Artichoke plants generally reach 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide (90 cm by 90 cm). If allowed to bloom, an artichoke flower will reach 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter. This can vary slightly depending on the types of artichoke that are grown. Green globe artichokes, the most popular and common variety, will rarely get bigger than this. Artichoke plants reach their mature size by late spring and will be ready for a bountiful harvest by late summer.
How Much Space Do Artichoke Plants Need?
Each artichoke should be given at least 6 square feet (1.8 meters) of space to grow. This is important because artichokes are heavy feeders. This means they require a ton of nutrients to grow. If they are grown too close to other plants, artichokes will steal these nutrients from neighboring plants. This can make them a bit of a hazard to your vegetable garden if you aren’t careful.
- Artichoke plants need at least 6 square feet (1.8 meters) of space.
- Without proper spacing, your artichoke plant will steal nutrients from other plants.
- Artichokes are heavy feeders that require an abundance of soil nutrients.
Take care to give your artichokes plenty of space. You don’t want to lose other important plants in your vegetable garden to these heavy feeders.
Do Artichoke Plants Have Deep Roots?
Artichoke plants have strong roots that grow deep and wide relative to their size. Their roots grow to be at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide in any direction. This keeps the plant firmly rooted and well-fed. It also means that artichokes need deep garden soil for adequate growth. Be sure to provide at least 6 inches (15 cm) of soil depth for your artichoke.
How Long Does it Take an Artichoke Plant to Reach Full Size?
Artichoke seedlings will take around 3 months to reach their mature size. Mature plants need ideal growing conditions. Artichokes need:
- Well-drained soil, preferably sandy soils.
- A sunny spot to grow (they can tolerate partial sun and partial shade though).
- 1–3 waterings per week to keep the soil moist.
- Cool summers and mild winters.
- A layer of organic mulch made of organic matter like shredded leaves.
If you provide these for your artichoke plants, they should bear the most artichokes possible. Just be sure to watch out for a late spring frost that can kill your plant early in its life.
How Many Artichokes Do You Get from One Plant?
A mature artichoke plant will grow 6–9 individual artichoke buds per plant. These flower buds will begin to form around May and be ripe for harvest between July and August. If you don’t harvest the edible flower buds, they will blossom by early fall at which point they’ll be inedible.
- Healthy artichoke plants grow 6–9 edible flower buds.
- Artichoke buds will be ready to harvest by late summer.
- Blooming artichoke flowers are inedible, so harvest artichokes before they bloom.
Remember to harvest buds before they flower. Flower heads are only edible before they bloom. Artichoke flowers may be stunning to look at but unfortunately, they’re not good to eat.
Do Artichoke Plants Come Back Every Year?
Artichokes are a perennial plant in warmer climates, so they do grow back every year for up to 6 years. Artichokes are originally from the Mediterranean region, so they prefer hot summers and mild winters. They can be grown as an annual crop in colder climates with colder winters. Annual artichokes are a result of these plants having trouble surviving the cold winters.
- Artichokes can live for several years if grown in a warm climate.
- In a region with freezing winters, artichokes will die in winter.
- In much of the US, artichokes must be grown as annuals and will not come back every year.
If you live in colder regions, you’ll have to resign yourself to annual artichokes. Perennial artichokes only grow successfully in southern portions of the United States. And even then, they do poorly in dry climates so you need to ensure a lot of soil moisture.
How Many Years Do Artichoke Plants Produce?
Artichokes grow as annuals throughout most of the US. This means that they will live for a single year before dying. However, some parts of the US—like the South—allow you to grow artichokes as perennials. In this case, artichokes will live for about 6 years. They produce artichoke vegetables every year they are alive. Keep these facts in mind when trying to grow artichokes:
- Artichokes grow to be 3 feet in height by 3 feet in width (90 cm tall by 90 cm wide).
- Artichoke plants have deep roots that require at least a 6-inch (15 cm) layer of soil to grow.
- Most artichokes will grow 6-9 immature flower buds that can be harvested as vegetables.
- Harvest artichokes in late summer before the flower heads blossom.
- Artichokes will reach their mature size within a few months of planting time.
- Artichokes can be grown as perennials in the southern US but will grow as an annual everywhere else.
If you live in a colder region, you can grow artichokes as annuals. You’ll still get 6–9 artichokes per plant. You’ll just have to plant new artichokes each year. This requires a little more work but yields the same harvest as artichokes that survive as perennials.