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Echium Pininana

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by LinG, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. LinG

    LinG Apprentice Gardener

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    My first post so I hope I'm posting this in the right forum! I had a wonderful Echium Pininana flower last year which was a bought plant rather than one I grew myself. I harvested the seed which I sowed in pots outside in June this year (the first batch indoors didn't germinate for some reason) and I now have some fairly healthy plants growing in 9" 5 litre pots.

    My quandary now that they have grown fairly strong is how to keep them over winter. I only have a small plastic covered mini greenhouse but I understand plastic can make them develop mould or rot and it would be pretty crowded in there :smile:. I could wrap them individually in fleece, taking it off on good days or my other thought was to take a chance and put them in the ground in their final flowering position now - but is it too late to move them from pot to border? Or to larger pots?

    (I'm based on the south-east coast so climate is relatively mild)

    I'd be interested to hear how others on the forum have managed them in their first year as it's all new to me! :smile:
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    As you are on the coast I assume frosts are usually fairly light.
    Echiums of this type are hardy to around minus 5c in my experience but it's often the wet and frost combination that kills them, or atleast rots the tops out of them.

    A cool airy place is best for overwintering, but that is often not possible, I'd suggest just overhead cover from the rain would be best.

    I'd definitely plant out next spring to hopefully flower the following year.

    But as usual, a lot hinges on what kind of winter we get.
     
  3. LinG

    LinG Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks Pete...Ahh if only we could predict the weather!:SUNsmile:

    So if I create a cloche type of arrangement with clear plastic on canes over the pots but open at the sides that might do the trick?

    I've heard that some giant echiums have been known to flower in their second year - have you experienced that?
     
  4. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Well, yes, I tend to knock up a temporary poly cover for a few plants in pots that dont like winter wet.
    I dont think I've ever had one flower in its second year, to be honest the longer they go before flowering the taller and better they they are when they do.

    They self seed all over the place in my garden and allotment so no shortage of seedlings to pot up and grow on or leave in place to flower.:smile:
     
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    • LinG

      LinG Apprentice Gardener

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      Yes I had lots of seedlings appear - I have a mainly gravel garden and pulled most out but I have left a few in place just to see what happens.

      Well the temporary cover sounds like the answer then and fingers crossed we don't have another beast from the east descend on us down here. Thanks Pete for your advice.
       
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      • jeff williams

        jeff williams Apprentice Gardener

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      • jeff williams

        jeff williams Apprentice Gardener

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        Hi
        I’ve quickly become hooked on trying to grow echium from seed
        Varieties currently in garden & greenhouse are between 1st ,2nd & 3RD Year plant.
        The types currently being grown are
        Pininana Blue Steeple, Blue Tower, Snow Tower and Pink Fountain. & Wildpretti Tower of Jewels.

        This year I got 3 Blue Steeple all of which where 3rd year plants to grow on to produce huge flowers between 3 & 4 metres and are currently in full bloom and magnets for bees so I feel the last 3 years constantly watering and potting on have finally been justified as I’m the envy of our village.
        I have also have some questions to the echium experts please.
        1. My 10+ Echium Wildpretti have all grown into healthy bush style plants currently on their 2nd year but no sign of flowers yet so I assume these will be a 3rd year flower?.
        2. Some of my early planted Pininana snow tower have grown health trunks now approx. 3-4 feet in large potatoes planter sacks this is what gave me this year’s success and I plan to overwinter in the greenhouses and hopefully get more giant spikes in 2022- Winter temperatures permitting. - However a few of the larger ones have a health stems of 3-4 feet that show no sign of a main flower spike but have developed small side shoots which have a small and spare amount of flowers, will these plants die or continue onto 3rd year to produce larger flowers- should I deadhead or leave as is.
        3. Some of my Pink Fountain are showing both the symptoms of the white snow tower and all currently in their 2nd year same question as above?
        4. Can anyone recommend any other echium that are worth considering rowing from seeds?
        5. As for the Blue Tower I have only purchase and planted these in the spring 2021 so currently small seedlings yet to be planted on will these be smaller, larger any difference to the blue steeple please advise?
        Thank you in advance

        upload_2021-7-14_14-23-23.jpeg
         
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          Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
        • NigelJ

          NigelJ Total Gardener

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          @jeff williams Where in the UK are you?
          I grew my first Echium pininana from a seed in spring 2017 and a couple got planted out in the autumn. Flowered both in 2018 and 2019. Since then I've had self seeded plantsthis year 4 have flowered and I suspect that come autumn a lot of seedlings are bound for the compost heap.
          Echium pininana, lean due to strong winds.
          Echium pininana.JPG

          Echium fastuosum
          Echium fastuosum 1.JPG

          I picked up E fastuosum, short lived perennial, from a local nursery in late summer 2019 this flowered this spring and will go outside soon.
          E candicans was a gift last winter and is now outside and has been repotted, winter will be back in the greenhouse.
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            I dont actually sow seed of E. pininana, I just pot up self sown seedlings.
            Mine were wiped out in the February freeze this year, its always a gamble for me regarding winter weather.
            I did have a small E. wildpretii flower this year in a pot, I dont think it would stand the dampness outside during winter.

            I find Echium definitely know when its spring, so if they dont start to push up a flowering stem in April they wont for that year.
             
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            • jeff williams

              jeff williams Apprentice Gardener

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              Hi
              I'm base don Hirwaun on the edge of the Breckon beacons in south Wales so self seeding and surviving to a 2nd year outside is not an option due to the heavy frosts, snow and winter rain we get for 3-6 months.
               
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