Echium or Viper’s Bugloss – This pretty flowering plant came here from the Mediterranean. Its flowers are a great food source for beneficial insects. Grown easily from seed they will give masses of pure white bell like flower clusters along stems covered with bristly grey hairs. Bees and butterflies love this bountiful white flowered bloomer. I have loosened the soil in the border and scattered a few of these seeds today.
It is recommended to sow Echium seeds directly outdoors once frost danger has passed. In a prepared seedbed with loosened soil that is free of weeds. Scatter the seeds on gravelly soil. Keep area moist until germination occurs. Deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers. At the end of the season allow seed heads to form and collect some for next year. Viper’s Bugloss will re-seed itself for next year. It is recommended to wear gloves when handling Echium plants as it can be a skin irritant.
This is a beautiful variety that produces clusters of bell shaped white flowers from June – Sept and reaches a height of Appx 12″
If indoor sowing is preferred:-
Sow seeds thinly onto the surface of a good quality moistened seed compost at min 18 deg C Mar – April
Lightly cover the seed with fine compost or vermiculite to just cover the seed.
Once large enough to handle the young plants can be transplanted into either 3″ pots or tray cells
A fortnightly feed with a potash based fertiliser, Tomato fertiliser, will encourage good growth and plenty of flowers.
Transplant to final position once all risk of frost has passed