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With blue-grey, spiky foliage reminiscent of medieval times, Artichokes are the most queenly inhabitants of the kitchen garden. Artichokes need warm temperatures, strong light and good ventilation to grow from seed. Transplant to the sunniest part of your garden when the soil is workable. The young plants should have several weeks of cool weather to set chokes but must be protected from any hard frosts. To cook, steam or simmer, using a non-reactive pot. Cut an X in the bottom and add a half lemon to the water. Cover and cook until the leaves pull out easily (about 20 to 40 minutes). Italian chefs love Artichokes and prepare them in various ways: in pasta, served al fresco in antipasto platters or dressed simply with olive oil, Garlic and lemon juice. Deer resistant. Perennial in zone 7 and warmer; grow as an Annual in colder zones.

Average seed life: 1 year.

Violetto di Romagna Artichoke

Violetto di Romagna Artichoke Violetto di Romagna Artichoke Violetto di Romagna Artichoke Violetto di Romagna Artichoke Violetto di Romagna Artichoke
85-100 days. Searching for the most beautiful, tender, tasty and prolific baby Artichoke? Well, search no more. This traditional heirloom from Italy's northern Emilia-Romagna province is considered to be the best Artichoke. Violetto produces scads of 3"-wide, oval-shaped, deep violet and green Artichokes with little if any inedible choke when picked young and tight. Its spineless, stately plants grow up to 5' tall with silvery foliage for a dramatic and decorative statement at the back of the garden. Its purple color fades when cooked. (OP.)

One packet of about 35 seeds
Catalog #1020
  • Buy 10 for $4.00 each and save 11%
  • Buy 50 for $3.35 each and save 25%

Availability: In stock


Gardening Tips

Artichoke Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
Row Spacing:3’-4’
Plant Spacing:2’-3’
Days to Germination:7-12 days
Germination Temperature:60°-70°F

Artichokes need moderate temperatures, strong sunlight and good ventilation to grow from seed. Start indoors 8 weeks before the last frost date: sow 3 to 4 seeds per pot or 1 seed per peat pot, barely moistening the soil. Artichokes develop a tiny taproot and are extremely susceptible to damping off, so barely water the young seedlings. When 2"to 3" tall, transfer to individual 4" pots. An ideal location for Artichokes is a well-draining bed or a raised bed in strong sunlight. Prepare area by digging in well rotted manure and/or compost. Plant seedlings in the garden after the last frost, adding fertilizer under each plant. The key to good choke development is to time outdoor planting so that they get at least 3 weeks of cool, 50°F weather (protect them during any hard frosts). Harvest while “petals” are still closed, using a sharp blade. Artichokes are perennials in areas with mild winters.

Fool Proofing Artichokes
The part of the Artichoke that we eat is actually the flower bud—picked before it bursts into fuzzy, brilliant purple blooms. In nature, since artichokes are biennials, the plants set buds in their second year. Before annual varieties were developed, it was necessary to “vernalize” the plants in areas where temperatures fell too low for the plants to survive the winter (zone 7 and colder). This meant giving them an artificial “winter” – a chilling period as young plants, to trick them into thinking the warm days of June were their second summer. With annual varieties like Imperial Star it is still important to give your transplants a bit of a chill in spring, just to be sure they’ll set buds. A couple of weeks at 50°F should do the trick.

Giving Artichokes a fertile soil will help to insure productive plants. Frequent watering and a straw mulch to retain moisture, will also increase bud production, especially in climates where summers are very warm.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Artichokes Are Garden Gold