Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Globe artichokes are a perennial, though frost sensitive, relative to the thistles. Mature plants are roughly four to five (4 to 5) feet tall with a similar spread. Harvested artichokes are actually flower buds which resemble unopened green pine cones.

Choose a well-drained soil, loose and rich in organic matter. Locate purchased transplants in early May in a bright sunny location. Set plants six (6) feet apart. Individual plants make an interesting addition to flower gardens.

The gray-green spiny foliage is susceptible to leaf spot and bacterial blights.

Don't expect good production unless plants are at least nine to twelve (9 to 12) months old. However, plants usually freeze out in Illinois. Overwintering as a houseplant isn't encouraged.

'Green Globe' is the most common cultivar on the market.


Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes called sunchokes, is the tuberous root of a sunflower-like plant. Many farmers consider the plant a weed as its perennial nature makes control difficult in crop fields.

Plants grow approximately six to ten feet tall. Mature tubers are like small knobby Irish potatoes. Most are three to four (3 to 4) inches long and half as thick. Several tubers are produced near each flower stalk.

Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers similarly to potatoes. Divide "seed" pieces so that each section contains one or two eyes. Plant in loose, fertile soil in full sun.

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French or globe artichoke started in February and potted as necessary will produce heads the first summer and continue to do so for several years. As weak  plants may winter-kill and some may be worthless,  start fresh ones each year. 

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