Growing Burdock, also Gobo (Japanese Burdock)

Arctium lappa : Asteraceae / the daisy family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 17-18 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed.
  • Burdock flower (commons.wikimedia.org - George Chernilevsky - Public Domain)

Burdock grows wild on roadsides and waste places and around field boundaries throughout Britain, Europe and North America; it is cultivated in Japan. It grows to about 2m (6ft) high. It has dark green leaves with a long tap root

Keep watch for seed heads as it can become an invasive weed. The prickly balls were the inspiration for the inventor of 'Velcro', George de Mestra.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Burdock

Harvest in the first year when the burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related.

It is a key ingredient in the traditional Dandelion and Burdock beer.

Your comments and tips

02 Jun 22, Carol (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Buy from "Strictly Medicinal Seeds"
17 May 22, Winter (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Why do people plant Burdock? In my area, it grows everywhere and overtakes everything. It’s also impossible to pull w/ the hands, I have to dig them out to remove them. Genuine question, as there’s obviously a use for them if there’s a guide to growing them!
18 May 22, anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Read the notes about it - it explains it.
01 Jul 21, Kamohelo (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I wanted to plant burdock but am not sure if I am in a semi-arid area. I am close to Bloemfontein and Bloemfontein is a semi-arid area. Milk thistle grows here so is it advisable to plant burdock
10 Jul 21, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
You should be OK.
27 Feb 21, Yoko (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi, where can I buy gobo seeding? Thanks.
01 Mar 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
Try seed selling companies on the internet.
05 Jun 22, Rene' (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yoko, I have a lot of seed if you are still looking
24 Jul 20, Elaine lopez (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi Were can i buy fresh gobo burdock root
27 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try a Google search
Showing 1 - 10 of 86 comments

You should be OK.

- Anonymous

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.