Highly intricate in its branching, Echinops sphaerocephalus ‘Arctic Glow’—commonly known as Great Globe Thistle—stands as a robust perennial that exhibits a profusion of golf-ball-sized, densely packed, starry white flowers. These blooms emerge during the mid to late summer, adorning the tips of robust, reddish stems and creating a striking contrast against the backdrop of silvery-green leaves. As it unfurls its elegance, this perennial contributes a remarkable combination of contrast, interest, and color to the summer garden. With minimal demands and maintenance requirements, the Great Globe Thistle truly shines and becomes an invaluable asset to any landscape.
- Reaching a height and width of 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm), ‘Arctic Glow’ has the potential to self-seed in the garden if its flowers are not deadheaded. Flourishing under the full sun’s embrace, it finds its vigor in soils that maintain average moisture and possess consistent drainage. Its adaptability extends to tolerating a wide range of soil types, including the nutrient-poor and dry varieties. Although it does require moisture during its growth phase, it showcases drought tolerance in subsequent periods.
- A splendid addition to various garden settings, this thistle variant finds its place in beds, borders, cottage gardens, wildlife havens, and coastal landscapes.
- The resilience of the Great Globe Thistle is showcased through its resistance to pests and diseases, while its unappetizing nature keeps it safe from the appetites of deer and rabbits. In addition, its allure proves irresistible to pollinators like bees and butterflies, making it a genuine beacon for these winged visitors.
- To extend the bloom season, deadheading the spent flowers is advisable. Propagation can be achieved through division during the spring or by employing root cuttings in the dormant season. Alternatively, propagation via seed can be conducted in mid-spring, as this cultivar faithfully reproduces its distinctive characteristics from seed.
- As winter retreats, prune down any stems damaged by the cold to the base in early spring. The flowers, while exquisite for fresh arrangements, also prove themselves worthy in dried displays. To prepare them for drying, harvest before they fully open and hang them upside down for a charming touch of nature’s elegance in your living space.