Echium Pininana flowering signs?
This is my first post on the forum so a big 'hello' to everyone.
I'm currently growing about a dozen large Echium Pininana which are presently in my greenhouse, in whopping pots, riding out the last of the winter cold.
Having never managed to grow these successfully through to flowering i'm wondering if any learned people on this forum can advise me on what to look out for with regards to pre-flowering signs?
At present they are approx 4ft tall and have very thick, woody stems, with magnificaent whorls of crown leaf growth. In recent weeks they have shown signs of increased foliage and height growth and i am starting to see small leaflets emerge on some of the stems, near the crown, where the basal part of the fan leaves meet the stem.
Any advise on what to look for on a small scale would be great. I'm a fastidious obsessive when it comes to these tiny signs of changes in growing habit and it is these i am most interested to record in my observations!
(I work a 'farmers shift' in construction so am not home in daylight for most of the week, but will endeavour to get some pictures tomorrow morning and post on here!)
Thanks & best wishes to all, Matt.
Back in the autumn of 2018 I was given a seedling E. pin by a friend living in Cornwall ... I said that I didn't hold out much hope for it here in central Norfolk, and where the heck would I have space for it?
However, we kept it in the cold frame that winter and potted it on in the spring ... it survived ... but the next winter (2019) it was too big for our cold frame so it spent the winter snuggled into a corner between a water butt and the house wall (east-facing).
It survived ... didn't look great but was definitely still alive ... I bit the bullet and decided it'd have to be planted out in the veg patch ... the sunniest spot we have ... it remained there totally unprotected for the following winter (2020)... I fully expected it to keel over and pop its clogs ... it wasn't the most handsome plant, decidedly bedraggled ... however in the spring of 2021 it sprung into life and put up a flower spike and when I say up I mean UP!!!
Last summer it was heading for 12' in total, with a flower spike absolutely covered with bees almost 24/7 ... it took up a lot of space, became intimately involved with the runner beans and squash plants, and was absolutely magnificent ... we're hoping it will have self-seeded in the veg patch ... our Cornish friend assures us that it will have done so ... that's if it's escaped the Under Gardener's assiduous weeding ... my OH isn't that good at recognising different plants popping up among the chickweed ... yet ...
Afraid I didn't study it too closely ... but when it puts up a flower spike, it's hard to miss that
This pic was taken some months ago now so obviously much bigger.
@Wilderbeast I do like the look of yours going straight up whereas mine is slightly curved. Maybe your main stem is the same but don't think it matters in your case.
I also find that removing the lower leaves as they become straggly doesn't affect the look of the plant in fact I feel it enhances it.
@m.razzell I think we are all in the same position with our echiums so let's hope we see the pleasure of them flowering this year.