Milk thistle plant for sale – Easy plant to grow with edible flower head and leaves, mostly grown for the ornamental flowers and for the leaves, planting season in spring to summer in cold climate or autumn or winter in warm climate, better to buy plant or another option to start from seeds yet more challenging.
- Milk thistle plant – information before buying:
- Products from Amazon.com
- Buy Milk Thistle Seed 400pcs Plant Holy Thistle Silybum Marianum For Shui Fei Ji
- All About Echinops
- Plant Finder
- All About Globe Thistle
- Thistle Problems
- Frequently Asked Questions
Milk thistle plant – information before buying:
Growing information: annual or biennial plant, growing hardiness zone: 6-11, but mostly grown as house plant, water needed – small to average amount, light conditions – full sun, height: 0.5-1.8 m, 20-70 inches.
Blooming in the spring in warm climate or summer in colder areas that appear in purple and rarely white color.
Leaves harvesting season in the spring to autumn and to winter in hardiness zone 10-11 that appear in green leaves sometimes with white lines color.
Alternative names: Silybum marianum, Cardus marianus, Blessed milk thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, Variegated thistle, Scotch thistle, Blessed milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle
Milk thistle plant for sale
Products from Amazon.com
Uses – Medicinal properties with homeostatic properties (against heavy periods, nosebleed), action against liver disorder (chronic liver congestion, viral hepatitis). Its seeds contain silymarin, a powerful protective substance for the liver (known as a liver-tonic). It also regulates blood sugar and circulating cholesterol level and treats digestive disorder. It can be used as an anti-againg and helps the skin condition. It is also an ornamental plant. All the parts of the p0lant are edible even if the part containing the sylimarin component is the seed. Milk thistle can be used powdered, dry, as a salad ingredient or added to a beverage.
Location – Sunny
Soil – Well-drained but can grow also in poor and alkaline soil
Propagation – from seed in the late spring or from May to August. It behaves as biennial. It takes 3 to 4 weeks for the seedlings to germinate at a temperature around 15°C (59°F).
Watering – Water the first few weeks often, without wetting the leaves too much – plants usually drink from their roots. In pots, water at least once a week, as soon as the surface soil dries. Milk thistle is a very drought tolerant plant and prefers dry conditions.
Harvesting – from the first year seeds are ready for picking. Season to harvest is in autumn. Be careful picking the plant as it has sharp spines. Cut the head of the milk thistle from the stalk. Dry the heads for one week in a paper bag put in a warm location. Store the seeds in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Pruning – no pruning required
Pests and diseases – not known
More information for growing
- Milk thistle
Buy Milk Thistle Seed 400pcs Plant Holy Thistle Silybum Marianum For Shui Fei Ji
All About Echinops
The flowers turn the color determined by the cultivar, ranging from white to bright blue. The most popular Echinops purchased are the cultivars which turn a steel blue color. The color lasts for 5 – 8 weeks in bloom, and slowly fades as the plant goes to seed. However, if the stalks are left to go to seed, the color comes back when the seeds drop and it persists until the stalk is cut down.
Echinops is a hardy perennial in zones 3 – 8, however it more easily self-sows as the hardiness level increases. Some locations in higher zones feel as if it can be really aggressive with new seedling emergence every year. If that effect is undesired, it is very easy to deadhead the flowering stems and prevent seeding. If it is desired, keep an eye out in the spring for the seedling emergence and make sure to keep the ones where you want Echinops to grow and weed out the rest.
It prefers soils to be acidic, ranging from 5.1 – 6.5 in pH. It can tolerate drought, poor nutrients, and a wide variety of soil types, so long as it is well-drained. Echinops will not grow well if it is in an area that will hold onto water, or be in sitting water. It grows best in full sun, and pairs beautifully in companion plantings with other full sun summer perennials such as coneflower, phlox, bee balm, and catmint.
