The Q&A Archives: Northwestern Artichoke Plants

Question: I purchased Northwestern artichokes plant from a local store. I would like to know something about this plant. This will be the first time I have tried growing artichokes and I know very little about the different kinds.

Answer: Artichokes are perennial plants in warm winter gardening regions, but usually treated as annuals unless given special winter care here in the Pacific Northwest. Artichoke varieties for areas north of California are pretty much limited to 'Green Globe', 'Imperial Star', and 'Violetto'. Your 'Northwestern' artichoke is probably one of these. Artichokes grow best in a sunny site, in well-amended soil. If you cut the foliage down to about 8" in the fall and cover with a winter mulch of straw or leaves, you may be successful in protecting the crown of the plant over the winter. Unless especially harsh weather hits, it will send out new foliage in the spring and produce even larger 'chokes than it did its first year in the garden.

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