Basics

Ease of Growing
Easy
Grown as
Perennial
Growing Habit
-
Hardiness
Half Hardy

They are quite frost tender. In cool weather they are grown as an annual and in warm weather they are grown as a perennial.

Crops
Spring Transplant, Spring
Growing Season
Short, Long
Cultivar Type
-
Growing Conditions
Cool, Warm

They grow best in the mild, damp, maritime climate of coastal California. The plants won't survive in cold winters, so in Northern areas they must either be grown as annuals or protected over the winter. They need full sun.

Outdoor Growing Temp
45°F - 85°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp
55°F

Don’t plant out until all frost danger is past and the soil has warmed up to at least 55˚ F.

Start Indoors
Yes
Start Outdoors
Yes
Light
Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Cool, Warm)

Cardoons are native to the Mediterranean and need full sun for best growth, although they do not mind fog.

Water
Moderate

Though relatively drought tolerant, Cardoons yield better if the soil is kept evenly moist.

Feeder
Light

Cardoons are most productive when grown without any check in their growth, which means they must get all the nutrients they need. They are usually fed annually with a mulch of compost or aged manure. You can also use an occasional foliar feed of compost tea or liquid kelp.

Suitability
Needs lots of space
Small Gardens?
No
Containers?
Yes, but will need a large one, like a half wine barrel

Cardoons can be grown in containers, but it's tricky and requires a lot of work. It's important to choose a pot with the right dimensions. Your container needs to be at least 20" deep and 36 to 40" in diameter. Choose a pot that has several drain holes on the bottom, as artichokes are very susceptible to being waterlogged. Line the bottom with large stones/gravel or netting to prevent soil erosion and fill with a light and loamy, moisture-retaining soil. Incorporate fertilizer such as compost or manure a few days before you plant your cardoons. They require lots of water and nutrients. Water well 3 to 4 times a day, and fertilize regularly with compost tea every 1 or 2 weeks. It can also be helpful to use a high-nitrogen fertilizer for the first 3 to 4 weeks. Make sure your plants receive plenty of sunshine.

Attracts beneficial insects?
Yes
Color
-
Fruit Size
-"
Plant Height
24.0-48.0"
Plant Diameter
18.0-36.0"
Hardiness Zone
7-10
Disease Resistance
-
Taste Profile

Rich flavored stalks. The leaves are bitter.