What is a Cardoon Plant: How to Grow and Care?


If you have no idea what a cardoon plant is or cardoons, you are in the right place. We will share complete information about the cardoon plant, what cardoons look like, Cardone vegetables, its care, varieties, and the process of growing cardoons. So, read the full article and learn interesting information about the plant.

What is a Cardoon Plant?

Cardoon is a plant that is also known as Cynara cardunculus and cardoon artichoke thistle. Cardoon artichoke thistle is a wild plant thistle in the sunflower family. Additionally, it is native to the Mediterranean region; however, it can now be found in Australia and California’s dry areas. Further, in southern Europe, it is cultivated as a vegetable. It is popular among garden enthusiasts because of its excellent ornamental properties and Cardone vegetable benefits.

What do Cardoons Look Like?

The plant contains silvery grey, serrated foliage, and purple cardoon flowers. Similarly, the Cardone plant is beneficial in making your garden attractive. At the same time, the edible Cardone vegetable looks like a celery stalk.

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Varieties of Cardoons

The Cardone plant provides beautiful aesthetics looks to one’s garden because of the colorful cardoon flower arrangements. Additionally, it can grow up to six feet tall effortlessly. Growing cardoons is a straightforward and fun process. But there are a lot of varieties of cardoons that one can think of before planting one. Following are the types of cardoons that one should know and then decide which variety he should grow.

Cardon de Tours

To all new gardeners, it is recommended to look forward to this cardoon variety as it secures less space in your garden because the plant is comparatively small and easy to manage. Furthermore, its Cardone vegetable taste is subtle and creamiest among all varieties.

Spanish Cardoon

Growing Cardoons for eating purposes is quite challenging because prickles on leaves require extra care. However, considering Spanish cardoon can make it hassle-free as its fewer spiky bits is easy to harvest and prepare for kitchen purposes. The Spanish Cardone plant consists of medium size and is suitable for medium and small paces.

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Large Smooth

The sizeable smooth cardoon seeds are readily available in the market, so it’s convenient for all to grow this one. In addition, the plant is reliable and thrives rapidly.

Ivory White Smooth

It is recommended to grow annually in more excellent areas; that’s why most people from cooler areas find the plant best. However, it takes a bit more time to mature the plant as compared to other varieties.

Red Cardoon

Red cardoon contains slender and long red leaves, comparatively more extended than other varieties. Also, the giant pink ribs give an excellent presentation while cooking.

Common Cardoon

As the name suggests, it is one of the most common varieties of cardoons. The plant grows up to five to six feet tall. However, the only obstacle of this variety is the low quality of flavor. At the same time, it is recommended because of the plant’s reliability.

Growing Cardoons

To ones’ vegetable garden, the cardoon plant is perfect for making the place look attractive. Also, its vegetable has numerous benefits and consist of a different flavor. Similarly, growing cardoons in pots or a container can also be possible. To learn the growing process, read the following details.

Planting Out

Cardoons need well-drained and moisture-retentive soil for healthy plant growth. Additionally, the plant depends on full direct sunlight, so decide the landscape to get adequate sunlight. Also, the recommended cardoon season is between April to September, in which the plants grow well. Finally, the plant can be 6 six tall, so you must decide the space where it would not find the problem in thriving.

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Plants need proper regular watering and nourishment, especially on mature hot summer days. Initially, you can water on alternate days, but regular watering will be required accordingly when the plant grows tall. To balance the plant, summers and early autumn is the ideal season.

Cardoon Care

About 3 to 4 weeks before harvesting the plant, it is essential to blanch the plant to enhance the flavor. So, it can be done when you tie the leaves together in a bunch and then wrap the leaves with brown paper. Apart from blanching, cardoon care includes proper watering and frequent maintenance of the plant. Otherwise, it can get worse and would not flourish properly.

Cardoons Troubleshooting

Pests like snugs and snails are most likely attracted to the cardoon plant. Black bean aphids also attack stem tips and leaves, while root aphids are also problematic for cardoon roots. Therefore, the treatment of such pests is necessary to protect plants.

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Harvesting and Using Cardoons

If your plant is ready to harvest, you need to pay complete attention and start the harvesting process. Firstly, the spikes of leaves can hurt your hands, so it’s essential to wear gloves to protect your hands. Then, you need to trim off the leaves from the stem carefully. After that, you need to peel off the ribs by using a sharp knife. Then it is required to scrape the thin layer of stem skin adequately. You can watch some relevant tutorials on the internet for better understandings.

Here you go, the cardoons are ready for cooking. Next is to blanch the stems in the boiling water for around 15 minutes. Then after the dedicated time, turn off the flame and shift the boiled stems into the ice water. Now, the cardoons are ready, and you can eat them as you desire. For instance, one can fry it or add these to a salad, dessert, or another food item.

Other Uses for Cardoon Plants

Apart from its edibility and excellent aesthetic looks, the plant has other beneficial properties. Firstly, it is enriched with cynarin, which helps in lowering cholesterol. Additionally, the cardoon seeds contain such beneficial properties that they are an ideal alternative to oil.


Therefore, I hope the article cleared you about cardoons, their growing benefits, and their uses. If you find this plant attractive, grow it now and make your vegetable garden appealing and more functional.

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