Growing Cardoon

Cynara cardunculus : Asteraceae / the daisy family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Cardoon in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 13°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 50 - 150 cm apart
  • Harvest in 34-35 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed.

Your comments and tips

02 Oct 21, Sue (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Caroline, I found that if I planted Catmint as a border, the deer wouldnt cross it. So saved my garden and had beautiful blue flowers
08 Oct 21, Trevor (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
They may not, as my sheep and goats do not. It must be the furry texture of te leaves or smell. Good luck, from Tasmania
05 Oct 21, Sue (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Try Plant world seeds
14 Oct 21, Leslie Trail (USA - Zone 6b climate)
You can also buy seeds at (Baker Creek seeds) They have a variety called "GOBBO DI NIZZIA" It is great for cooking or just for the flowers.
27 Apr 23, Lorraine Harla (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I use to live close to the Saw Mill Parkway in Westchester County in New York..I am looking for the Cardoon seeds that grew in that area. I notice there are several varieties. I would like to know where to purchase these seeds.
08 Feb 24, Sofia (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Hi! Can anyone suggest varieties that are likely to overwinter and establish as perennials in Zone 6b? Thanks!
13 Feb 24, Lyn barnard (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can i obtain cardoon plants or seed on south africa
19 Mar 24, (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Are there cardoon seeds/plants that are perennial in zone 4
18 Apr 24, Kim (Canada - Zone 7a Mild Temperate climate)
Do I have to start the cardoon in a seed start before that last frost or can I buy cardoons already started at a nursery/garden center?
23 Apr 24, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I find that SEEDS are much better than potted cardoons. Cardoons have really deep roots -- 5 feet or so -- the cardoon drops its root VERY early in it's growth cycle -- for this reason, I prefer to use seeds. It should be noted that Cardoon requires a uniform supply of moisture. Leaves and stalks become pithy when subjected to water stress, making them unmarketable. About 10-12 inches of water, uniformly distributed throughout its growing period may be necessary. Spineless and spiny types exist. The spineless types are preferred. Named varieties are difficult to find in U.S. seed catalogs. Often the only option is a generic cardoon with no variety mentioned. 'Tenderheart' and 'Gigante' can be found in some current catalogs. One may also search European catalogs. Varieties recently available included Bianco Ameliore, Italian Dwarf, Large Smooth, and White Improved. Any of the above can be considered suitable for trial in the Pacific Northwest.
Showing 11 - 20 of 20 comments

There used to be a clump of cardoons that would come up every year in front of a restaurant in this area. I just found 2 plants at a nursery and am wondering how I can protect them over the winter.

- Margie

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