). Keep the soil evenly moist during germination. Once seeds sprout, reduce watering slightly.

Fresh leaves are ready to harvest in 30 to 40 days, once the plants are 25cm (10") tall. Try using fenugreek as a cut-and-come-again crop by cutting back to 10cm (4") above the soil. If growing for seed, allow the plants to mature fully through the flowering and pod stage. The pods will turn yellow and the lower leaves will begin to drop once the seeds are mature.

Tie harvested plants in bundles for five to seven days to allow the pods to dry on the plants. Harvest the dry seeds by hand 

Seed Info
Usual seed life: 2 years.

Companion Planting
As a legume, fenugreek plants will fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil via root nodules. This makes it a useful companion for nitrogen loving vegetables like corn, cucumbers, and Brassicas. The amount of nitrogen a legume fixes depends on a number of factors, namely the population of rhizobia that infect the root nodules that are present in the soil, and whether fertilizer has already been applied—root nodules do not form if the soil has an excess of nitrogen.

More on Companion Planting