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How to Grow Globe Artichoke Plants

Artichokes or "chokes" as they are commonly called, are a member of the thistle family. Artichokes are considered a sensuous vegetable, and the vegetable of the gods. It is believed to be loved by the Greek god Zeus. It is also a favorite of aristocrats and affluent members of society, dating back thousands of years.

The Artichokes we eat, are the immature flower bud of the artichoke plant. This tender, young bud is called the "Artichoke heart". If allowed to mature, the bud produces a purple flower.

Artichoke hearts can be eaten raw or cooked. They are most often steamed. The heart, or center of the bud, is eaten along with small, tender outer leaves. The stem is also edible, and best cut an inch or so below the bud.

Artichoke is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Did you know? Artichokes are a member of the Thistle family.

Artichokes are grown commercially in the U.S., almost exclusively in California. While it is grown by home gardeners, it is not a common home garden crop.  It is also grown around the world.

Other Names: Cardoon

Ancient Greek Myth: If a woman wanted to have boy, she was told to eat artichokes.

Varieties of Artichokes:

  • There are over a one hundred varieties of Artichoke grown around the world,. Of those, about 40 varieties are grown commercially, and only a couple common garden varieties.

  • Globe Artichokes are grown for their edible flower. Another Artichoke, Jerusalem Artichokes are grown as a tuber, like a potato.

How to Grow Artichokes:

Artichoke plants are perennials. Importantly, they will rarely produce flowers the first year. Make sure to plant them where the bed will not be disturbed.

Sow seeds one inch deep, spaced 5-6 inches apart. Rows should be spaced 5-6 feet apart. Thin plants to two 2/12 feet apart.

Also See:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures - Ideal germination temperature by vegetable

Ideal Soil pH - by vegetable

Insects and Pests:

Slugs like the young shoots, and are especially a problem in wet weather. Aphids like to suck on the flower buds and stems as they are developing.


Blight on the petals of the flower can occur. Treat with fungicide early.


Days to Harvest: 180 - 365

Harvest Artichoke buds just before the bud begins to open. Cut the main bud a few inches below the bud. Smaller secondary buds will form later, and can also be harvested.

Plan ahead. It can take an artichoke plant one to two years before it produces it's first bud.

Unharvested buds will produce big, beautiful flowers. If you miss the harvest, the garden will look pretty.

Plant Hardiness:

Artichoke plants need a long growing season, and mild weather areas. Winter protection requires applying a thick layer of mulch in colder regions. We don't recommend  growing them in northern climates, as the season is too short.

Artichoke Recipes:

Recipes: May we suggest:


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