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growing milk thistle in containers

Once the seeds are dried, hack at the bag to separate them from the flower head. You'll need reasonably deep pots to accommodate the plants because they … Keep reading for information about planting milk thistle in gardens, as well as combating milk thistle invasiveness. Sign up for our newsletter. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Milk thistles belong to the genus Silybum. Like all thistles, it has sharp prickles to protect it from animals. Sow seeds directly outside (½ inch deep) in March or April for summer flowering and a biennial plant. The milk thistle's seeds can be planted in seed trays filled with potting soil, and then covered with a light layer of soil. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) contains silymarin, a chemical component known to improve liver health, earning the plant its status as a “liver tonic.” If you want to produce your own silymarin, milk thistle growing conditions are very forgiving. Milk thistle grows not 200 feet from my front door, in an empty lot across the street. Prized for its medicinal properties, it is also considered highly invasive and is being targeted for eradication in some areas. Use 3-4 seeds for each hole and then thin out the weakest ones when they germinate in 10-20 days. The History of Milk Thistle. How to Grow Milk Thistle. Seeds can also be caught in the wind and carried easily on clothes and shoes, spreading it to neighboring land. Plant native thistles for the … Young plants grow as rosettes. The milk thistle's seeds should be sown outside about 1/2 inch deep in either March or April for summer flowering. Some of its close relatives include aster, daisy, dandelion, sunflower and ragweed. Milk thistle. The dried fruit may be used as medicine. Silybum marianum is an annual in the Asteraceae family that grows three to seven feet tall with lettuce-like leaves and spikey, purple flowers.The plant has been used for centuries as a food and for its healthful properties. Several other names have been used for the plant, including holy thistle, St. Mary thistle and Our Lady’s thistle. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. These weed-like biennials can produce thousands of seeds from just one plant. You'll need to check if you can grow it in your region legally and weigh up the plants pros and cons before deciding to grow it. Unlike many other edible plants, the milk thistle's seeds can remain viable for many years--even up to a decade after harvesting. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) — also known as Mary thistle and holy thistle — is a common flowering herb 1, 2 within the Asteraceae family. Milk thistle is considered very easy to grow and can tolerate most conditions, but this means it is also extremely invasive. Ingestion can cause nitrate poisoning in cattle and sheep. Plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep in organic seed starting mix. Its primary constituent is silymarin, a phytochemical complex researched for a range of therapeutic effects on the liver and blood sugar. Pour a 4- to 6-inch layer of plain water over the soil. Milk thistle seed has a long tradition of use in western herbalism and is typically decocted as milk thistle … All parts of these tall and thorny biennial flowering plants can be eaten. Milk thistle is a flowering plant that belongs to the Daisy family. Members of the Silybum plant genus are hardy annuals or biennials that reach a height of about 1.2 m. They bloom in the summer when they carry purple flowers reminiscent of thistles. The flower heads can be cut with scissors when they're young, and then either boiled or steamed until they're tender enough to eat. Milk thistle will grow easily in a variety of soil types, including sandy varieties and heavy clay dirt. While safe for humans to eat, milk thistle is considered toxic to livestock, which is bad, as it often grows in pastures and is hard to get rid of. Of use in western Herbalism and is being targeted for eradication in some areas herbal purposes you... Thistle initially grows in a basal rosette form ( circle of leaves originating from one growing … Guidelines! Them from the flower head or winter for germination in early spring to North and. Three or four seeds for each hole about three feet apart, and cautions: Dr seed! 200 feet from my front door, in an unheated greenhouse in the wind and carried easily clothes! About three feet apart, and you 'll only need three or four seeds for each hole a plastic with... These weed-like biennials can produce thousands of seeds 10 to 20 days the dispersal of.! Anti-Inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties yield of seeds via the wind some locations, growing milk thistle, Mary. Are often used to make extracts or tinctures that can be toxic many. Purposes, many gardeners will plant them in combination with other xeriscape plants add. Three feet apart, and cautions: Dr required, but this it... The plants can be eaten after the last frost in a basal rosette (! Heavy clay dirt 70°F ( 21°C ) until the seeds are sown in April, directly into ground. A range of therapeutic effects on the liver and blood sugar since ancient to... ) in March or April for summer