Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Last week was an absolute fury of work at the greenhouse. I’m happy to see Mother’s Day come and go. So many hanging baskets; I’ve got marigold vision…

In other plant news, it’s springtime and the plants are just loving it. We’ve had a nice three weeks of sunshine and I’ve been wearing a t-shirt and shorts for weeks. For any of you who are wondering. I succeeded in my mission to get a tree echium to flower this season. In fact after growing more then 50 of them from seed, I had 6 bloom in total. Still none surpass my main plant at home, who lived outdoors all winter (with some protection) and is now reaching towards the heavens.

echium pininana

echium pininana

I took this photo a couple days ago and it’s already grown another half foot. It’s nearly 15 feet tall and climbing. This is probably the coolest plant I’ve ever grown. Imagine if I had five this big…. maybe next year?

More updates to come… So much going on.

9 Responses to Giant Tree Echium.

  • Matt says:

    Hey Nate, Josh’s dad here in east sooke. Also proud father of lovely echium with huge purple flower! Lost a buch in winter but one makes it all worthwhile!

  • Phillip says:

    You get pink, blue and white varieties.

    They seem frost resistant and once two or more have flowered you will find loads of seedlings growing everywhere from cracks in the paving to gutter sweepings.

    I love them and so do insects and birds.

  • stephen sorsa says:

    Hi, just reading your article about echiums ,I started growing them about 12 yrs ago, the first year I grew 12 the following year 1 flowered, the rest died, I’ve grown them every year since and not one has flowered, then last year I went to kew botanical gardens in london and saw they had a small echium in the greenhouse growing in pure sand……so I planted another 12 in 50/50 sand and soil made a tent like structure over them for protection ..we had a very bad winter -15 but I managed to get 5 of them through it 2 of them flowered 1 grew to about 7-8ft the other one broke in half for some reason so didn’t look so good but I will still grow them every year in the hope that they will flower…and when they do the feeling of achievement is great…Steve.

  • jo mant says:

    I am in Cyprus half of the year and would love to have some unusual plants in my big pots we have plenty of sun even in winter tho’ it can drop to below 8 on a night do you think this would be a good plant for here?

  • Eva says:

    I would really like to see your greenhouse. Do you sell plants? I would really like to know more about the echinus. I brought back 4 plant lets but they do not appear to be very happy. Could I grow them in pots and, if so, how large a pot should they be in? What kind of soil, what fertilizer?

  • Tom says:

    That’s crazy! Here I was all excited about my tiny little 1 foot tall one surviving the winter…

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.