How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Artichokes

Common Name  Artichoke, globe artichoke, French artichoke, green artichoke
Botanical Name Cynara scolymus 
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type  Herbaceous, perennial, biennial
Mature Size  3-6 ft. tall, 4-5 ft. wide
Sun Exposure  Full 
Soil Type  Well-drained
Soil pH  Neutral
Bloom Time  Summer, fall
Flower Color  Purple
Hardiness Zones  7-11 (USDA)
Native Area  Mediterranean

artichoke blossoming
The Spruce / Kara Riley
artichoke budding
The Spruce / Kara Riley
flowering artichoke
The Spruce / Kara Riley

Artichoke Care

Because artichokes frequently take two years to flower, they are typically sold as container plants in their second class or as established root crowns. They become large plants and should be spaced at least four feet apart, but six feet is even better. Plants grown as annuals, or where the tops will be killed second by frost, will not grow as big and can be spaced a little close. Harvest the bud for eating before they develop into thistle-like flowers .

When grown within their robustness stove, artichoke plants should produce for approximately three to five years and will develop side shoots at their bases. At this time, you can lift, divide, and replant the new shoots .


Artichokes grow best in full sunday. They can tolerate some shade, but the flower bud will suffer .


Artichokes prefer arenaceous, well-drained but prolific territory. A land ph slenderly on the alkaline side is best. slightly arenaceous dirt ( think : mediterranean ) is ideal. good drain is crucial to prevent the roots from rotting, specially in areas where they will be overwintered. however, the soil must besides be able to retain water long adequate to allow the roots to take it in during hot summers .

When growing artichokes as perennials, it is specially crucial to amend the land before planting to ensure they will grow well in future years. If your garden dirty is poor, consider growing your artichokes in raised beds .


Artichokes require lots of moisture for best growth. Deeply water artichoke plants at planting time, and water them deeply at least once or twice per week. soil must be damp for bud to develop. Water keeps flower bud fleshy and tender and helps develop a potent root system that will keep the plants upright .

temperature and Humidity

This establish prefers warm upwind, such as that found in the Mediterranean region and in California. excessive heating system will cause the plant to bloom prematurely. When mature as perennials, artichokes favor areas with balmy winters ( 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit ) and cool, damp summers ( 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit ). identical hot land will make the plants flower excessively quickly, indeed apply a blockheaded mulch around the base of the plants to keep the territory aplomb .


Artichokes are heavy feeders, so add compost or aged manure into the plant hole at planting time. alternatively, at planting time you can apply an organic balance fertilizer. For the come of fertilizer to use, follow the product label instructions. Feed the plants sporadically throughout the growing temper .

Types of Artichokes

here are respective excellent varieties of artichoke :

  • ‘Big Heart’ is a thornless variety that can handle some heat.
  • ‘Green Globe’ is the variety most often grown commercially in California, but it does not adapt as well to less-than-ideal growing conditions. Produces good quality buds. Also known as ‘Vert Globe’.
  • ‘Imperial Star’ is widely adaptable, easy to grow from seed, and bred to be grown as an annual. Bears four-inch wide, spineless buds. This is the variety recommended for gardeners in zones 6 and colder.
  • ‘Purple of Romagna’ is a tender Italian heirloom favored by chefs.
  • ‘Violetto’ is an Italian heirloom prized for its production of dozens of small side shoots.


When harvesting artichokes, merely cut them from the plant at a 45-degree slant when they are about three inches in diameter. Cut spent stalks down to the flat coat to allow room for other stalks to grow. When the plant is done bearing fruit, cut it down to just above the grind and apply a heavy layer of mulch .

Propagating Artichokes

Though it is easier to grow artichokes from seed, it is possible to grow new artichoke plants from the offshoots that most artichokes produce starting in their second gear or third base year. This can only be done in quick climates where artichokes winter .

  1. During the fall or winter. remove some soil to expose the roots of the plant.
  2. Remove the shoots and the roots of the shoots with a sharp knife. The shoots should be at least eight inches long.
  3. Backfill the soil around the original plant.
  4. Plant the offshoots immediately in well-draining soil at least six feet away from the parent plant.
  5. Deeply water the new plant and keep it moist. If it doesn’t rain, apply at least one inch of water per week. New growth should appear within a few weeks.

How to Grow Artichokes From Seed

Start seeds indoors, at least eight weeks before your average last frost date. Plant seeds 1/4 inch deeply in trays or pots filled with a moisten seed starting blend. Soil temperature needs to be affectionate for germination, so place the seed tray or pot on a heating system flat or a warm space such as the top of the refrigerator or a board above a heat vent. Seeds should germinate within 7 to 21 days. Harden off the seedlings before planting them outside, but do n’t wait until all danger of frost has passed—artichokes need to experience a slender chill ( not freezing ) before they will set bud. This can be accomplished by putting your plants out in mid-spring and exposing them for a week to ten days to temperatures of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or a little lower .

If you try saving seeds from your artichokes, they might not grow on-key, producing plants that vary greatly from the rear plant. You will have better success with buy source that has been grown under control conditions .


If you want to grow artichokes as perennials, adapt your overwintering methods to your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone and climate :

  • Zones 8 and higher: After the last harvest in fall, cut the plants to soil level and cover with two to four inches of organic mulch, like straw.
  • Zones 6 to 7: After the last harvest in the fall, cut the plants down to about 12 to 18 inches. Cover the plant with organic mulch, like straw, leaves, or even compost, and then cover that with a large basket. Mound another layer of straw or leaves over the basket and cover everything with a waterproof tarp.
  • Zone 5 and cooler: You can follow the method described for zones 6 to 7 but overwintering artichokes in those climate zones is only likely to succeed in a mild winter.

Whatever your zone or method acting, remove all coverings in spring adenine soon as the dirty has thawed and no hard frosts are expected .

common Pests and Plant Diseases

few pests attack artichokes. Slugs can be a problem during damp weather, specially with younger, offer leaves. Aphids can besides become a nuisance, but they can be hosed off before they take over. Giving the plants adequate space for air travel to flow freely will help minimize aphid problems .

Botrytis, or grey determine, can affect leaves and flower bracts. It is most permeant on damaged leaves, which will turn brown and then grayish. Remove affected leaves vitamin a soon as the disease is apparent. For severe infections, use a antifungal labeled for edible plants, such as neem.


  • Can I grow artichokes through the summer?

    Although however highly popular in their native Mediterranean region, artichokes are not normally grown in the U.S.—California is the alone express with a boastfully commercial artichoke diligence. There, the acme growing season is from March to May, but if you plant some at home, you can have artichokes maturing throughout the summer .

  • Do I have to harvest the artichokes?

    You can grow them as a lovely garden plant rather of an comestible. Because few animals bother with artichokes, do n’t be afraid to implant them in your ornamental borders as comestible landscape. You can still harvest them at will, but the courtly plants and textural leaves will add ocular interest throughout the season .

  • How do I harvest artichokes?

    In most areas, buds begin forming in early on summer. The center bud will mature beginning and can be harvested a soon as it has reached about three inches in diameter. Harvest while the bracts are still tightly folded and the bud feel firm. You can cut a one- to three-inch fortune of the stem turn along with the bud, to make it easier to work with.
    After the center bud is cut, side shoots will begin producing smaller bud. Harvest when they are firm and reach about one to three inches in diameter. Small buds can be highly tender and flavorful, requiring only a slight heating-through before eat .

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Category : Tutorial

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