Can I Grow Artichokes in Zone 5?

“I live in zone 5B and was wondering if I can grow artichokes. If so, how would I go about doing that so that I can have edible flower buds? Thanks!” Question from Trish of Newton, New Jersey

Answer: It’s all about timing, choosing the right artichoke variety, and giving the plants good care.

  • Timing: Start your plants indoors from seed early–in February or March. Artichokes are very easy to start from seed, but they need lots of sun and have a tap root, so start them in a deeper pot–something no smaller than a 4-inch pot. Expect them to grow quickly.
  • Choosing the right variety: The only artichokes that northerners can successfully grow are those that bloom in the first year. Three good choices are ‘Colorado Star‘, ‘Tavor‘, and ‘Imperial Star‘.
  • Giving them good care: Full sun in a necessity. Plant your artichokes in a garden bed with quality soil that drains well. Amending your garden soil with Black Gold Garden Soil at planting time is recommended. Be sure not to overwater your plants; they like it on the dry side once they are established.

For all the details in between, please watch the Black Gold video about growing artichokes un North below.

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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