Echinops Propagation

Among all the perennials I have grown, there are few I would recommend seed raising as much as Echinops. Echinops plants produce seeds in abundance each year and by simply collecting this seed and sowing it fresh in a standard seed compost and covering with grit, a significant number of new plants can be produced very quickly.

Echinops seed capsule (top) and the seed (bottom) which is housed within.
Sowing Echinops seeds

Seed from a majority of Echinops species germinates well when fresh. Some however are slightly more reluctant to germinate and therefore benefit from a winter cold period. If this is proving the case, leave the seed tray outside over the Winter and you will often find rapid germination the following Spring.

While as gardeners we are always told to be careful trying to grow cultivars from seed, I have found that all Echinops do indeed come true from seed so there really is no reason not to grow them this way!

Echinops sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’, grown from seed and true to type
A recently divided Echinops clump, planted out and growing well.

As with most other perennials, Echinops are also very easy plants to propagate by division. Best performed in the Autumn, such division is incredibly easy. Simply identify a small section of the mature plant you want to propagate and carefully using a spade, cut through the crown/roots to isolate this region and lift it. This division can then be either immediately planted out as a large clump or further divided to produce more plants.