Globe Thistle: A Modern Flower with Vintage Traits

Globe Thistle

If you’re looking for a plant that is both beautiful and resilient, look no further than globe thistle. This modern flower has vintage traits that make it a perfect addition to any garden.

Globe thistle grows quickly and produces blue-spherical blooms that add a vibrant splash of color to the margins of summer gardens.

It is also drought and deer resistant, making it an ideal choice for those who live in areas where these conditions are common.

Common Name Globe thistle
Botanical Name Echinops spp.
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 2-5 ft. tall, 1-4 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Blue, purple, white
Hardiness Zones 3-9 (USDA )
Native Area Asia, Europe

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • Globe thistles are relatively carefree plants, but there are a few things you can do to keep them looking their best.
  • First, make sure they’re planted in well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or compacted, consider amending it with some sand or organic matter before planting.
  • Once they’re established, globe thistles are drought tolerant; however, they’ll produce more flowers if given regular water during extended periods of dry weather.
  • If you live in an area where deer are a problem, rest assured that globe thistles are one of the few plants they’re not likely to eat.

Lighting and Temperature

Globe thistles prefer full sun, but they’ll tolerate partial shade. If you live in a hot climate, planting them in an area that gets some afternoon shade will help prevent the leaves from scorching.


As long as the soil is well-drained, globe thistles aren’t picky. In fact, they’ll even grow in sandy or rocky soil.


Fertilizing isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your plants a boost, use a slow-release fertilizer formulated for perennials in early spring.


To keep your globe thistles from getting too leggy, cut them back by a third in late spring. This will also encourage bushier growth.


During the first growing season, water your globe thistles regularly to help them establish deep, extensive root systems.

Once they’re established, they’re drought tolerant; however, they’ll produce more flowers if given regular water during extended periods of dry weather.


Globe thistles can reach up to five feet tall and four feet wide.


Globe thistles produce blue, purple, or white spherical flowers that bloom from summer to fall.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

As any gardener knows, maintaining a healthy crop is essential to protecting against pests and diseases. However, even the most well-tended plants can be susceptible to infestations if conditions are ideal for pests.

Globe thistles are particularly susceptible to Aphids and four-lined plant bugs, which can cause damage to the plant without killing it.

The best way to reduce the population of these pests is to blast them with a garden hose, repeating the procedure multiple times. This will help to dry out the soil, which is ideal for these types of pests.

Crown rot is another type of fungus that can spread in humid conditions, but it is less common and can be eradicated by drying out the soil.

By taking these simple steps, gardeners can protect their globe thistle crop from pests and diseases.

Propagating Globe Thistle

Globe thistles are beautiful, spiky flowers that make a great addition to any garden. These striking plants are also relatively easy to care for and can be multiplied by division.

Divide globe thistle in the spring by digging up the entire plant and removing the taproot. Next, place the plant upside-down in the garden so that the roots are exposed.

Sterilize a sharp knife with alcohol wipes and then use it to slice a portion of the taproot. The plant should be divided into two halves, with a portion of the taproot, lateral roots, and above-ground development on each side.

Make a new hole for each half of the plant, being sure to replant at the same depth that it was originally growing.

Water well and fertilize monthly. You won’t be able to see new plants at the base until the plant is at least three years old, so wait until then to divide globe thistle again or give it away to friends.

Types of Globe Thistle

Globe thistle comes in a wide variety of cultivars, providing gardeners with a wide range of color options to choose from. One popular combination is to pair yellow flowers or rudbeckia with green globes of one variety.

White flowers also complement almost any other perennial or annual beautifully. Some of the most popular cultivars include Arctic Glow, Deep Blue, and Purple Passion.

Arctic Glow is grown on robust stalks and rarely needs supports. Its mature size ranges from 2 to 3 feet. Use it to add blossoming stars the size of golf balls to your yard.

Deep blue flowers of Echinops Ritro ‘Vetch’s blue mix wonderfully with its slender, silvery branches. This type has 1-1/2-inch globe-shaped blooms that appear in mid to late summer. It typically grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

Purple Passion is another common cultivar that features deep purple blooms with spiky centers. It typically grows 2 to 4 feet tall and wide at maturity.

Whether you’re looking for a splash of color or a unique landscape design, globe thistle is a great option to consider.

How do you plant bare root thistle?

Planting bare root thistle is easy and only takes a few simple steps. First, find an area in your garden that receives full sun and has well-draining soil. Next, dig a hole that is twice the width of the roots and just deep enough to cover them.

Gently loosen the roots and spread them out in the hole. Finally, backfill the hole with soil and water thoroughly.

Once established, thistle will be quite drought tolerant and will need little additional watering.

Thistle is a beautiful addition to any garden and can provide valuable habitat for bees and other pollinators. With a little care, it will thrive for many years to come.

Do globe thistles spread?

Globe thistle (Echinops ritro) is a stunning perennial flower that adds to any garden with its large, spiny leaves and showy blue blooms.

Though it is an beautiful plant, it can be a bit of a nuisance as it spreads rapidly and can quickly take over a garden if left unchecked.

