The tray will need to remain in an area that remains at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and then watered daily until germination occurs. However, these plants can be toxic to many animals, so, if it ends up in pastures, it can poison livestock. Milk thistle is a Mediterranean plant in the daisy family that is characterized by tufts of purple flower heads surrounded by a halo of protective thorns. Maintain lightly damp soil (not wet) AND temperatures around 70°F (21°C) until the seeds have germinated. Since the plant is resilient, there is no soil preference for growing milk thistle. Milk thistle. Jennifer Lesser is a New Jersey-based freelance writer specializing in health and wellness for both humans and their four-legged friends. If you've planted milk thistle to add a little bit of color to your landscape, their top stems can be pruned as soon as its flowers start to die off. Plant them in combination with other xeriscape plants that add contrasting color and softer textures, like yarrow or lavender cotton. Fill the bottom of a plastic bucket with 4 to 6 inches of all-purpose potting soil. When growing milk thistle for herbal or medicinal purposes, many gardeners will plant them indoors. In some locations, growing milk thistle is actually illegal because of its ability to spread and destroy ecosystems. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used since ancient Greece to treat a variety of liver diseases. In fact, in studies where high doses were used for long periods, only about 1% of people experienced side effects ( 1 ). The History of Milk Thistle. Ingestion can cause nitrate poisoning in cattle and sheep. The seeds can be harvested and you can cook and consume both the leaves and flower heads. While most people actually consider milk thistle a pesky weed, and it can be quite invasive, its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-viral benefits make it worth keeping around. Seeds can also be caught in the wind and carried easily on clothes and shoes, spreading it to neighboring land. Milk thistle is also a known antidote for certain poisonous mushrooms. Pick a sunny to partly-sunny spot. A single plant can produce over 6,000 seeds that can remain viable for 9 years and germinate at any temperature between 32 F. and 86 F. (0-30 C.). Be sure to space each hole about three feet apart, and you'll only need three or four seeds for each hole. There are some other species of thistle that are not as invasive, but you'll know it's a milk thistle because of the white markings on its foliage that other native species do not have. Milk thistle seed has a long tradition of use in western herbalism and is typically decocted as milk thistle … If growing milk thistle for herbal purposes, you can also plant it indoors. Milk thistle (also called silybum milk thistle) is a tricky plant. We supervise to the progress of growing at selected growers from controlled agriculture. In Feb-March, you can either direct sow milk thistle seeds in your garden OR start the seeds indoors in containers (biodegradable cells or deep plastic cells). Jun 2, 2016 - Milk thistle growing instruction & requirement Milk thistle info: climate, zone, growth speed, water, light, planting season & colors Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Place the flower heads in a paper bag in a dry place for a week to continue the drying process. You can even plant the seeds directly in the garden. Learn how to grow biennial milk thistle from seed: direct-sowing, germination, light and soil requirements, spacing, and harvesting for fresh use or seeds. Milk thistle is an annual or biennial herb in the thistle group of the aster family. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Growing in Containers When growing milk thistle for herbal or medicinal purposes, many gardeners will plant them indoors. The milk thistle plant will grow best in either a sunny or part shade location. The milk thistle also happens to be very cold hardy and difficult to eradicate once its established thanks to its deep taproots and dense foliage. Prized for its medicinal properties, it is also considered highly invasive and is being targeted for eradication in some areas. Like all thistles, it has sharp prickles to protect it from animals. Their seeds can germinate in temperatures ranging anywhere from 32 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the plant can remain viable for up to ten years. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. 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 name "milk thistle" derives from two features of the leaves: they are mottled with splashes of white and they contain a milky sap. For this reason, you should really think twice before planting milk thistle in your garden, and check with your local government to see if it is even legal. Instead of planting directly in the ground, opt to grow milk thistle in containers. Most people consider milk thistle a pesky weed because it can grow tall and thorny, making it hard to even get near. Usual daily dose is 12 to 15 g of whole or powdered fruit or 200 to 420 mg of milk thistle. 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. Milk thistle is generally considered safe when taken by mouth (1, 45). Because the plant is associated with the Virgin Mary, who is reputed to have wept over the plant, it is also called Holy Thistle, Blessed Thistle, Mary Thistle and Lady’s Thistle. Sign up for our newsletter. It is suggested that milk thistle seeds be sown about 0.1 inches (3 mm) deep at the beginning of spring. Thistle should be Grown in loamy or sandy soil need to fertilize it and remove any and all vegetation that. Guide to growing milk thistle ( also called silybum milk thistle plants ' growth. Herb with spiky flowers has been prized for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties mine milk! 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