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Artichoke, Imperial Star
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Cynara scolymus

This is the only artichoke that can be grown almost anywhere if you time it right! Each plant will produce 6-8 rounded, nearly spineless, artichokes in the first season on attractive, silvery-blue plants. Steam the artichokes to enjoy their nutty, tender flavor.

Calendar Days to Harvest: 85

05679 Pack, Artichoke, Imperial Star
30 seeds $ 3.49
06534 Bulk, Artichoke, Imperial Star
(Temporarily Out of Stock)
250 seeds $ 19.99
  • Size: 3 - 4 feet
  • Hardiness: Hardy Annual/Tender Perennial
  • Sun: Full
  • Water: Moderate
  • Seed Planting Depth: 0.25"
  • Plant spacing within a row: 36"-48"
  • Special Instructions:
    Transplants Require ~500 hours below 50°F to yield the first year.
Start From Seed: Detailed instructions for direct seeding, or starting seeds indoors and transplanting.
Sow indoors 8 weeks before last frost in 2-4 inch pots, germinating at 70–80°F. Once sprouted, ensure that the seedlings are exposed to ~500 hours of temperatures below 50°F but above freezing to yield in the first year. Transplant outside after all danger of frost has passed, 36-48 inches apart, in rows 48-60 inches apart. If winters average above 15°F, seeds can be direct seeded in fall into lightly moistened soil.
Growing Conditions: Growing seasons, soil types, water and fertility requirements.
Artichokes prefer full sun, deep, rich, loose, well-drained soil (pH 6.5–7.0), and cool weather conditions over a long period. They grow best in cool coastal areas with mild winters where they can live for about 5 years. In areas with cold winters, the variety Imperial Star can be grown as an annual.
Pest Prevention: Organic solutions to common problems.
Aphids can be washed off by spraying the plants with a strong jet of water from the hose, or controlled with applications of insecticidal soap. Earwigs like to crawl beneath the leaf bracts of the flower buds. Control with Diatomaceous Earth and/or wash buds thoroughly before cooking.
Harvest: Is it ready yet? When to harvest and how to store your garden produce.
Cut edible flower buds 1–11/2" below their base before they begin to open. Then remove the stalks at the base of the plant to encourage new growth. In USDA Zones 7-10 where artichokes are perennial the primary harvest is in the late spring. When growing as an annual in colder zones, the harvest is in the fall. Artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for 2–3 weeks.
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