One of the few perennial vegetables is the artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus). This lovely plant is silvery green and works well in vegetable gardens and ornamental beds.
The artichoke’s unopened flower is its edible portion. But don’t be too sad if you miss the harvest of an unopened flower; the flowers are just as lovely as the plants!
Let’s go over the five best artichoke companion plants and explain them further.
5 Best Companion Plants For Artichoke
- Sweet Alyssum
Perennial plants work best as artichoke companion plants. This is because they can share garden space seasonally.
Additional Friendly Choices
Getting Going & Starting to Plant
Artichokes grow best from transplants that are planted after all threat of frost has passed. Compared to using seeds, you’ll get your harvest earlier.
Using transplants is essential in regions with short growing seasons.
Growing From Seed
Seeds can also be used to start artichokes. Seeds should be planted at least 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date, and in more northern climates, 10 to 12 weeks.
Possible Seed Choices
Green Globe (OP) is a classic variety with plants that grow to a diameter of 4′ and produce 3–4 heads; this hardy variety frequently continues to bear fruit for 5 years—85 days.
Imperial Star (OP)—This variety can reach heights of up to 3′ and produces one or two primary bulbs, as well as up to seven additional ones along the sides. Because the buds on this plant are more common within the first year, it is better for people living in colder climates. —85 days
Italian heirloom Violetta di Chioggia (H) produces stunning purple artichokes that are more tolerant of climatic change; a perennial in zones 6 and above—85 days
Preparing the Soil
Artichokes prefer to be grown in areas with full sun and rich, fertile, well-drained soil. Prepare the soil by adding a lot of organic material, such as compost or well-rotted manure, as artichokes are perennial plants.
Also, when the root system grows during the first year, they require a constant water supply.
Artichoke Plant Spacing
Because they are big, spreading plants like a little elbow room, they should be placed 4 feet (1.25 m) apart.
Growing & Harvesting
The flowers will be smaller the first year and develop later in the year, around September or October if you live in a climate where you can grow artichokes as a perennial.
To enable the plant to use that energy for the plant of roots and plants, you should get rid of those flowers. By doing this, the plant will reward you by producing in the following years, beginning in May and continuing throughout the summer and into early fall.
When protected, artichoke plants can withstand a frost or freeze but cannot survive temperatures below 20°F (-6.5°C). A 5 to 6-inch (13 to 15 cm) layer of mulch can be added to the plants to protect them if you live in a climate with chilly winters.
You must grow them as annuals in regions with snowy and icy winters. The smaller blooms can be harvested in September and October if you are growing them as annuals and live somewhere with colder winters.
An artichoke’s main stems terminate in a large flower bud at the top. There are secondary buds all along that stem.
It is time to harvest the primary (top) bud when it measures between 3 and 5 inches (8 and 13 cm) in diameter. The bud should be harvested while it is still tight and firm before it starts to open.
Cut the stem to harvest approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the bud. When ready for harvest, the secondary buds will have a diameter of roughly 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 8 cm).
Aphids, thrips, and the artichoke plume moth are the primary pests that affect artichokes.
Plant some flowers between your artichoke plants to draw insects that will consume the aphids.
In addition, lacewings and damsel bugs may be drawn to perennials like lavender, thyme, and yarrow. In contrast, hoverflies and parasitic wasps may be drawn to annuals like marigolds and sweet alyssum.
Artichoke Bad Companion Plants
As far as what not to plant next to artichokes, mainly avoid tomatoes and potatoes. As they can cause issues with growth. Also, Jerusalem artichokes will suppress ground elder and horsetail (equisetum).
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.