Globe Artichokes

Growing Globe Artichokes

Home vegetable gardeners may find a bit of a challenge in globe artichokes. The tender plant does not react well to cold weather, and is not for all gardens.

Artichokes have a definite preference for a long frost-free season with damp weather. They will be damaged by heavy frost or snow, and in areas where the temperature goes below freezing, they need special care and
mulching. Artichokes are grown from offshoots, suckers, or seed. For best results, start with offshoots or suckers from a reputable nursery or garden center. Plants grown from seed vary tremendously in quality.

Globe artichoke
Globe artichokes prefer
a frost-free season.

Artichokes need a position in full sunlight and a rich, well-drained soil that will hold moisture. Too much nitrogen will keep the plant from flowering. Artichokes bear best the second year and should be started from new plants every three to four years. To enable the roots to survive the winter in cooler areas, cut the plant back to about 10 inches, cover it with a bushel basket, and then place mulch around the basket to a thickness of two feet to help maintain an even soil temperature.

Harvesting Globe Artichokes

Timing from planting to harvest is 50 to 100 days for plants grown from suckers. The first buds will take at least a year to form when they are grown from seed. To harvest, cut off the bud with 1 to 11/2 inches of stem before the bud begins to open.

Types of Globe Artichokes

There are two main varieties of globe artichokes.
  • Green Globe is the best variety; it has 4-inch-large round buds.
  • Imperial Star is mild and prolific.
Learn how to select and prepare globe artichokes in the next section.

Want more information about globe artichokes? Try:
  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature globe artichokes.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.