Artichokes are herbaceous plants that belong to the Asteraceae family and it is made up of the sunflowers, thistles, and dandelions.
Artichokes can either be grown as an annual or perennial crop depending on the climatic factor of the environment, that is, these plants are annual crops in cool climates while they are usually grown as short-lived perennial crops in warmer climates.
The artichoke plant has different varieties and this plant could either come as a shade of green or purple depending on the variety in question and the two types of plants have their annual and perennial type of plants.
The artichoke plant is usually grown for its flowers which can be harvested before the flower buds open and there are several practices that you need to put in place for this plant to germinate very well under any climatic condition that you may find yourself.
The leaves of the artichoke plants grow long and they are arched-shaped and are silver-green in color. The artichoke plants look very soft and the leave part can be very prickly as they possess stems that are very thick and fleshy.
This plant is usually grown indoors for a start before the plant gets exposed to high temperatures and they must be well spaced when planted so as to allow for the spreading of the leaves of these plants.
The artichoke plant is also referred to as artichoke, French artichoke, green artichoke, and globe artichoke (which is as a result of the shape of the flowers).
Knowing how to grow your plant well as well as how to properly care for them is of great essence and you must know what to do and how to properly care for this plan.
In this article, we will take you through the various ways to properly grow and care for an artichoke plant so you should read further to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Grow an Artichoke plant
- 2 To grow the artichoke plant from seed: to do this you must;
- 3 Factors to be considered when Growing Artichokes
- 4 How to Care for Artichokes
- 5 Conclusion
How to Grow an Artichoke plant
Since artichokes are majorly planted for their flowers, it takes about two years after planting for this herbaceous plant to begin to flower.
Artichokes are wonderful plants that have distinct seeding and planting nature depending on the environment that you are and how you grow this plant also depends on the type of plant that you are dealing with.
Below are some of the ways through which you can grow your plants
Know the area where planting is to be done:
You must be aware of your own environment before you plant it because this plant cannot survive in all areas.
If you want to cultivate this plant in the cool climates, you should start planting in the early spring but if you reside in zone 9 to 11, planting should be done either during the spring or fall seasons.
To grow the artichoke plant from seed: to do this you must;
- Start growing your seed indoors for a minimum period of 8 weeks prior to the last frost date.
- Harden the seedlings off before planting outside and you must allow the plant to experience slight chilling before they set buds. You should do this by putting the plant outside in mid-spring and by exposing them for about 7 to 10 days to a temperature of about 45 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Seeds to be grown should be purchased from those that have been grown under controlled conditions.
Choose the right type of soil for planting or potting
The soil where planting is to be carried out is one that must be very light and well-drained.
The ideal soil type for planting is a slightly sandy soil, and this is important so that the soil can be easily drained so as to prevent the plant roots from rotting.
Another thing is that the soil must have a high water retention ability which will allow the plant’s root to access water easily during the hot summers.
If you want to grow your artichoke as a perennial plant, it is important that you check the soil quality and if the soil is poor, practice raised beds so as to allow for essential nutrient availability to the plant on a long term basis.
Properly space your plant
When growing artichokes, you must note that they are very large plants that need to be well spaced at least four to six feet apart.
However, if you are growing your plants in cold regions where they can only survive the environmental condition for one year, it is okay to plant them a little bit more closely as this will not affect their vegetative growth within this time. However, for those grown as perennial plants, spacing is very crucial to the plant’s growth and survival.
Regular amount of water should be provided at all times
Water is an important part of the development of artichokes; they require adequate and frequent water to be able to bud.
When the soil is too hot, artichokes usually produce flower very early, however, you can control this by mulching the base of the plant to keep it cool as well as to prolong flowering.
You should add water to the plant about one to three times a week to allow the plant to develop a strong root system that will ensure the survival of the plant.
Factors to be considered when Growing Artichokes
There are so many things that need to be put in place for artichokes to survive in any area or region of the world.
These factors are essential for the survival of this plant and we will discuss more about them in the following paragraphs.
Although artichokes can be grown under some shade, this plant is best grown under full sun.
When this plant is exposed to shade, the flower suffers much from this condition and they may not be able to survive very well. This plant requires light to be able to grow well and develop to its full form and shape.
The soil to be used for this plant should be well-drained and it must be fertile. Poor soil is not recommended for growing this plant as they will not be able to cope, and in case such happens.
You should prepare a raised bed to cater for the nutrient. A soil whose pH is slightly alkaline is the best for growing this herbaceous plant.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant is best grown in areas with warm weather such as the Mediterranean and California. You must note that this plant should not be exposed to too much heat as this is going to lead to premature blooming of the plant.
If you are growing your plant as a perennial plant, you should grow them in areas with a temperature of about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (in mild winters) and 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in moist summers.
Throughout the growing season, fertilizer must be added to the plant every two weeks. This is essential for the proper growth, development, fruiting, and blooming of this plant.
The choice of fertilizer to be used must be one that is rich in Nitrogen and it must be balanced.
How to Care for Artichokes
There are different things that need to be done to keep plants in good shape at all times even though they have been well-rooted in the soil.
In the subsequent paragraphs, we will discuss more about the various ways through which you can care for your artichoke plant and ensure its proper growth and development.
Here are some of the ways to care for your artichoke plants:
#1 – They should be planted in the ground or in a really deep raised bed so that the root of this plant can go deep down into the soil.
#2 – Mulching should be carried out to ensure that the soil has adequate moisture; too much moisture can lead to root rot while a small quantity of moisture can lead to black tip. Therefore, adequate moisture is very essential.
#3 – Endure adequate spacing between plants stands as this will help to prevent diseases such as powdery mildew, Verticillium wilt, and Botrytis rot, etc. The spacing must be about 4 to 6 feet to ensure that your plant is not susceptible to disease.
#4 – Make sure that you water the plant frequently so as to ensure that the root region does not stay hot and so that they can be able to access them easily.
You must also make sure that the water used for watering is not polluted and is safe for the plant. Also, avoid chlorinated water and well or rainwater is the best for this purpose.
Taking proper care of your plant at all time is of great importance and the artichoke plant is a slightly hardy plant which can survive very harsh conditions.
You must always take good care of this plant and you must take everything mentioned above into consideration before growing this plant.
Make sure that this plant is very suitable for your environment and can be grown with relative ease.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !