Echinops are thistle-like plants that are hardy perennials.
They have spiky leaves, and produce globe-like flowers, of white or purple.
The common name for members of the Echinops genus is the Globe Thistle.
Echinops by wallygrom.
Due to their size (90 cm to 1.5 m; 3 to 5 feet), they make good plants for growing at the back of borders.
Echinops ritro (Southern Globethistle Veitch's Blue Cultivar), photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.
Echinops bannaticu (Blue Globe-thistle), picture by manuel m. v.; CC.
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.
Family: Aster (Asteraceae / Compositae).
When growing Globe thistle outdoors, it is best just to cover the seeds once sown. Sow out after the last frost of spring.
The plants 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 seedlings indoors, then they take from two to nine weeks to germinate at a temperature of 18 to 24 degrees Centigrade (64 to 75°F).
Once growing, Echinops should be transplanted into the garden after the last frost of spring. Use a spacing of between 60 and 90 cm (2 to 3 feet).
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 plants are perennials, it is best to re-plant new globe thistles every four years or so. As this will help to maintain the appearance of the plants.
If you require more Echinops, then either take cuttings from the root in the spring, or divide he plant in the autumn.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Echinops plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Asparagaceae family growing guides: How to grow Cladanthus; Dahlia, Gaillardia, and Anacyclus plants.