Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Echium that ate my garden

Mid-summer of 2010 I bought a couple of small Echium (labeled E. wildpretii ‘Rocket’ however I was recently told they may actually be E. pininana). This one was planted (and overwintered) in a container. It went in the ground this year, in fact here’s a picture from June 2nd… It was such a small unassuming plant. Not anymore…this thing has taken over the entire planting bed! I fear other sun lovers are dying under there, somewhere….it’s branched out and has the main trunk and three others. Can you even imagine what this bad boy would look like in bloom? Too bad winters coming and it’s going to die… (there is really no way I can dig it... its massive. I guess I can hope for a old fashioned winter “lite”)


  1. The leaves don't look as if they were from wilpretii. Hard to say that I am sure.
    I saw E. wildpretii flowering 3 weeks ago...

  2. What? You can't let it DIE! It will be so amazing if it flowers! What if you built some kind of structure over it to insulate it and keep the rain off?

  3. Bad boy or not it looks luscious. I keep meaning to ask you. What potting soil do you use for your succulents?

  4. Mislabeled plants are such a love/hate thing for me. Glad to know that you may have found out it is something different than what you'd thought. Not sure if that's a good thing though, right? At least it does look great!

  5. Now, now ...don't be lazy. Get those bamboo poles and bubble- wrap out.

  6. AHHHH!! Oh i know your pain. My E. pininana is huge and also not in bloom. It's such an incredible plant that I'm going to try my best to get it to the greenhouse via a friend's truck. I can already picture my boss's reaction to me bringing in an echium half the size of my car. Just slip this one in the corner? Right? Save your echium, at least toss a sheet on it on the coldest nights. Crossing my fingers, 2012 we will see these echiums blooms, I have 20 days give or take to figure this out!

  7. I hope you do get a 'winter lite' so you'll see it bloom :) mind you once the flower spikes form the leaves become less imposing and cast less shade on the plants below it (at the same time gain lots more height from it).

  8. Very pretty. Can you dig some of it up?

  9. Now there's a plant worthy of the nickname 'Steroid Giant'. My Tetrapanax has certainly failed to earn it.

  10. JP, I agree about the leaves being not like a 'wildpretii' but I wonder about where the 'Rocket' part comes into play?

    Greensparrow, it's not the rain it's the cold...and the size, and the fact that there are other plants under there somewhere that I care about!

    Lancashire Rose, luscious is the perfect word! Email coming to you about my soil mix...

    Ann, agreed. I've got a few Agaves that are clearly not what they said they were. On the other hand it's nice to know everyone makes mistakes with names, even the pros!

    linda, or my shovel right? (remembering your undertaking last winter)...

    Nat, I do have two smaller (bought as 4") Echium 'wildpretii' that I'll be protecting. One has to chose their battles especially around here where so much energy already goes into protecting and overwintering plants.

    Mark and Gaz, I know of what you speak, watching my E. pininana bloom earlier this summer, and it's a valid point. I just don't know if I can wait that long to uncover the plants underneath.

    Darla, it's just got one main trunk that goes into the ground, the other branches come off of it about 5" up. So I think it's all or nothing.

    Ricki...ah good point!


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