Globe thistle reproduces mainly through seeds, which are produced in abundance by the plant. If the flower heads are not cut off, they will eventually burst open and release the seeds, which can then be carried away by the wind to start new plants elsewhere.

Thus, it is important to keep an eye on globe thistle and cut off the blooms before they have a chance to spread. With a little effort, this plant can be enjoyed without fear of it taking over the garden.

When should I start my globe thistle?

Globe thistle is a beautiful perennial flower that looks great in any garden. Though it can endure cold conditions, it’s best to start the seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks prior to the last freeze.

This gives the plant a head start and ensures that it will be blooming by the time summer arrives. To start the seeds, fill 4 inch nursery pots with moist compost and place them in a warm, sunny location.

Water the pots regularly and keep an eye on the soil level – you may need to add more compost as the plants grow. Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, they can be transplanted into your garden.

With a little care and attention, your globe thistles will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms all summer long.

How do you grow a globe thistle from seed?

globe thistle seeds need full sun and well-drained soil that is moist in order to grow. The best way to start the seeds is by planting them indoors in small pots.

Fill the pots with moistened seed-starting mix and plant two to three seeds per pot. Place the pots in a sunny location and keep the soil moist but not wet. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them so that only one strong plant remains per pot.

When the weather warms and all danger of frost has passed, transplant the globe thistles into the garden. Give them plenty of room to grow, as they can spread up to 4 feet wide.

Once established, globe thistles are quite drought tolerant. Pinch back the tips of young plants to encourage bushiness. Globe thistle blooms appear in summer and last into fall.

Cut back plants by half after flowering to encourage repeat bloom later in the season. Globe thistles are perennials that will come back year after year with minimal care.

How long does it take for thistle to sprout?

Thistle is a fast-growing weed that can quickly take over a garden or lawn if left unchecked. While it may be tempting to simply pull up the offending plants, this will only result in more thistle sprouting up in its place.

The best way to deal with thistle is to prevent it from taking root in the first place. One way to do this is to Sprinkle the soil with mists every now and then until germination starts within two weeks.

By keeping the soil moist, you can prevent the thistle seeds from germinating and taking hold. You may also want to consider using a mulch to further discourage thistle growth.

In addition, prompt removal of any existing thistle plants can help to reduce the risk of re-infestation. By taking these proactive steps, you can keep your garden or lawn free of thistle.

How tall is a thistle?

The Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum) is a variety of 4 to 5 feet tall with light to dark purple flower heads. Its size can make it difficult to control in a garden, but its beauty makes it worth the effort.

The Tall Thistle is a native of Europe, and it has been introduced to North America, where it is now considered an invasive species. In its native habitat, the Tall Thistle is an important source of food for butterflies and other pollinators.

However, in North America, it competes with native plants for resources and space. As a result, the Tall Thistle has become a problem in some areas.

If you are considering planting this variety in your garden, be sure to research its potential impact on your local ecosystem.

Does globe thistle grow in shade?

Globe thistle (Echinops ritro) is a perennial that typically grows in full sun. However, it can also tolerate partial shade. The plant prefers dry soils with little organic matter.

If the soil is too fertile, the globe thistle will struggle. It also requires full sun to prevent floppy plants. In general, globe thistles are quite tolerant of different soil types as long as they are well-drained.

However, they prefer sandy or gravelly soils. If you are growing globe thistles in shade, make sure to choose a location that receives full sun for at least part of the day.

How do you plant a blue globe thistle bulb?

Planting blue globe thistle bulbs is easy and only requires a few simple steps. First, create a hole that is large enough to accommodate the roots without bending them.

Next, backfill the hole with well-drained soil, taking care to Firmly press it around the roots. Finally, water the area thoroughly to help the roots take hold.

Once established, blue globe thistle is capable of adapting to a variety of soils, making it a versatile and easy-care plant. So regardless of your gardening experience level, this beautiful flower can be a lovely addition to your garden.

How tall does globe thistle grow?

Globe thistle is a tall, spiky plant that can add interest to any garden. Growing 2 to 3 feet in height, it produces blue or purple flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

The plant is also relatively easy to care for, requiring little more than full sun and well-drained soil. While globe thistle does have some pests that can cause problems, such as aphids and caterpillars, these can generally be controlled with regular applications of insecticidal soap.

Overall, globe thistle is a versatile and beautiful plant that makes a great addition to any garden.

Does globe thistle need full sun?

Any good gardener knows that the key to a healthy plant is finding the right balance of sun and shade. Too much sun can scorch leaves and cause wilting, while too little sun can lead to weak, spindly growth.

Finding the sweet spot can be a challenge, but it’s essential for keeping your plants happy and healthy.

When it comes to globe thistle, however, the answer is pretty clear: this tough perennial requires full sunlight in order to thrive. Any shade, even from taller plants, can cause globe thistle to become floppy and weak.

So if you’re looking to add this beautiful plant to your garden, make sure you have a spot that gets plenty of sun throughout the day.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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