Common Name Echinops, Globe Thistle, Blue globe-thistle 
Genus  Echinops
Species E. bannaticus, E. ritro 
Family Asteraceae
Life Cycle  Hardy Perennial 
Tray Size  125
Plug Care Harden off and plant out or bump up to larger cells soon after receiving to avoid the plugs becoming rootbound. 
Netting / Staking Not necessary. 
Temperature Range Hardy in growing zones 3-9.
Spacing 18-24"
Soil Preference Very tolerant of soil type and quality. Once established, echinops are quite drought tolerant. Grows best in slightly acidic, well draining soil.
Day Length Long day plants, flower during the long days of summer. Plant in full sun. 
Pinching Not necessary. 
When to Plant Plant plugs in the spring after all threat of frost has passed. Most echinops establish vegetative growth in year one and then flowering in year two.
Harvesting Flowers can be harvested at two different stages depending on what they are destined for. For drying, cut when the globe is showing color but before it has actually started flowering. For fresh use, cut when the first florets have opened on the globe. If harvested when more than 1/3 of the flowers are open, the flower will shed pollen and be messy. 
Post Harvest Care Expect a vase life of approximately 7-10 days. The use of a floral preservative will help maximize vase life. 
Diseases / Insects These plants are very hardy and rarely succumb to disease or insect pressure. In areas with lots of corn production you may find European corn borers affecting your echinops. Powdery mildew might appear later in the season. 
Bailey's Notes Echinops self-sows quite readily, especially in the warmer zones. It can escape cultivation in certain areas; if you are worried about this simply cut the stems before they go to seed to keep them under control. 
Resources NA