Growing Echinops (Globe Thistle) & Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Echinops (Globe Thistle) & Eryngium (Sea Holly) are very showy, Old World perennials grown for their attractive foliage and uniquely-shaped summer-blooming flowers. They are rich in nectar for feeding butterflies and bees of all types. Resistant to browsing rabbits and deer.
Preferred growing conditions:
Echinops and Eryngium grow well in most any type of soil including clay that doesn't sit wet.
Mulch with common mulching materials.
They are xeric (waterwise) and once established by the end of the second growing season do well with infrequent deep watering.
Plant in full sun.
Just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole is enough. These plants don't like rich, compost-enhanced soils.
- Deadheading will prolong bloom. Echinops will re-seed themselves so leave some seed heads on the plants.
- Echinops plants are somewhat short-lived and should be replaced every three to four years or as they lose vigor.
- Eryngium is longer lived when grown hard (not too much water and only a little fall fertilizer).
- Fertilize in the fall with Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost.
- Leave plants standing and cut back hard in mid-spring. The large seeds are eagerly sought out by seed-eating songbirds.
- Echinops can be divided in mid-spring. Eryngium is a tap rooted plant and does not like to be disturbed or moved.
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