When to Plant Milk Thistle Seeds
Milk Thistle plants are grown as annuals when started early indoors. Seed sown directly outdoors produce biennial plants in most climates, and will flower their second season.
Where to Plant Milk Thistle Seeds
Milk Thistle performs best in full sun, with fertile soil and moderate water. Having said that, it can tolerate drought, any soil, and partial shade.
How to Plant Milk Thistle Seeds
Milk Thistle seeds require light to germinate, so be careful not to cover them when planting. Learn more about germination light requirements here.
Direct sow Milk Thistle seeds 1/2" deep into prepared seed beds after all danger of frost. Plant in groups of 3-4 seeds, spaced 30-36" apart. Germination should be seen in 10-20 days. Thin to the strongest plant. Milk Thistle seeds can be started earlier indoors and transplanted.
How to Harvest Milk Thistle
When the plants are young, the leaves can be used in salads or other dishes once the spines are removed. Milk Thistle flowers attract bees and butterflies. To limit self-sowing, remove flowers after they bloom.