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle flowers
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 24 inches
Flower Height: 3 feet
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: Blue Globe Thistle
Striking globe-shaped steel-blue flowers steal the show when in bloom; may need staking; not an invasive type of thistle, good for attracting pollinators; do not over-fertilize; soil must be well-drained
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle features bold steel blue pincushion flowers at the ends of the stems from mid summer to early fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive spiny lobed leaves remain silvery blue in colour with curious silver undersides throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Taplow Blue Globe Thistle will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. The flower stalks can be weak and so it may require staking in exposed sites or excessively rich soils. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Most people smile when they see the big, spherical flowers of globe thistle. They’re visually-striking and just so cheerful. They’ve become a staple in arboretums or other garden settings.
The foliage is a bit weedlike in appearance until those giant globes of color appear. Leaves from this plant are a little prickly as they’re covered with a myriad of fine, stiff hairs. Like other thistles, they can be a little hard on the hands.
But the flowers make these large plants worthwhile, and so too does its drought tolerance. It’s very popular in areas like southern California where summer water levels are low. With just occasional watering, these can thrive where other plants don’t.
Let’s discuss the best ways to grow this herbaceous perennial today! With a little know-how, you’ll find this an easy and fun plant to grow.
Globe thistle produces beautiful, round flowers. Source: Mike Bird
|Scientific Name:||Echinops spp., specifically ritro, bannaticus, etc.|
|Common Name(s):||Globe thistle, southern globethistle, blue globe-thistle|
|Height & Spread:||24″ to 72″ tall, with similar spread|
|Soil:||Well-draining a must. Tolerates poor soils. Loam ideal.|
|Water:||Low water, drought-resistant|
|Pests & Diseases:||Aphids, root rot if overwatered, rarely powdery mildew|
All About Globe Thistle
A close-up of a blooming thistle flower. Source: Jonathan Billinger
The Echinops genus comprises the globe thistles, all 120 or so of them. Surprisingly few of these make their way into regular garden use.
Of those, the most popular is Echinops ritro, or the southern globethistle. It’s won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden merit. So has one of the subspecies of this plant.
Echinops ritro produces steely-blue flowers that can reach up to 2″ across. The plant itself rarely gets much taller than two feet. Prickly grey-green foliage sets off the vivid blooms.
Another close relative is Echinops bannaticus, the blue globe-thistle. This much larger globe thistle grows to 4 feet tall on average. Due to its size, it’s much less common in garden usage, although it can be a dramatic centerpiece.
Not all globe thistle types produce those blue flowers. Other forms of echinops, such as Echinops exaltatus, produce white flowers. In fact, Echniops exaltatus (sometimes called Russian globe thistle) is the largest of the genus. It can reach staggering heights of 6 feet.
As a general rule, the blue flowering species are preferred to white ones. This is not because the white ones are unattractive – they’re actually just as pretty! But the white ones tend to be less suitable in smaller gardens.
Caring for your thistle plant is relatively easy. It requires no elaborate techniques or fancy soil blends. Let’s talk about the perfect conditions for this perennial flowering plant.
Light & Temperature
Full sun is perfect for your globe thistle plant. While it’s possible to grow in partial shaded conditions, it won’t grow to full size nor flower as much. Looking for something for that bed that gets the summer heat? This is a great choice.
Their natural environment ranges from Europe to central Asia. A Mediterranean climate is preferable, but they can tolerate high heat conditions too. Most grow in USDA zones from 4-8. The blue globe thistle species often tolerate zone 9 and 10 conditions as well.
Water & Humidity
Drought-tolerant, this plant prefers dry soils. It has a long taproot which can get very deep into the soil in search of water. Too moist soil can create conditions that cause root rot.
Because of that, it’s better to water your globe thistles sparingly, but deeply when you water. Use a soaker hose or other soil-surface irrigation. This allows the soil to slowly soak up the moisture and drain off excess.
Mulching around the base of your plants will prevent evaporation. Avoid watering until the soil is dry.
Very young plants may need a little extra water to get established. For these, keep the soil evenly damp but not muddy. Opt on the side of under-watering if you’re uncertain of the watering frequency.
While your plant can tolerate humidity, it may be slightly more susceptible to powdery mildew in humid climates. Arid regions will find this plant has little to no problem in their environment.
