Echinops are thistle like plants that are hardy perennials.
They carry spiky leaves and have globe like flowers of white or purple.
Common names for Echinops include the Globe Thistle.
Due to their size (90 cm to 1.5 m) they make good plants for growing at the back of borders.
Echinops by wallygrom.
Common Names: Globe Thistle: Great; Pale; Russian.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 20 to 60 inches (50 to 150 cm).
Native: Europe, west and central Asia, Northern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Species dependent: Summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: White, purple, blue-grey. Globes.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Spiny. Lobed. Sharp.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Following the last frost. Spacing 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: two weeks to two months. Temperature: 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Three weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.5 to 7.0/ Any type of soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Provide support for taller varieties. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Plants last for about three years before losing vigour. Propagate Echinops: in spring by taking root cuttings or by dividing in autumn in warmer areas.
Miscellaneous: Invasive weed in many parts of Northern America.
When growing Globe thistle outdoors it is best just to cover the seeds once sown after the last frost of spring. They can be grown in either a sunny or lightly shaded area of the garden, and prefer a soil of pH 5.5 to 7. If you plan to first grow globe thistle as seedlings indoors then they take from two to nine weeks to germinate at a temperature of 18 to 24 degrees Centigrade. Once growing, the Echinops should be transplanted into the garden after the last frost of spring at a spacing of between 60 and 90 cm.
Globe thistles are relatively easy to look after; they require watering during prolonged dry periods and should be cut back to the ground in the autumn. Due to their height they may require stakes.
Although Echinops are perennials it is best to plant new globe thistles every four years or so to maintain the appearance of the plants. If you require more Echinops then take cuttings from the root in the spring, or divide he plant in the autumn.