Prickly, thistle-like foliages is a deep green with silvery undersides is one pretty aspect of the blue echinops, but the showstopper is the rounded blue flower clusters in late summer. A upright, clump-forming perennial, it hails from southeastern Europe eastward into central Asia.
The dark green leaves are coarsely lobed, looking like leaves of a thistle or pointy-leaf oak. There are white fibers on the leaf edges at times and the undersides are a downy white-gray. In late summer stems are topped with a globe-like cluster of tiny dark blue flowers that age to lighter blue, attracting bees and butterflies. The spent flowers turn tan, creating an architectural white, tan and dark brown globe. Seeds are shed and will germinate nearby.
Grow blue echinops in full sun to partial shade in nearly any average garden soil that does not become overly wet. The blue flower balls make pretty cutflowers, as does the foliage; dried flower balls are usable in dried arrangements.
Information source: www.Learn2Grow.com
Genus - Echinops
Species - Ritro
Common name - Globe Thistle
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 9
Height - 0,50 - 0,90 (1,50) m
Spread - 0,40 - 0,45 m
Plant type - Perennial flower
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Grey green / Blue
1. Sow from May to June on good quality seed compost in a seed tray and press them firmly down.
2. Cover them lightly with compost. They need some light to germinate.
3. Water with a fine sprayer and place the tray in a clear plastic bag.
4. Plant out when the frosts have gone and space to two feet apart.
OUTDOORS till the nd of June:
1. Find a bed which gets lots of sun and has light free draining soil (not clay).
2. Press the seeds firmly into the ground and lightly cover.
3. Keep the area weed free and lightly watered.
4. Seeds should germinate in about two weeks.
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