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Artichokes in South Central Alabama

Posted by nutjob Alabama (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 15, 10 at 13:57

I live in south central Alabama. It is not unusual for the temperature to get over 100 degrees F in the summer. Winter temperatures usually bottom out in the 20's or high teens although it did once get down to 2 degrees F at my house. Snow is rare but it does happen. We got almost 6 inches of snow last winter in a freakishly rare snow storm.

Summers and winters can both be extremely wet sometimes and extremely dry at other times.

I'm interested in growing artichokes, hopefully as a perennial, not an annual.

Cold weather in the winter time appears to be the limiting factor which would prevent me from growing just any variety of artichoke as a perennial.

So far I am looking at Emerald and Northern Star artichokes. I am also interested in something called a "Saint Mary's Artichoke". I have found sources for seed for all but the Northern Star variety which I believe was developed by Peter Seeds and Research in Oregon. All of my attempts to contact this company or find a website that is still active for them have failed. I think the company might be out of business.

I would like to hear from any of you who are from similar climates that have had luck growing artichokes as a perennial, especially regarding the varieties I have mentioned. I would also like to hear from anyone that knows how to get seed for the Northern Star variety. If it is a hybrid as some sources suggest and the company is out of business, it may be impossible.

Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Artichokes in South Central Alabama

Sounds interesting. Is your soil sandy?

RE: Artichokes in South Central Alabama

Well, I have four types seeded in the greenhouse right now. I'm giving it a go and will keep you posted if you like. I love artichokes and enjoy the visual of the gigantic thistle. Three of the four kinds have sprouted. I was a bone head and didn't soak the seeds. Next attempt I will soak the ones that didn't sprout this time. Let me know what you discover. :)

RE: Artichokes in South Central Alabama

What city is near you? I live in Fruitdale, AL, which is about 20 miles NE of Citronelle. I am just putting in a greenhouse and would like to try artichokes as well. Please drop me a note.


gaziger at

RE: Artichokes in South Central Alabama

We planted a couple last fall and got a bunch of artichokes, 19, ten of which were full sized. And our plants made it through the summer and are growing again.

We are right on the coast and so probably have a bit milder weather, both winter and summer than you.

We planted them in mushroom compost in big 30 gallon pots.

Give em a try, it might just work.

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