How to Grow Echium Pininana from Seed
Echium pininana is easily grown from seed. In fact, the plant itself is almost a weed when it finds a home with ideal growing conditions.
Seeds are not usually separated from the flower. If you buy this seed on Ebay, for example, expect to see a small dried flower ready for planting.
The flower head may contain more than one seed.
Plant this flower head in a good potting compost, water in well, and wait a couple of weeks or a bit longer in some cases, for the start of growth of your new plant.
Now one thing you should keep in mind is that the Echium pininana grows a taproot and that this tap root does NOT like being disturbed.
All plants that grow tap roots are notoriously difficult to transplant. However it is not impossible. Grow your little echium in a pot and when it is big and strong enough you can transplant it directly into the garden when all risk of frost is past.
Light frost will not kill the echium pininana plant. Heavy frost will. You can protect your baby by putting bubble-wrap or straw, or even a newspaper over it, if a late frost threatens.
When you transplant this baby, you have to be very careful to not disturb the roots. I find the easiest way to do this, is to let the pot dry out almost completely so that when you tip the pot upside down, the plant, compost, roots all come out without breaking up.
If your planted dried flower head produced more than one baby, and you have two or three little echiums growing in the same pot, successful transplanting is much more difficult.
Echium Pininana at Amazon
Transplanting your echium pininana
I would suggest watering the pot first, waiting an hour or two, then gently emptying the plant pot out, on any work surface you care to use.
Then, very carefully, lift each individual seedling by the leaf - never by the stem - and placing it into a hole you already prepared in its new environment, whether that is in a bigger pot, or in the ground.
Echium pininana in the wild can be a weed. Put them in a pot they promptly die! <sigh>
Once you have grown your own echium to flower, and they normally flower in their third year after planting from seed, they die.
They have 10 million seed for you to collect and sell on Ebay!
Personally, I want some of their seed to perpetuate because after waiting three long years for the first flower, I want to see them again.
In ideal conditions, you will be rewarded with loads of baby seedlings that you didn't plant,coming up in the neighbourhood of the original plant.
The echium pininana can grow to approx.15 feet in height and have an exotic look.
I have never noticed a scent coming from them but their looks more than make up for that.
The flowers are blue but I have heard of varieties where the flowers are pink too.
Optimal Growing Conditions for echium pininana
The echium pininana grows well in seaside conditions. They tolerate salty air very well, and from experience alone, I would say they like acid soil.
They like a sunny situation, but if you live in an area with little sun, plant them in the lightest area you can and they will thrive.
I would also say from experience that they do not like drought, heavy alkaline soil, and excessive heat.
When you plant the seedling out, it is important to remember that one day this plant will be up to 15 feet tall.
To be that tall, it's base must broaden to support the weight/height.
Allow it at least a square metre for the echium pininana to grow without competition from other plants.