Light requirements: Full sun to part shade.
Planting: Space 4 feet apart in zones 8-11 (where it is perennial), 2 to 3 feet in colder zones.
Soil requirements: Artichoke needs well-drained, light, nutrient-rich soil. Prepare soil by working 5 inches of organic matter into an 8-inch deep and wide trench. Drainage is vital in zones where artichoke is perennial. Waterlogged soils during winter will kill plants.
Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Ample water is key to producing succulent flower buds.
Frost-fighting plan: Artichoke plants tolerate light frosts (28-32 ºF), but lower temperatures can damage plants. Cover seedlings or new shoots with a frost blanket to protect from late spring frosts.
Common issues: Slugs may attack young leaves, and earwigs can infest plants and buds in summer. Botrytis blight may affect leaves in late summer.
Harvesting: Harvest buds while they’re still tightly closed. In warmer zones, this will be in early to midsummer; in colder regions, harvest starts in late summer to early fall. Buds on a stem ripen from the top down. Cut the topmost buds first; remaining buds won’t grow as large as the top one. Use a sharp knife to cut stems. Harvest a short piece of stem with each bud for easier handling.
Storage: Refrigerate unwashed artichokes in a plastic bag for up to 7 days.
For more information, visit the Artichoke page in our How to Grow section.