One of the most popular container gardening plants is the artichoke plant. They come in many varieties and grow well in a variety of situations. Some of the things that make artichoke a good choice for container gardening are the fact they are inexpensive, grows very fast, and will tolerate poor soil conditions. Some are so good that some people keep several of them. It is not recommended to try and grow artichoke plants from seed since you could end up with a small plant that will not grow much. They grow best when planted in potting media and are available at most garden centers.
To give your artichokes a better chance of growing well you need to take some basic steps when purchasing or planting new plants. The first is to pick a healthy plant and pot it properly. If you do not have a large pot then you should use a two or three-quart plastic container.
The pot should be filled about 2 inches with good quality potting soil with a light layer of fertilizer added. Make sure to put a few pebbles or rocks on the bottom to prevent the sogginess of the roots as the plant grows. Water the plant well when you plant it but avoid overwatering since this can cause the roots to rot.
If you have a spot that you think might hold water you should try to grow a handful of artichokes there during their initial growing season. Just keep an eye on the plants and check for damage but don't pull the plant as it may suffer if not given room to grow. After it is about six to eight inches tall, you can start to plant the whole bunch in potting media. Keep the roots moist and turn the pots once in a while to allow air to get to the roots. You should see some root development after about a week of doing this.
For new plants, you should start them in potting media that has some drainage holes. Make sure to fill in the holes with good quality potting soil. It is better to have the drainage holes almost completely filled in because this will make sure that the plant stays nice and moist. The artichoke plant likes to grow in partially sunken containers. You should use a few handfuls of soil per 4-inch pot. Artichoke plants are best planted from year to year, and if you want them to produce berries you should plant them in the fall.
You should pick the perfect time of year to plant your artichoke plants just as summer is the perfect time of year for planting most other plants. The plants will grow best if they are planted in hot sunny weather. You shouldn't plant your artichoke plant in the shade either because it won't thrive. Some people like to plant their artichoke plants in pots that are placed upside down, but this isn't recommended if you are trying to protect the plant from a severe frost.
You should mulch your plants once a year during the fall, or you can do it in the spring when the soil is warm. Mulching helps the plant stay nice and moist so that the plant doesn't dry out too much in the winter. The best mulches for artichokes are those that are made of cotton. The plants won't be subject to too much drying out when mulched.
Make sure to water your artichoke plant once a week during its growing season. The soil should be moist but not soggy. If you over water then you could end up with brown, dried-up leaves on your artichoke plant. If you are going to be in a colder climate then you may consider giving your artichoke plant a mulch. This will help the plant cool down because it is now colder so the roots don't get the water they need.