Winter protection for Echium

Ilsa Thielan asked 11 years ago

I have an Echium of about 1.20 metres in my garden which shall flower next year. How canI protect it from frost? It will only tolerate up to minus 3 Celsius as I read in one of my books. I heaped some earth around its base and popped a huge plastic bag over it as minus 5 are forecasted for tonight. Oh fright! Would a horticultural fleece do a better job or even bubble wrap?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 6 years ago
Echium can take a light frost but not a severe one. At 1.2 metres, the vulnerable growing point is raised above the coldest ground-level layer. And it usually takes a couple of those frosts to do serious damage, and usually after the new year, when sugar levels in the plant sap have fallen.

If a spell of severe frost is forecast, ease up the leaves around the growing point and gently wrap with fleece or bubble-wrap. A polythene bag on its own is no use. But you cannot leave the wrap on for much more than a week or so. Luckily, spells of hard frost are not that common, and less so in Clare.