Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Swiss Chard
Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla 'Fordhook Giant'

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Beta (BET-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris subsp. cicla
Cultivar: Fordhook Giant
Hybridized by Burpee; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1934

Synonym:Beta vulgaris var. cicla

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #1 of Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla by Michaelp

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla by Xenomorf

By WNYwillieB
Thumbnail #3 of Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla by WNYwillieB

By jackfrost
Thumbnail #4 of Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla by jackfrost

By jackfrost
Thumbnail #5 of Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla by jackfrost


4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ReetPetite On Aug 22, 2011, ReetPetite from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

In Albuquerque, NM it survived two winters but each year leaves were tougher. I planted new seeds early this summer in a new garden with great success. Chard is sweet and can be eaten in any way spinach is used. When cooked, I add onion, celery & bell pepper with butter to both leaf dishes for extra flavor.

Positive jackfrost On May 29, 2009, jackfrost from Troy, NY wrote:

I had a small space in the greenhouse that was not in use so I grew chard as an experiment. It is thriving and growing rapidly. As it is growing hydroponically, it does not require the same spacing as outdoors. Fifteen plants are growing in a 3 square foot system and doing remarkably well.

Positive MOJB On May 4, 2009, MOJB from Norristown, PA wrote:

I put in some transplants at the beginning of last summer in sun but somewhat compacted clay soil location and they did not appreciate it and refused to grow to more than 6 inches tall. At the end of the season, I moved them to richer more fertile soil (in full sun) and covered them with plastic Tun'l Covers during the (bitterly cold) winter as an experiment. They did not grow at all during the cold winter, but they did survive with very little damage under the tunnel covers. In early spring, I removed the Tun'l Covers and added a mulch of shredded leaves and a little fertilizer and they are now about 18" tall and growing happily and putting on new leaves every week.

My mother grew the same transplants last summer in a sunny location with great soil and they put on a gorgeous show. With just 6 plants, she had enough to pick huge bunches at least (usually more than) twice a week. Very Prolific!

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 2, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Intro'd in 1934 by W. Atlee Burpee & Co. Plants usually 24-28" tall with 2 1/2" wide stalks. Reliable producer all season, even after the first light frosts. 50-60 days.

Positive Michaelp On Feb 6, 2004, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is the most productive of the Swiss Chard varieties I have grown.The stems are heavier and the leaves more full-Fordhook appears to have much less aphid problems than the colored varieties.I like the flavor of this one the best.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Miccosukee Cpo, Florida
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Willow Springs, Missouri
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Paltz, New York
Troy, New York
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Concrete, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America