You’re probably already familiar with the artichoke plant, known for its long and silvery leaves with attractive blooms. They aren’t difficult to grow and anyone can enjoy bountiful harvests of chokes with proper planting, pruning, and watering! But some have questioned, ‘can you eat an artichoke after it blooms?’
We talk about artichokes, their edibility, and what you can do to have them taste great. So read on!
Can You Eat an Artichoke After It Blooms?
Did you know that artichokes were eaten by the ancient Romans and Greeks? This plant from the thistle family has been planted and harvested to use as gourmet food for hundreds of years!
The bud, which is the immature flower, is what is harvested and eaten. Other parts of the bud that can be eaten are the bases of its leaves (the tender bracts), along with the fleshy base where the flowers are borne, which is called the heart.
While they aren’t the most popular plants in the USA, they can be grown in almost all the US growing zones. Most of this plant is edible though the portion most people consume is the immature flower bud right in the center, which is formed before the plant blooms. This is why people have been wondering what happens after the plant blooms.
Will you still be able to consume it?
Usually, when you neglect your garden, there will be little to no rewards from it. You’d expect to produce way past its time with weeds on the garden beds.
With artichokes, if left unpicked, these edible buds would open with beautiful purple blooms growing up to 6 inches. While they do look amazing, they are, unfortunately, NOT as tasty consumed after you harvest them post-bloom.
When harvesting artichoke buds, you’ll have to wait until large and tight globes are formed. Then, you can cut along the buds a few inches from the stalk, which is also edible. But you can’t wait too long, because when the buds begin to open and most of the leaves splay out, the leaves will be too tough. If the leaf tips are split, dry looking, shriveled with discolorations on the leaves, then the artichoke is way past its prime, so it won’t be great to consume.
While you can still try to cook the leaves to soften them for consumption, it isn’t ideal. It’s much better to leave the blooming bud on the plant, letting it stay forever.
But don’t fret! You can still take advantage of these bloomed artichokes. You can cut the flowers to use as bouquets, or you can dry them to use as arrangements. Other times, gardeners would leave the blooms on the plant to display it in the garden!
Wrapping It Up
Some people perceive artichokes as prickly weeds, though they are far more than that with their blooms and edible harvests. Artichokes are edible after blooming and are still great to eat, but will become tough and hard, so it’s much better to harvest them on time. All it takes is properly caring for the plant and great cooking skills to enjoy the edible harvest you can reap.
Now that you are more familiar with artichokes and the fact they are edible, explore what you can do with the growing artichokes in your garden. Be sure to read up on extra tips to care for them well so they can grow healthily so you can get lots of artichokes to harvest and enjoy. Happy gardening!