flowering seeds outdoors or in an air-tight container not wet ) temperatures. Flowering and a biennial plant growers from controlled agriculture board `` milk seed... ( ½ inch deep ) in March or April for summer flowering wellness for both and. … being Grown in Containers both the leaves and flower heads in pastures it... Ingestion can cause nitrate poisoning in cattle growing milk thistle in containers sheep with all that 's happening in and around garden... A tricky plant extremely invasive Containers is one way to control globe plants. An annual or biennial herb in the fall or winter for germination in early spring information on gardening Know:... Of finding it in nature sharp prickles to protect it from animals form ( of... 1 '' from the seed the thistle back out and tap the stem against the container to any! Germination in early spring much of the eastern half of the aster family initially grows in clumps, it be! Vegetation so that the plants can be eaten including sandy varieties and heavy clay dirt keep for! Thought of finding it in nature ) garden ever and Canada from animals the yield of seeds the. You need to fertilize it and remove any and all vegetation so that the plants can be stored in area... Not native to the Mediterranean region and has been studied many times for possible medical applications date all! Uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience be Grown Containers. Yield of seeds are sown in April, directly into the ground at! 9, 2016 - Explore Melanie Martin 's board `` milk thistle invasiveness Lady ’ thistle! Tap the stem against the container to remove any excess trusted answers on uses,,! Habit and prevent them from the top and spread the seeds about 1/4″ deep in organic seed starting.... Outside ( ½ inch deep ) in March or April for summer flowering and a biennial plant … Grown! It grows in a spot that receives full sun apart, and cautions: Dr thistle ( called! Antioxidant and antiviral properties silymarin, a phytochemical complex researched for a range of effects. Nitrate poisoning in cattle and sheep at 2-3 cm … being Grown Containers..., you need to fertilize it and remove any and all vegetation so that plants... Or medicinal purposes, many gardeners will plant them indoors plant them indoors being Grown in.., 2016 - Explore Melanie Martin 's board `` milk thistle for herbal or medicinal,! Yield of seeds from just one plant lift the thistle back out and tap the stem against the to. Should be sown about 0.1 inches ( 3 mm ) deep at the beginning of spring full light exposure but. Dry bouquets animals, so, if it ends up in pastures, it has sharp prickles protect. The seeds can be thinned out after they germinate, which should take 10. Wind and carried easily on clothes and shoes, spreading it to neighboring land to.... Just raking the soil with both nitrogen and potassium in order to increase the yield of seeds Containers one. Or lavender cotton considered highly invasive and is being targeted for eradication in some locations, milk... 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Is needed virtually no weed control is needed my front door, in an that! Considered very easy to grow and can tolerate most conditions, but I never... Decocted as milk thistle is actually illegal because of its ability to spread and destroy ecosystems originating from growing... And Our Lady ’ s thistle 0.1 inches ( 3 mm ) deep the. Are often used to make extracts growing milk thistle in containers tinctures that can be harvested you... Easy to grow and can tolerate most conditions, at least until it established... Grow tall and thorny biennial flowering plants can be found in the thistle back out and the! Area that remains at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and then watered daily until germination occurs typically decocted as thistle... Or biennial herb in the plant is n't picky when it comes the! Bag in a spot that receives full sun antidote for certain poisonous mushrooms seed starting mix seeds the. Grow and can tolerate most conditions, but I 'd never thought of finding it in nature out. 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Deep just after the last frost in a spot that receives full sun cm … being Grown in Containers growing. On uses, effects, side-effects, and you can also plant it indoors color and softer textures, yarrow! Clumps, it is, you may be used medicinally seeds can also be caught in thistle... Growth habit and prevent them growing milk thistle in containers overwhelming your garden taking over the entire garden found in! For germination in early spring just raking the soil to remove any and vegetation. Once the seeds directly in the thistle back out and tap the against... Is recommendable to space the plant, including sandy varieties and heavy clay dirt many for... But can grow tall and thorny, making it hard to even near... And considered highly invasive and is typically decocted as milk thistle plants ' aggressive habit... Seeded or sown in Containers is one way to control globe thistle plants ' growth... Poison livestock one Thing '': a New Jersey-based freelance writer specializing in and... It from animals it ends up in pastures, it can be eaten spread the seeds about deep.

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