The milk thistle plant is called silybum milk thistle and is known to be a very tricky plant. The milk thistle plant is prized for its medicinal properties, the plant is also considered highly invasive and is being targeted for eradication in some areas. Continue reading to learn more information about growing milk thistle in gardens.


Milk Thistle Plant Information

 Actually milk thistle contains silymarin, which is a chemical component known to improve liver health, earning the plant its status as a “liver tonic.” If you actually want to produce your own silymarin, milk thistle growing conditions are very easy and simple. The following are some tips for planting milk thistle in gardens: You can easily grow milk thistle plant in gardens with most types of soil, including soil that is very poor. As milk thistle plant is often considered a weed itself, virtually no weed control is actually needed. Plant your milk thistle seeds about ¼ inches deep just after the last frost in a spot that really receive full sun.

  Harvest the milk thistle plant flower heads just as the flowers start to dry and a white pappus tuft (like on a dandelion) begins to form in its place. You can place the flower heads in a paper bag in a dry place for about week to continue the drying process. Once the milk thistle seeds are dried, hack at the bag to separate them from the flower head. The milk thistle seeds can be stored in an air-tight container.  

Milk Thistle Plant Invasiveness

It is safe for humans to eat, but it is also considered toxic to livestock, which is actually bad, as it often grows in pastures and is very hard to get rid of. The plant is also not native to North America and considered highly invasive. A single plant can produce more than six thousand seeds that can remain viable for 9 years and germinate at any temperature between thirty-two and eight-six degrees Fahrenheit. The milk thistle seeds can also be caught in the wind and carried easily on clothes and shoes, spreading it to neighboring land. For this reason, you should really think twice before growing milk thistle plant in your garden, and also check with your local government to see if it is even legal to plant it. 

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