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Growing Artichokes

Growing Artichokes

Imperial Star Artichoke


A tender perennial vegetable often grown as an annual in cold climates. Also an attractive ornamental with large, thistle-like flowers. Hardy in zones 7 to 10. In mild climates, Artichoke is usually fall planted and bears the following season. In cold climates, start seed indoors 12 to 14 weeks before the last spring frost. Move the seedlings to a cold frame 6 weeks before the last frost, as cool temperatures induce flowering. Cover seed about ¼ inch deep. After frost danger has passed, transplant seedlings to the garden with the roots at the same depth as growing in the pots. 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. Prefers cool summer climates, and 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 25 F or lower.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Natures Source Plant Food Concentrate 10-4-3 (51012), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other perennial vegetables are Asparagus, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Rhubarb.

Complimentary Products

Moderate to heavy feeders that benefit from regular fertilization. Use Tomato & Veggie 3 In 1 (50317) or Organocide Insecticide Concentrate (88626) to control pest and disease problems.

Product Recommendations

Sluggo Plus (50192) can be used to control snails and slugs.

Artichoke Facts

Usually free of significant problems. Aphids, caterpillars, mites, slugs, snails, powdery mildew, and grey mold are sometimes problems. Artichokes are high in fiber, vitamins B6 and C, folate, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

Growing Tips