Echinops bannaticus ‘Star Frost’
FROSTY GLOBE FLOWER
Echinops bannaticus ‘Star Frost’ is a dazzler.
With frosty silver-white flower balls, bouncing up on tall stems over summer, making it easy to place in any garden.
Silvery white globes are excellent cut flowers
And the globe flowers are excellent for cutting.
The blooms are golf ball size, and produced in abundance, as the plant branches out well with ever more flowers.
Echinops bannaticus ‘Star Frost’ is a profuse and long bloomer, so there are always silvery golf balls to cut fresh for a vase or dry for a permanent arrangement.
And their long, clean stems make them an easy cut flower to harvest.
In the end their ghostly colour fits into any colour scheme.
Decorative leaves as well
Because the broadly cut leaves are deep green on the upper side and grey green on the underside, and make a dense clump low to the ground, so they are very decorative in their own right.
Easy from seed and easy to grow
This hardy perennial is quick and easy to germinate, and will flower in the first year from seed.
Plus it is very easy-going in the garden.
So Echinops bannaticus ‘Star Frost’ enjoys Full Sun to Light Shade in well drained soil.
But it is not at all fussy on soil type and is very frost and dry hardy.
And it is a water-wise plant, being a good choice for gardeners with limited water
Low maintenance, easy care
The hardiness of Echinops is legendary. Because they actually enjoy dry, heat, frost, and poor soil.
They actually grow to their best in poorer soils, and should not be over fertilized.
They even tolerate summer humidity, making them also suitable for gardeners in sub-tropical climates. And pests and diseases rarely if ever trouble them.
So the only work needed is to cut your clump down to the ground in late autumn to tidy up ready for the next season of Globe Flowers.
90cm H x 75cm W.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Sow Echinops seeds in good quality compost or seed raising mix at any time.
Lightly cover with compost to their own depth.
If using a seed tray choose one with a deep cell, or choose small but deep pots, as the seedlings need a lot of root room.
Now place the moist, sown punnet in a warm, well-lit place.
Temperatures of 15-20 degrees C are ideal for rapid and optimum germination.
You can use a temperature-controlled heat mat if you have one to encourage rapid germination, but it is not essential. A window-sill or well-lit corner is also fine.
And adding a clear plastic cover helps to retain moisture in the punnet.
Seeds germinate in 14 to 30 days approx.
Then pot on seedlings to harden off and mature before planting out in the garden.
GROWING: Echinops bannaticus ‘Star Frost’
– Height with flowers: A very upright plant to 90cm. approx.
– Width: 75cm approx.
– Soil: Echinops tolerate most soils, from rich loam to the poorest, meanest, sand or gravel. But they do insist on good drainage. And they are actually perform best when grown in lean and mean conditions. It keeps them strong, upright and blooming well. Do not fertilize.
Water-wise & drought resistant
– Water-wise: Echinops have deep tap roots, so this enables them to forage for water, resist dry periods, and survive where others would melt. So they are an excellent choice for water-wise gardens.
– Position: Full Sun. Echinops are strong and weather-proof, so very suitable for seaside and exposed gardens. And they just bask in sun and heat. They are at their strongest when grown in more difficult, drier and poor conditions, and they will also tolerate summer humidity.
– Frost: Extremely frost hardy, and can tolerate hard frosts down to at least -20C.
– Growth: Perennial clump which slowly thickens, but is not invasive. Remains as a dense, round clump of unusual serrated foliage.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees just adore rustling around amongst the myriad of flowers in each globe, as they regard them as a high-rise supermarket of nectar. And as the bees rootle around, they come out laden with pollen. Butterflies are similarly besotted with them.
– Care: Easy, low care, as the only work required is to cut back the flower stems as they finish. This will encourage a second and even a third crop of flowers in a single season.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Bliss, because both deer and rabbits find the tough and softly spiny leaves unpalatable.
– Origin: Native to Southern and Eastern Europe (from Spain east to Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus), and western Asia. So this of course explains their hardiness in hot and dry conditions.