Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans) Sprouts

I am super excited about these seedlings.  The plant they'll grow into is absolutely gorgeous and covered with flowers.  I ordered these Echium candicans a few months ago.  They arrived quickly but I decided to wait until close to spring to start them.  The seeds were left in the fridge for weeks in a plastic bag with no special care taken.

About a week after planting the first sprout poked through the soil.  You can probably tell it was the one in the middle which is much larger than the rest.  Since then another seedling has sprouted every few days.  I love that the photo shows the seedlings at all different ages including the purple markings on the seed leaves.  I originally had 10 seeds and so far 8 have sprouted (I accidently killed one while trying to move it because one cell had two seeds).  I really can't complain with 80% germination.

I'm thinking the largest seedling can probably go another week or so before it needs to be transplanted.  Echium like well drained soil so I've been very careful not to overwater.  I usually wait for the soil to look dry on the surface and water each cell individually.  I may be able to force the first flowers this year but generally this species of Echium doesn't flower until it's second year.


  1. Nice. I have a batch of Echium pininana seedlings that have just germinated.

    1. Nice! I only knew about the two main ones. Echium pininana is new to me. Now I want one!

  2. I'd watch out with this guy, it seems to give some people a horrible rash if you rub up against it! On a slight aside, there is ALSO Echium vulgare which is pretty hardy and has beautiful blue flowers.

  3. I'm glad you mentioned that. I'll be sure to handle them carefully. I was thinking the little hairs on the leaves looked like they could be irritating. Now I know.

  4. Germinated 3 of these 3 years ago and they are 4 feet tall with incredible blooms. Although it is listed as zones 9-10 or 11, depending on what you read my green house heaters went off this winter and it dropped to 20 degrees over night and the only plant in the greenhouse that was un-effected was the pride of Madeira!! I found that to be very strange, but they weathered that temp with no signs of damage.


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