How to Grow Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Milk Thistle flower
Milk Thistle flower

Milk thistle is a very decorative plant. It looks good both in compositions and growing alone. The dried flower heads may be used for decoration of dry bouquets. The dried fruit may be used as medicine.

The seeds are sown in April, directly into the ground, at 2-3 cm depth. The first plants appear 2-3 weeks after sowing. The plant prefers sunny locations and permeable soil, pH 5.7-7.2. It does not like excessively moist ground.

The fruit ripen gradually from August to September. They are harvested when the husks become dry and the first bunches of seed hair become visible. If we are too late, the seeds will fall out. The fruit should be placed on a flat surface to dry. Only well dried fruit may be stored. Plantations yield 1-2 tons of dried fruit from 1 hectare.

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