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 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.
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.