Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

January, 2007
Regional Report

Web Finds

Plant Propagation from Seed
This Plant Propagation From Seed online resource from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides sound advice for starting vegetable and flower seeds at home. It includes information on growing media, lighting, and preparing your new transplants for the move outdoors.

Favorite or New Plant

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is an underutilized plant in our southern landscapes. It is both an ornamental and an edible plant. Cardoon is able to withstand temperatures down to about 28 degrees F without suffering freeze damage, but the below-ground parts can take temperatures to 20 or a little below if mulched. The plant is thus a perennial in most of the lower south. The foliage is similar to an artichoke but more silvery. While it's color and texture make for a striking ornamental, it's also edible. The midribs of young tender leaves may be cooked and eaten, as well as the undeveloped tender flower stalks. Cardoon needs full sun, moist soil, and a little supplemental fertilizing. Plants will grow 3 to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Cardoon may be propagated from seeds, suckers, or root division.


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