How To Grow Cardoon in Australia

Quick Guide: Growing Cardoon

  • Optimal Growing Temperatures: Between 13°C and 25°C.
  • Ready to Harvest: 34-35 weeks after planting.
  • Space Between Plants: Plant 50-150 cm apart.
  • Companion Plants: Best grown in separate bed.
  • Non-Companion Plants: None
  • Plant Type: Seed.

When to Plant Cardoon in Australia

Australia Map


It is not recommended to plant in the Tropical regions. This includes areas like Cairns, Darwin, and Broome.

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For the Subtropical region, cardoon can’t be planted all year round. Cities in the Subtropical region include Brisbane, Central Coast, and Sydney.

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Cardoon can’t be planted in the Temperate regions of Australia. Cities in the Temperate region include Melbourne, Adelaide, Geelong, and Perth.

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For the Cool region, cardoon can’t be planted. Cities in the Cool region include alpine regions of Victoria and Tasmania.

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You can’t plant cardoon in the Arid region.

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Exploring Cardoon Cultivation

If you're looking to add a unique and versatile plant to your garden, cardoon is worth considering. In this section, we will explore what cardoon is and why it's a great choice for cultivation in Australia. You can explore more plants in our A-Z Growing Guides.

Getting Started with Cardoon

If you're eager to start cultivating cardoon in Australia, you'll need to ensure you begin on the right foot. Here are some essential steps to get you started:

Choosing the Right Location

To give your cardoon plants the best chance of thriving, choosing a suitable location for cultivation is important. Cardoon plants prefer full sun, so look for a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. This will promote healthy growth and robust yields.

In addition to sunlight, cardoon plants also require protection from strong winds. They have large, delicate leaves that can be easily damaged. Consider planting them near a fence or wall to provide some shelter from gusty winds.

Soil Preparation and Planting

Cardoon plants thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Incorporate organic compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to improve its fertility and drainage.

Cardoon plants are best started from seed. Sow the seeds directly into the prepared soil, following the recommended spacing guidelines on the seed packet. The ideal time for sowing cardoon seeds in Australia is spring or autumn. Keep the soil consistently moist until the seeds germinate, which usually takes around 10-14 days.

Note:  By selecting the right location and preparing the soil properly, you'll lay a solid foundation for successful cardoon cultivation. Once your cardoon plants are established, providing them with the care they need to thrive is important. The next section will cover essential aspects of caring for your cardoon plants.

Caring for Your Cardoon Plants

Proper care is essential to ensure your cardoon plants' healthy growth and development. In this section, we will cover essential aspects of watering and irrigation, fertilising and nutrient requirements, as well as pest and disease management.

Watering and Irrigation

Cardoon plants thrive in well-draining soil and require regular watering to maintain their moisture levels. During the growing season, it is crucial to provide consistent moisture without allowing the soil to become waterlogged. I recommend watering your cardoon plants deeply and thoroughly, ensuring that the water reaches the root zone.

To determine when to water, check the soil moisture by inserting your finger into the soil. If it feels dry about an inch below the surface, it's time to water. You may need to water your plants more frequently in hot and dry weather.

Fertilising and Nutrient Requirements

To support the growth and development of your cardoon plants, they will benefit from regular fertilisation. I recommend applying a balanced fertiliser, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 formulation, at the beginning of the growing season. This will provide the essential nutrients needed for healthy foliage and flower production.

Additionally, cardoon plants appreciate the incorporation of organic matter into the soil before planting. You can amend the soil with well-rotted compost or aged manure to improve its nutrient content and enhance overall plant growth.

Pest and Disease Management

Cardoon plants are generally resistant to many pests and diseases. However, monitoring your plants closely and taking appropriate action if any issues arise is essential. Common pests that may affect cardoon plants include aphids, slugs, and snails. You can use organic insecticidal soap to control these pests or handpick them off your plants.

In terms of diseases, cardoon plants may be susceptible to fungal infections such as powdery mildew. To prevent fungal diseases, ensure proper air circulation around your plants by providing adequate spacing and removing infected leaves. If necessary, you can apply organic fungicides to manage fungal infections.

Remember to regularly inspect your cardoon plants for any signs of pest infestations or disease symptoms. Early detection and intervention can help prevent the spread of pests and diseases and maintain the health of your plants.

By implementing proper watering and irrigation techniques, providing appropriate fertilisation and nutrient requirements, and staying vigilant with pest and disease management, you can ensure the vitality and productivity of your cardoon plants. Enjoy the process of caring for your plants and look forward to a bountiful harvest of delicious and nutritious cardoons.

Harvesting and Using Cardoon

After caring for your cardoon plants, it's time to reap the rewards of your hard work. Harvesting cardoon at the right time and knowing how to prepare and cook it will ensure a delightful culinary experience. Let's explore the process of harvesting and using cardoon in your recipes.

When to Harvest Cardoon

Cardoon plants require patience as they take time to mature. The ideal time to harvest cardoon is when the plant reaches its full size, and the stems are thick and tender. Typically, this occurs around 120 to 140 days after planting. Keep an eye on the plant; when the stems are about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) in diameter, it's time to harvest.

To harvest cardoons, use a sharp knife or pruners to cut the stalks close to the base of the plant. Be careful not to damage nearby stems or foliage. It's best to harvest cardoons in the morning when the plant is hydrated and the temperatures are cooler.

For more information on growing vegetables and herbs in Australia, check out our articles on how to grow silverbeet, how to grow rhubarb and how to grow parsley.

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