Inspired by an article in Texas Gardener Magazine last year, my husband and I decided to try our hand at growing artichokes.

I had never heard of any one growing artichokes in Texas, but figured we might as well give it a shot. We grew two varieties, Green Globe and Violetta. Starting from seeds, our best results came from

placing seeds on a damp paper towel in a Baggie and transplanting seedlings to six-inch pots in August.

Artichokes do not like our heat, so when the temperature was over 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit,  we moved them indoors.  We then planted some of the plants into the garden in November and repotted the rest in one-gallon pots to keep in the greenhouse. The greenhouse plants were planted in the garden in January.

Ultimately, the timing of putting them in the garden did not make a difference. We protected

the plants when temperatures dropped below 30 degrees and they did well, covered, into the teens. 

We began fertilizing in February by foliar feeding when the plants began to grow vigorously. 

The plants get big – three to four feet across. We began harvesting “chokes” in late April

through May. I never thought I’d get tired of eating artichokes. We have seven plants and have allowed them to flower. And, oh my goodness, check out the beautiful blooms!

The artichoke is actually a perennial thistle. All parts of the plant have prickly spines, like many

thistles do. 

Given that they do not like our heat, they will go dormant and die back in the summer, but as long as we keep them well watered hey should survive. We’ll see what happens this fall!