Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Stake Up and Care for New Artichoke Plants

Sweetheart Artichoke Co.

Artichoke Plants in Shock

When you first receive your artichoke plants in the mail, they will be in shock. The same is true for plants that are separated from a mother plant. The leaves may respond by wilting for 7 to 10 days.

Whether you plant in-ground or in a pot, your artichoke plant will probably need to be staked up for about 1 week.

Binding Your Artichoke Plant
Binding or Staking up your artichoke will take the stress off of the plant while it recovers from being shipped, and it is easy to do. Insert a thin stick into the ground next to your plant. Then, gently wrap wide material around the stalks and leaves.

Binding Materials
1. I find that a plastic grocery bag works well. Make sure the binding is not too tight so the leaves can breath. 2. Another method is using old pantyhose. The material allows air to flow through and also attracts ions that help the plant grow.

Good Potting Soil
My artichokes are love this mix.

1/3 part Miracle Grow Potting Soil
1/3 part Decomposed Granite
1/3 part Bagged Steer Manure Blend

Where to purchase the mix: The decomposed granite (or DG) and top soil can be purchased at a sand and gravel yard. Most locations will deliver right to your home or business. Miracle Grow and steer manure blend can be purchased at any garden center such as Lowe's or Home Depot. This blend will retain moisture better than just plain potting soil and your artichokes will love you for it too!

Watering Your Artichoke Plant
In cool weather, water once daily while your plant is getting established. In hot weather, water 2 times per day. However, artichoke plants needs good drainage. Too much water or standing water will actually drown your artichoke plant and cause root rot. The amount of water depends on the weather. If it is not raining, then apply about 1 inch of surface water. This amounts to about to about 4 cups to 1 quart of water.

What to Do When All the Leaves Die?
There are times when artichokes will temporarily go dormant after shipping. This is what they do for survival. It is shocking at first, but do not fear! As long as the artichoke roots do not rot, your plant will live. Trim back all the drooping leaves as in the picture. This plant actually grew much larger than it was before and was sold to a garden friend... which is thriving today.

Where to Find More Information
Search for more artichoke growing information on my blog or go to my website for Artichoke Care. If you have any questions or comments please post them here or email me at


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