Forum home Plants

Giant Echium (echium pininana)

In the Autumn/winter of 2013/2014 I sowed Echium seeds in the greenhouse and planted out into pots and directly in the garden this spring. The pot grown plants suffered a bit due to lack of watering whilst we were on holiday but survived. The plant in the garden grew very well and is now about 5 foot tall - it is in full sun in a well drained site. None of the plants flowered this year. As I sowed the seeds quite late in 2013 I'm wondering if 2014 was the first year of the biennial and if i can expect them to flower in 2015. I am aware they are tricky to grow but a present they are not behaving like a perennial on its second year. We are protecting the outside plant from frosts. Any advice would be welcome.



  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    Seed sown late summer 2012 flowered this year, so yours will probably flower next year if they survive the winter

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    Is the 5 foot tall one coming up to flower? I don't grow that echium but the ones I do grow are just rosettes until the flower spike starts coming up.  

    Also I've found some to be monocarpic, but more tri than biennial.image

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536

    if it flowers and you have any spare seed, I'd love to have a go at growing them imageimage

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852


    I have seeds from this Echium, its the lilac spikes on the right of this photo, the colour is actually pink, they self seed everywhere and are really easy to grow from seeds. You need a big space for them the base leaves are about 3ft or more across, the spikes are like tree trunks a good 2/3 inches diameter.

    I have plent of seeds if anyone wants them. Sow in the Spring. Plant out in September for flowering the following year, and mine flowered 2 years.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks for comments. We saw them whilst on holiday on Guernsey where they grew to 12-15 foot. I keep bees and so i'm always interested in plants which are bee friendly; in Guernsey the flowers were covered in insects. I shall try to keep the outside plant protected through the winter and we will plant out the potted ones in early spring and hope we get flowers.


  • be careful about frosts. ive been to Guernsey many times and the chap by icart point that has a great café there grows them. I know one year he lost them all to cold weather, which Guernsey very rarely has.

    I grew one but it but it died when I brought it inside in a pot.

    my dads growing one now in his garden and its got to about 4ft, hes looking at making some kind of glass/plastic cover for it, I know people down south can keep them in a sheltered spot so I hope that's where you are glyn!

    good luck and let mus know how you get on .

  • I would love to have a go at growing some of these! Will try to pm you with address.

  • I'm growing echium from seed. If they germinate before midsummer, they should flower two years later, so yours should be getting ready to flower next year. Protect them from frost over winter.

  • IgrowfromseedIgrowfromseed Posts: 277
    Just done the easy bit and about to pot on my echiums.
    Now for the difficult bit after they get planted out in 2019 to get them through winter and to flower in 2020.

Sign In or Register to comment.