How To Grow Globe Thistle Plants
Giant Dwarf Globemaster (Globe Thistle)
The Giant Dwarf Globemaster (also known as globemaster or globemasters) is one of the most popular varieties of globe thistles. It grows up to 4 feet tall and produces large clumps of greenish-white flowers in spring. They are often called “globes” because they resemble small, round glass beads.
They are very hardy and survive cold winters. Their leaves are dark green with white edges.
They have been used medicinally for centuries and their leaves were once considered to be a cure for many ailments including scurvy, rheumatism, gout, dysentery, malaria and even syphilis! The leaves contain high amounts of vitamin C which helps prevent skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis. They also provide antioxidants that protect against free radical damage.
Their leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Some people eat them fresh while others grind them into flour and make a tea. Others use them as a decorative accent on their gardens.
If grown from seed, they will produce new plants every year so they are not always available in season.
Growing From Seeds?
Globe thistle is a biennial plant which means they are grown from seed. They take 2 years to reach maturity and it will have their first flowers after their first summer. The roots grow large and fleshy to store nutrients for their winter dormancy period. After the first spring or summer, they begin to grow side shoots with flowers on them.
You can grow these from seed but it’s best if you collect them yourself when they are ripe. This means that you must wait until the globes dry and turn a golden color then remove the fuzz from the outside. Before sowing, soak them in water for about 24 hours.
Globe thistle can have hundreds of seeds on each head so it’s best if you only replant a few of them. They like loose, sandy, well-drained soil but they will grow in any condition. They need full sun to partial shade.
They will spread and naturalize quickly so it’s best to grow them in a large container.
They can be sown anytime during the year but spring and summer are the best times. Cover the seeds lightly and keep the soil moist but not wet as they do not like wet feet. They should start sprouting in 2 weeks.
When they are 2-4 inches tall, thin out some of them.
Mulching around the base of the plants will help keep the moisture in the soil and keep the weeds down. During the winter, globe thistle is not actively growing so you don’t need to water it. The leaves will naturally brown during the cold months but will return with the spring.
Once they are 3-4 feet tall, you can begin cutting the globes off for eating.