The Q&A Archives: Artichokes

Question: I live in the Florida panhandle (zone 8) and know that artichokes are grown here, but have never been successful myself. What is the proper planting time for direct sowing? Are the plants frost-resistant?

Answer: Artichokes are best grown from roots or plants from containers. Your local nursery should have them for sale in early spring. If summer heat is inadequate, you'll get lots of ferny looking leaves but no flower buds. You can winter the plant over by protecting the roots from frost with organic mulch. If the weather cooperates you can harvest the unopened edible flower buds. If you choose not to eat the buds, they'll develop into spectacular purple thistle-type flowers.

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