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Growing Artichokes

Growing Artichokes

Imperial Star Artichoke



Artichokes are a tender perennial vegetable often grown as an annual in cold climates. The edible part of the plant is the flower bud. They are also an attractive ornamental with large, thistle-like flowers. Plants are hardy in zones 7 to 10.

How To Plant

In mild climates, Artichoke is usually transplanted in fall for bearing in the following season. In cold climates, it is transplanted in spring 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost. Cover seed a quarter inch to half an inch deep and germinate at 60 to 70º F. Expect germination in 14 to 21 days.

Start seed indoors 11 to 16 weeks before the last spring frost. Seedlings reach transplantable size after 8 to 12 weeks of growth. Artichokes need cool temperatures to induce flowering, so transplant them outdoors when temperatures are still cool, 3 to 4 weeks before the last expected frost in spring.

Space plants 30 to 36 inches apart with 3 to 4 feet between rows. Harvest the buds before they start to open.


For full sun to part shade in fertile, well-drained soil. Artichokes prefer cool summer climates, and they care best grown in part shade in hot climates. Plants can be dug in fall before frost in cold climates and stored in mesh bags in a cool, dry, frost-free area like a basement. When planted outdoors the next spring, overwintered plants will grow quickly.

In mild climates when grown as a perennial, cut plants to near the soil level after harvest. Mulch plants heavily (4 to 6 inches deeply) if temperatures drop to 25º F or lower.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Artichokes are moderate to heavy feeders that benefit from regular fertilization. Use full rates of ALGOplus All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 or Neptune's Harvest Tomato & Veg 2-4-2.

Common Problems

Artichokes are usually not seriously troubled with significant pest problems. Aphids, caterpillars, mites, slugs, and snails sometimes attack plants. Potential disease problems include powdery mildew and grey mold (Botrytis).

Product Recommendations

Sluggo Plus bait can be used to control snails and slugs. 70% Neem oil can be used to protect plants from insects and diseases.

Artichoke Facts

Artichokes are high in fiber, vitamins B6 and C, folate, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.


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