My on-and-off-again love affair with Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

Deer resistant, drought tolerant, will handle some shade, all around tough as nails, and interestingly beautiful to boot.

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) gives us beautiful blue-ish purple sculptural orbs in the late summer/early fall garden.

So, what’s the problem you may ask. Well, these handsome devils in the garden like to re-seed like crazy. If you happen to be like me and have trouble hoe-ing down volunteer plants, especially ones you love, they can provide heartache during your garden maintenance.

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
A patch of Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) is striking, as is the occasional one placed here and there.

So, I would recommend dedicating a patch to globe thistle, the sunnier the better, to get the deep, royal purple hues. The more shade, the more light purple-ish they are. You can also deadhead after blooming to help keep them from spreading their seed, but I love the spent blooms, so I have a hard time with this.

They also transplant well, so consider weeding some out and also potting up a few for other areas of the garden or to give away. A random globe thistle here and there is a great focal point and pop of sculpture in the garden.


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