Growth Habit: Echinops is an upright, clump-forming perennial that has thistle-like texture (thorns included) and a large taproot. It blooms from July to August with a spiky golf ball-sized flower head. The sometimes-branching stalks grow from a basal foliage rosette. If it is in a desired location, it readily self-sows, so your plant could start to naturalize an area. If that’s not the desired intention, Echinops blooms can be deadheaded (snipped off) before the seeds fall to easily prevent this occurrence.
Staking: Species that are 4 feet tall or less typically do not need to be staked. The stalks are very strong and durable. Staking might be necessary for taller species or stems with particularly large flower heads that can weigh it down.
Watering: Echinops is fairly drought-tolerant. Once the plant is established, it should perform great without any supplemental watering. However, during its first season of growth and directly after being planted, it should be watered regularly until it is established.
Fertilizing: No fertilizing is necessary as Echinops performs well in nutrient-poor soils. It will not harm the plant to have a mild slow-release fertilizer applied in spring if desired.
Trimming/ Pruning: Without any deadheading, Echinops will readily self-sow and spread throughout an area. To reduce self-sowing, Echinops can be deadheaded after flowering. To do so, simply cut the seedhead stalk down to the basal foliage. Deadheading early enough will encourage an additional autumn bloom.
Mulching: Mulch is not required for Echinops, as this species does well in soils with low organic matter. However, it is beneficial to have a thin layer of mulch in a garden bed to insulate, allow for water percolation, and suppress weed seeds from germinating. Though it is not essential, Echinops would be happy with this beneficial thin layer of mulch.