Growing Swiss Chard In Florida

Is growing swiss chard in Florida easy?

Swiss chard is a leafy green that will grow in Florida between October and early May. Plant seedlings 12 inches apart in a location that gets full sun. Florida friendly varieties are Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant, and Red Ruby.

Swiss chard not only provides you with food but it’s also a beautiful looking plant that can brighten up any landscape. They look really nice placed along a border of a planting bed.

When To Plant Swiss Chard In Florida

Swiss chard can take a tiny bit of heat. They won’t be able to be grown in full-blown summer but they can withstand our warm springtime.

Planting Times For Swiss Chard

North FloridaSep – Mar
Central FloridaOct – Mar
South FloridaOct – Mar

Swiss chard usually takes about 45 -60 days to become fully mature. March is that latest you would want to plant because conditions after mid-May are not ideal for swiss chard.

When planting swiss chard leave room to plant more than once. Plant more seedlings three weeks apart. By spread out your planting times you will have a steady supply of swiss chard instead of having a bunch all at once.

Best Varieties Of Swiss Chard For Florida

Swiss chard is a beautiful plant and there are a few different varieties, all with attractive features.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Awesome photo by David Fisher

Florida Friendly Swiss Chard Varieties

  • Bright Lights
  • Erbette
  • Fordhook Giant
  • Italian White Ribbed
  • Ruby Red

The bright lights variety has stems that grow to be orange, red and yellow. They are super colorful and really attractive. Erbette is a bit more boring, it looks like a common green. Ruby Red has nice deep red stalks and veins.

Growing Swiss Chard

When planting swiss chard you should choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun. The more the better.

This spot should also have well-draining soil that has plenty of organic matter. If planting straight into the ground you should at the very least add compost and a thick layer of mulch.

Each plant will need about 1 foot of space all the way around. You can either plant the seeds directly into the ground or you can transplant them into place.

If planting seeds directly into the garden be sure to plant more than you think you will need and thin the seedlings out as needed to provide adequate space.

Fertilizing Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green so it needs a fertilizer that will maximize green growth.

Wach nutrient in your fertilizer does something different for your plant. Nitrogen boosts green leafy growth, Phosphorus promotes flower and fruit development and potassium is a good overall health booster.

A god fertilizer for swiss chard is something like a 10-0-10. I like to use liquid kelp of fish fertilizer for plants that need a more nitrogen focused fertilizer (check price of liquid Kelp).


You can begin harvesting your swiss chard about two months after planting. When haresting it’s best to take from the lowest leaves on the plant.

Picking from the bottom encourages the plant to grow upwards.

Common Pests For Swiss Chard

Swiss chard can be bothered by root-knot nematodes in the soil. If this is the case you can solarize your soil by covering it with a layer of plastic to increase the soil temperature. This will temporarily get rid of nematodes but it is only a matter of time before they are back.

The best way to deal with them is to plant in a container or raised bed where you have control of the soil.

Besides that, swiss chard isn’t bothered by too many pests. Especially if you have other beneficial plants in your garden attracting good bugs.

You may see slugs and snails if the area around the plant is kept super moist.

Grow Swiss Chard In Florida

When it comes to growing swiss chard in Florida, it’s easy if you plant at the right time, in the right place and the right variety.

  • Plant Swiss chard between October and March in Florida.
  • Florida friendly varieties of swiss chard are Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant, and Red Ruby.
  • Plant in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sun with well-draining, organic-rich soil.
  • spread planting times out 3 weeks apart to give yourself a steady supply of swiss chard
  • Fertilize with something like liquid Kelp or fish fertilizer
  • Harvest after 2 months from the bottom up.

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Unluckily for plants, I really enjoy growing them. I've grown a few plants over the years and I've killed some too, more than I would like to admit. I just want to share my experience and hope that it helps others.

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