How to Grow Echinops

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Echinops bannaticus, or the blue globe thistle flower, springs forth every summer with bright blue, prickly-looking flowers. The thistle attracts butterflies and all kinds of birds, including hummingbirds, so adding this flower to your garden can add a variety of color and life. At their prime, the flowers can grow up to 4 feet tall, so plant them along a boundary or border, or along the back of a flower plot to create a tall, bright line.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Soil tiller
  • Manure or compost
  • Seeds
  • Water
  1. Till the soil in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. Echinops thrive in full sunlight and will not grow as strong or quickly without this full sun. Till to a depth of 10 inches to thoroughly freshen the soil.

  2. Mix in one part manure or compost for every three parts soil into your planting area. This will add more nutrients to the soil and increase the drainage so that the flowers are not damaged by standing water.

  3. Plant the Echinops seed 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the soil surface. Space seeds at least 2 feet apart. Plant in early spring, just after the last frost, for a quick spring bloom.

  4. Water the seeds with a gentle stream from a hose or watering can. Water until the soil is completely moist but not puddling.

  5. Water the Echinops any time the top 2 inches of soil become dry to the touch. Do not overwater, as this will damage the flower’s roots.

Tips & Warnings

  • Echinops that grow up to 4 feet tall may need to be staked to stop them from falling over. Simply tie them to a wooden dowel or stake driven in the ground nearby.

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