Artichoke Question

– Posted 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.

About the Author

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.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

Angie March 19, 2014, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 9:46 pm

Thanks so much. I’ll give it a try.

Judith October 30, 2005, 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!