The flowers of Echinops ritro range from blue to nearly white. Source: Wikimedia Commons
In the best possible conditions, the soil should be loamy but well-draining. You should avoid poorly-drained soils whenever possible. However, globe thistle plants are tolerant of a wide variety of soil types. If you’ve got poor soil, they can handle it.
Avoid extremely rich soils. Your plant’s foliage will explode into growth, but they don’t put out nearly as many flowers. These plants are accustomed to wild conditions and are more than willing to rough it out on their own!
Neutral pH is ideal, but they will tolerate slightly-acidic or slightly-alkaline soils. Try to maintain a neutral pH as much as possible if you can, but don’t panic if it slides a little off balance. Your plant will likely handle it just fine.
Skip the fertilizer with your echinops plants. Thistle plants typically live in conditions where there’s poor soil quality. They thrive on a bit of neglect! In fact, these are great to start loosening up the soil in areas you plan on converting to gardens later. So don’t worry about fertilizing them… they find their food deep under the soil’s surface.
Your thistle plant’s long taproot makes it a poor candidate for root division. Cuttings don’t develop roots quickly enough to survive.
Because of this, your best bet for propagation is from seed. Those bulbous flower heads produce a large quantity of seed as the flowers begin to fade. If you place a paper bag over the flower head once it’s faded, you can usually cut off the head and allow it to dry out. Once dry, you can shake the seed from the bag.
Globe thistle seed is available both online and at local gardening centers. Somewhat more rarely, you may find live plants for sale.
Once the round flowers fade, cut back the long stems. Otherwise, most of your pruning will be for shaping and general maintenance.
This plant tends to a weed-like appearance, but doesn’t spread on its own. You can shape it for cosmetic purposes, but it will always have a somewhat weedy look when not blooming.
As the leaves have tiny little leaf spines and often jagged edges, wear gloves when pruning. The stems may also produce thorns, so be sure they’re sturdy gloves. A pair of rose pruning gloves may be your best bet.
Globe thistle’s foliage can look a bit weedy, but the flowers are stunning. Source: Alexas Photos
Have you gotten the sense that your globe thistle’s a bit tough yet? Because these plants are quite determined to care for themselves.
Still, there are a few rare problems you might encounter while growing these. Let’s discuss those briefly.
As echinops plants grow, they can become top-heavy. This is especially true once they’re in flower. To keep your plants looking good and prevent stems breaking, stake as necessary.
Some species of thistle plants may start to decline after three or four years of growth. If this happens, replace the plant with a younger one. These are perennial, but only tend to look good for the first few years.
About the only pest you’re likely to encounter on your globe thistle is aphids. These little annoyances like to suck the juice out of thistle stems and leaves.
A good, hard spray of water will wash the aphids off your plant. Be careful not to hit a flower that’s starting to fade with your hose. If you do, you may send a shower of seeds to the ground below your plant.
Weekly mistings of diluted neem oil concentrate will deter aphids.
Most diseases don’t bother your thistle plants. If the plant is already weakened, or if it’s overwatered, it may be susceptible to fungal root rot. Keep your plants healthy and the soil on the dry side to prevent this problem.
In humid environments, it is possible that the leaves of your plant will develop powdery mildew. This generally will not harm the plant if treated rapidly. Weekly mistings of neem oil will prevent this whitish mildew from forming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is blue thistle invasive in nature?
A. Because of their tendency to spread seed quite easily, a few forms of echinops are invasive. Probably the best known of these is Echinops sphaerocephalus. That species is considered invasive in parts of the United States. It’s also a rapid spreader in its native regions of Europe and western Asia.
To prevent invasive spread, remove the flower before it can fully develop seeds. Alternately, place a paper bag over the flower as it starts to fade. Tie a string around the stem to prevent seeds from escaping, then trim off the stem.
Q: How drought-tolerant is this plant?
A: It’s become a very popular plant for xeriscaping in recent years. Very little actual care is required, and virtually no watering except during extreme heat. You can find globe thistle’s popularity rapidly spreading in southern California’s drought-tolerant garden scene!
Easy to care for and enjoyable, this round-flowered perennial is a great addition to your yard. It takes very little to no effort at all to keep this going. Looking for a great plant for that new gardener in your life? Give them a globe thistle and watch them get a green thumb in no time!
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