The Q&A Archives: Artichokes . . . what to do?

Question: Early this spring I planted an artichoke and it grew beautifully. It got 3 beautiful flowers, and I cut them and enjoyed their tasty hearts. For the next 3 months the plant did nothing. Recently I've noticed small growths arount the base. Are these new plants, and what should I do with the original one? And, how should I care for my 'gem' in the future?

Answer: Artichoke plants usually develop their globe shaped 'chokes during the summer months. I wonder if your plant got a jump start at the nursery? As the weather gets cooler this fall the leaves will die down and you can cut everything down to ground level. In the spring new growth will develop and new flowers will be produced. If you'd like to eat the artichokes, harvest them when the heads are full sized but before the petals begin to open. After you've had your plants in the ground for 3-4 years you can dig and divide them and have lots of new plants. Enjoy!

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