Artichoke Question

by Kathy Purdy on October 30, 2005 · 10 comments

in FAQ, Mailbag, Plant info, Vegetables

Denise Kemp writes:

My brother-in-law gave me an artichoke plant this spring that was given to him. He told me that I need to lift the plant in the fall but didn’t have any details on whether to take the leaves off or leave it in dirt or newspaper or what so I’m not sure what to do with it after I lift it. I live in Michigan in Zone 5. Do you know what to do with the plant after it’s lifted?

Anyone who knows the answer (or wants to offer an educated guess) please respond in the comments. Thanks in advance.


Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy's been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

When you're hanging on by a thread, identify that thread and do all you can to strengthen it. Gardening is my thread, consistently providing therapy through years of ups and downs. If this blink in time seems a bit crazier, well, perhaps it is. Gardening serves as a gentle reminder that the wheel turns and seasons come and go, each filled with its own impossibly tender beauty.
an eclectic garden

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie March 19, 2014 at 12:32 am

Does anyone have pictures of how they have cut back the plants and mulched them to show what you are doing that has been successful in zone 5b and 6a. NW Missouri. Thanks for any help :)


carl slater December 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Learn How to Grow Artichokes – Instructions and advice for growing … Growing artichokes in cold northern climate gardens can be difficult, as they are not a very hardy plant. However, if you take measures to protect them in your …


carl slater December 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

The Urban Ton Project: Cold Climate Artichokes Apr 6, 2010 – When most people think of artichokes they envision warm and sunny places. Few people know that you can grow them in cold climates like …


Ingrid DeFranco August 27, 2008 at 11:48 am

I grow artichokes on the Colorado plains (also Zone 5, but constant wind and little snow cover) and have had success overwintering by cutting back drastically (6-12 “), mulching about a foot deep with manure/shavings mix and covering that with remay or plastic, well pegged down. I grow three kinds – 2 Italian heirloom and 1 globe, and all will overwinter most of the time.


Jpe Pugliese August 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Dear Ingrid,

Manure and shavings are a pretty acid mulch. Did that ever cause any problems? Thanks.


Kathy Purdy March 28, 2006 at 10:01 am

Rick, you can reach Kenny directly at . He has a very informative site. If the person commenting fills in the URL blank in the comment form, then everyone else can go to that URL by clicking on their name in the published comment. If you go back to Kenny’s comment, you will find that clicking on his name will bring you to his site.


Rick March 28, 2006 at 9:55 am

This message is to Kenny… Where did you find the frost “resistant” artichoke. I’d like to try them too.


Kenny Point November 27, 2005 at 10:21 am

I live in Zone 6 and have overwintered globe artichokes in the garden by mulching and covering with clear plastic, but that’s pretty much hit or miss. I have also dug the roots and placed them in a five gallon bucket of soil kept in an unheated garage. Better success, but still not 100%.

This year I’m experimenting with an artichoke variey that is supposed to be much hardier and capable of surviving to zero degrees without protection. Yes, I’m sceptical, but giving it a shot. I have three plants in the garden, two are under a portable cold frame and I may place a wall-of-water around the third.


Denise Kemp November 6, 2005 at 9:46 pm

Thanks so much. I’ll give it a try.


Judith October 30, 2005 at 3:17 pm

Keep it potted. If you can, winter it over in a cold/not freezing greenhouse & keep it on the dry side (the crowns rot easily). Trim it back if necessary to make room for it but don’t cut it down to the soil.

Excess crown moisture & freeze thaw cycles seem to be their limiters here (z4)–I had a customer winter over a green globe for 4 years as she had planted it on a hilltop in a tire, and they mulched it when things froze up. She said the most chokes she had in one season was 26!


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