How to Grow Cynara Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Artichoke, Globe Artichoke, & Cardoon

Members of Cynara are half hardy perennials that are normally grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.

These prickly plants have thistle like flowers that may reach up to 2 metres in height.

Common names for members of Cynara include Globe, Wild Artichoke, and Cardoon.

They make a great addition to a culinary garden, and the artichoke fruits should be harvested whilst still closed and green in colour.

Cynara cardunculus
Cynara cardunculus by .Annna.

Globe Artichoke
Globe Artichoke by Anemoneprojectors.

Cynara Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Cardoon, Artichoke, Globe Artichoke, Artichoke Thistle, Wild Artichoke, Cardi.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners. Hardy biennial.
Height: 55 to 80 inches (140 to 200 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Northern Africa.

Growing Region: Zones 6 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10. Close to south facing wall in zone 5; may not bud.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Purple, green. Large head. Triangular scales. Thistle-like.
Foliage: Thistle-like. Deeply lobed. Silvery leaves. Stalks have tiny spines.

Sow Outside: Warm areas only. 1/8 inch (3 mm). After last frost. Spacing: 40 to 70 inches (100 to 180 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature 54°F (12°C). Sow in late winter or early spring. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Long cool growing season for best results. Full sunlight. Good drainage. Manured soil. Rich soil. Moist soil. Feed every three weeks. Regular watering. Winter mulch. Wear Gloves. Use slug repellent.

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Closely Related Species: Achillea, Aster, Callistephus, Cosmea, Helianthus, Leontopodium, Liatris, Sanvitalia, Stokesia, Townsendia, and Zinnia.
Miscellaneous: Harvest artichokes before they open.

How to Grow Wild Artichokes and Cardoon (Cynara)

If you plan to grow artichokes outside, then seeds should be planted at a depth of about 3mm in a rich, moist soil.

The Cardoons/Artichokes should be sown after the last frost of spring into a sunny well drained area of the garden.

It may be better to first start Cynara seedlings indoors, so as to extend your growing season. They should be sown on the last day of winter (give or take a day or two) in an area with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius.

Wild artichoke seedlings should then be planted outdoors at a spacing of 5 cm before the last frost of spring.

Caring for Artichokes

The soil that Artichokes grow in should be kept moist by regular watering.

Common Questions

How many members does the Cuminum genus have?

The Cuminum genus is a monotypic genus, having only one species, Cuminum cyminum or cumin.

Do members of Cuminum make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Cuminum, or cumin, is popular in kitchen gardens for its aromatic seeds, but it's not typically used in decorative landscaping.

Which Cuminum species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

As there is only one species, Cuminum cyminum, or cumin, is the species grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Cuminum plant genus fragrant?

Yes, Cuminum cyminum or cumin is known for its strong, distinctive aroma.

What is the perfect location to grow Cuminum?

Cuminum prefers a sunny location with well-drained soil. It's a good choice for a sunny kitchen garden.

Is Cuminum invasive in the USA?

Currently, Cuminum is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Cuminum plants from my garden?

Cuminum plants can be easily uprooted from the soil. Ensure all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Cuminum genus, part of the Apiaceae family, is native to the eastern Mediterranean region to South Asia. The most known species, Cuminum cyminum, also known as cumin, is an annual herb recognized for its slender, branched stems and small, pink or white flowers that bloom in summer, followed by aromatic seeds.

To grow Cuminum, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in spring. Regular watering is necessary, but they are relatively drought-tolerant once established. They are often used in herb gardens or vegetable gardens for their edible and aromatic seeds.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Cynara plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Asteraceae growing guides: How to grow Texas Star and Tithonia plants.