Artichokes, prized for their tender hearts and flavorful leaves, are unique edible thistles cultivated primarily for their immature flower buds. Originating from the Mediterranean region, artichokes have been cherished for centuries for their distinctive taste and culinary versatility. Artichoke plants, perennial thistles belonging to the Asteraceae family, boast large, lobed leaves with sharp spines and produce striking purple or blue flower heads. While the flower buds are harvested before they bloom, if left unharvested, the buds open into magnificent thistle-like blossoms. Artichoke plants thrive in temperate climates with fertile, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. With their rich nutritional profile and complex flavor, artichokes and their plants are beloved by chefs and home gardeners alike, offering a delicious addition to a wide array of dishes, from salads and dips to pastas and pizzas.

Plant Type

How To Plant

To plant artichoke seeds, start by preparing a seedbed in a sunny location with well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Sow the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area or directly outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the soil, spacing them 1-2 inches apart in rows. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, as artichoke seeds require consistent moisture for germination. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to about 12-24 inches apart to allow for proper growth. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when they have developed their first true leaves, ensuring they are planted at the same depth as they were growing in the seed trays. Provide regular watering, fertilize as needed, and mulch around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds. With proper care, you’ll soon be enjoying delicious homegrown artichokes.