How to Grow Trigonella Plants

Guide to Growing Fenugreek, Greek Hay, and Fresh Menthi

Trigonella is a genus of half hardy annual herbs that reach from 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) in height.

They have clover shaped foliage, and bloom from the middle of summer through to autumn. They carry small pea like flowers.

If growing for culinary use, then seed pods should be cut off the plant once they have ripened. Allow the Trigonella seed pods to dry in the sun, then remove the seeds and store in a dry and airtight container.


Fenugreek leaves
Fenugreek leaves by Dainee; Creative Commons.

Some of the common names for Trigonella include Fenugreek, Greek hay, and Bird's Foot.

Fenugreek sprouts
Fenugreek sprouts by Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie.

Trigonella Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Fenugreek, Greek Hay, Fresh Menthi, Sicklefruit, Bockshornklee, Cooper's Clover.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.
Height: 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm).
Native: Middle East.
Growing Region: Zones 6 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White, cream. Pea-like.
Foliage: Light green. Cuneate.

Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6 mm). Mid-spring; soil temperature must not drop below 60°F (16°C). Germination time: less than a week. Germination temperature 65°F (18°C). Spacing 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7. Rich soil. Occasional water.
Family: Fabaceae.
Miscellaneous: Seeds are used to make curry powder and pickles. Leaves and sprouts are used to flavour dishes or may be eaten as a leaf vegetable when young. The plant also has many medicinal uses and is known to increase lactation. The plant also makes a good cover manure when used in an organic garden.

How to Grow Fenugreek (Trigonella)

It is best to sow Fenugreek seeds outdoors in the herb garden. Sow them at about 6 mm deep (1/4 inch) into a warm soil in the middle of spring.

It should only take a couple of days for the seeds to germinate. If germinating Fenugreek (Trigonella) indoors then give them a temperature of about 20 to 25 degrees centigrade (68 to 77°F).

Ideally Fenugreek (Trigonella) should be spaced at about 10 cm (4 inches) apart. Locate in an area that has lots of sun. Grow in a well drained soil that is rich, and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6 to 7).

Caring for Fenugreek and other Trigonella Plants in the Garden

Trigonella plants such as Fenugreek and Greek hay take little looking after, give them a splash of water if soil becomes dry.

If you require more Trigonella plants, then it is best to grow from seeds.

Common Questions

How many members does the Trigonella genus have?

The Trigonella genus has approximately 100 species, including the popular herb Fenugreek.

Do members of Trigonella make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Trigonella is primarily cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses rather than ornamental appeal.

Which Trigonella species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown Trigonella species is Trigonella foenum-graecum, commonly known as Fenugreek.

Are members of the Trigonella plant genus fragrant?

Trigonella is known for the unique aroma of its seeds, used as a spice in many cuisines.

What is the perfect location to grow Trigonella?

Trigonella thrives in full sun with moderately fertile, well-drained soil.

Is Trigonella invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Presently, Trigonella species are not listed as invasive in the USA. Always consult local regulations for the most current information.

How do I remove Trigonella plants from my garden?

Trigonella plants can be manually removed by uprooting the entire plant, ensuring all seeds are collected to prevent regrowth.


The Trigonella genus, commonly known as fenugreek, includes annual plants native to Southern Europe, Western Asia, and the Mediterranean. They are cultivated for their aromatic seeds, which are used as a spice in various cuisines and in traditional medicine.

Grow Trigonella from seeds in spring, in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They prefer cooler temperatures and require regular watering. Harvesting usually occurs approximately 2-3 months after planting when the plant begins to yellow and dry.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Trigonella plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Parochetus and Lupinus plants.