Select your climate zone What is my climate zone?

Growing Burdock, also Gobo (Japanese Burdock)

(Arctium lappa)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
P P             P P P P

(Best months for planting Burdock in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • Easy to grow.
  • Harvest in 120 days
  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 20°C.
  • Space plants: 60cm

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 May 11 Nicky (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I've grown some this year in Christchurch. Bought the seeds from the garden centre under the "Niche" brand - green packet.
22 Apr 12 Stephen (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hello, Would you please kindly let me know where I can buy Burdock Seeds? I am in Auckland. Thanks Stephen
13 May 12 Ru (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
It looks as though Burdock is a weed-plant in Auckland, they are trying to eradicate it as a pest and in some areas it would be banned for sale. Hort NZ has a page on it: rnzih .org .nz /pages /arctiumminus .htm
20 May 12 Bill (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
It seems from the reference given that the banned plant is arctium minus, not arctium lappa. I didn't get that this one is banned.
08 Jun 12 Margaret (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
There are burdock seeds for sale on Trademe
08 Apr 13 Joshua (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Could I buy Gobo in New Zealand? Can't plant in my garden as I dont have any space available.
10 Aug 13 Heather (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Kings Seeds sell seeds. Have planted in Auckland and grew well. Needs really friable soil as grew down to nearly 1 metre. To buy Gobo, try Asian shops. Really enjoyed the flavour. Put into acidulated water straight after cutting as goes brown really quick.
15 Sep 13 Mark robins (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
It's a nasty weed the seed head will stick to everything it comes in contact with. You will wish you never planted it.
15 Aug 14 Toni Robertson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It sounds like the key is not to let it seed. Does anyone know whether stock like it?
20 Apr 16 Jenny stafford (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
It is one of the ingredients in assaic tea which is a preventive for cancer

Post a comment or tip about Burdock

Where are you?

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

See planting calendar for these climate zones

New Zealand - cool/mountain,   New Zealand - sub-tropical,   New Zealand - temperate  

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us

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. GardenGrow 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.

Site design and development by Hutchinson Software