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Protecting Echium

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by John Stevenson, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. John Stevenson

    John Stevenson Apprentice Gardener

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    Can anyone give me advice on protecting a Echium?
    Last year I grew a Echium from seed and it now stands in a very large pot in my front garden, and would be almost impossible to move under cover. It stands seven foot high with a stem of one and half inches in diameter. I live in Derby in the east midlands.
    I would really be grateful for any help.
     
  2. Spruce

    Spruce Glad to be back .....

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    Hi

    I thought Biennial , grow one year from seed then flower the 2nd year and produce seed then die, has yours flowered this year ?
     
  3. John Stevenson

    John Stevenson Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,
    I was under the impression that it was a perennial,perhaps I am wrong; but it has not flowered so I don't suppose it will now.
    Thanks for your reply anyway.
     
  4. IceColdRum

    IceColdRum Cacti & Herb Mad

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    Echium pinana is indeed usually a biannual however sometimes if they don't get ideal conditions they will continue to grow until they have enough reserves to flower I have seen plants where the young flower spike has snapped off in wind survive and flower again the following year. I would suggest you give it as much protection as you can even if you just wrap it in fleece on nights where frost is expected hopefully if we have a mild winter it should be fine, down on the south coast they usually get a bit of frost and most of the leaves will drop off but as long as it's not prolonged they usually perk back up again in the spring
     
  5. pete

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

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    I've got a bit of monster one my self which would probably flower next year If I can get it through the winter. Its about 9ft high at the moment.

    I've always found water in the growing point which freezes as the main winter problem, that is barring anything below minus 5 C.
    It was a mild one last year and mine got through with just a fleece bag over it during the cold nights.

    But to be honest I think its in the lap of the gods, if we get a bad one, there is not much you can do really.
    If you cover them too closely for any length of time they rot anyway.
     
  6. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    Not sure how happy it will be in a pot, they tend to only perform well if they are in the ground for their final stages of growth, to flowering. Which is a problem, of course, as it means they need planting out the Autumn before flowering ... and will only survive if the winter is mild ... so sow every year, and cross your fingers for a mild Winter now & again :)
     
  7. pete

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

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    If you can move the pot close to the house wall, preferably a south or west wall, it will stand a much greater chance of surviving.
     
  8. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    John - you have done very well to get it to 7 feet in just 2 years. Whilst its quoted as a biennial, which I assume it is in its native environment, it's really monocarpic - ie dies after flowering. For me that's closer to the fourth year.

    Normally they make a big rosette, then sprint upwards when they are about to flower - so I presume yours would like to flower soon.

    You could always keep it in your hall. :snork: One year I had one that was 7 foot in the autumn. I overwintered in my 8 foot hall, under (well next to) a fluorescent tube. It continued to grow over the winter, hitting the ceiling then growing horizontally for a foot - then it flowered over the winter.

    I didn't need a Christmas tree. [​IMG]
     
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    • John Stevenson

      John Stevenson Apprentice Gardener

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      I thank all of you for your advice. I have been unable to log in for 2 days; so this is the first chance I have had to reply.
      Thank you once again.
       
    • pete

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

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      That one is now 16 ft and growing.DSC_0043.JPG
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        Nice one pete. My big one didn't make it through the winter.
         
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        • PeterS

          PeterS Total Gardener

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          Brilliant Pete - I assume it stayed out over winter. Couldn't do that up here in Yorkshire.
           
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          • pete

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

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            Peter, its strange but it could just be down to positioning in a winter like the last one.
            Full winter sun, so it gets it full on first thing in the morning in January, would be my advice.
             
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