Learn how to grow burdock in this guide. Growing burdock is easy and it grows wild, almost like a weed in zones with favorable growing conditions.
USDA Zones — 3-9
Other Names— Arctium, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Arctium tomentosum, Bardana, Bardana-minor, Bardanae Radix, Bardane, Bardane Comestible, Bardane Géante, Bardane Majeure, Beggar’s Buttons, Burdock Root Extract, Burr Seed, Clotbur, Cocklebur, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox’s Clote, Gobo, Glouteron, Hardock, Harebur, Herbe du Teigneux, Lappa, Niu Bang Zi, Thorny Burr.
Burdock (Arctium Lappa) is a beautiful ornamental herb (also used as a vegetable) that has medicinal properties. It is a wild plant but can be grown in the garden. In the kitchen, its young leaves are used raw in salads or cooked like spinach. As for the roots and flower spike, they taste like artichoke and used in various oriental cuisines.
How to Grow Burdock
Propagation and Planting Burdock
Planting can be done in spring in cool and temperate regions. In warm climates, sow seeds in the fall.
Sow seeds in seed tray or directly on the ground and cover with 2 cm of fine soil. Work well on planting area, till the soil to a depth of about 50 cm so that the roots will penetrate easily and grow well. Add lot of aged manure or compost decomposed and clean the weeds and debris around planting area.
Transplant seedlings grown in tray to their final location by providing a spacing of about 20 cm between each. Once the last frost date has passed. As for growing burdock in pots, it must be avoided, because of its deep roots.
Requirements for Growing Burdock (Gobo)
Growing burdock is better in location that remains partially shaded. It grows well in areas with mild winter. The ideal growing temperature remains between 50 – 77 F (10 C – 25 C), although the plant can withstand low temperatures during winter (aerial parts can die, but normally the root supports low temperatures).
Cultivate preferably in light, deep, well-drained and fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant tolerates a soil pH in the range of 4.6 – 7.8, ideally a pH of 6.6 to 7.5 is better.
Water moderately. Irrigate in order to keep the soil slightly moist but avoid keeping the soil waterlogged.
Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.
Burdock can become an invasive plant. To prevent the plant from spreading spontaneously, do not allow the plant to flourish. Cut the flowers before they fade to prevent seeding and seed spilling. Other way to counter its invasiveness is to growing burdock in confined space.
Mulch at the base to keep the soil moist and fresh and avoid the growth of weeds.
Budock is an aggressive plant that does not necessarily need fertilizer. To give plant a boost it can be fertilized occasionally with balanced fertilizer.
Pests and Diseases
Burdock is resistant to pests and diseases but can be attacked by slugs. Use coffee grounds and eggshells as natural barrier against slugs.
Also Read: How to Kill Slugs
Harvesting of the burdock or gobo roots can be done in 10 weeks after planting but these can be left in the soil for growing longer.
Burdock leaves are harvested from June to September or as and when required.