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The species and varieties of the ball thistle can be combined with numerous sun-loving perennials in the bed. Because of their striking flower balls, they form a beautiful contrast to other flower forms such as umbels or panicles, for example of yarrow (Achillea) or steppe sage (Salvia nemorosa). Globular thistles are usually planted individually in the bed. Smaller varieties such as 'Veitch's Blue' also come into their own in a larger group of up to ten plants. Echinops ritro is very suitable for natural plantations where it can spread over seeds

To cut

If the ball thistle (Echinops ritro) is radically cut back after flowering, it reliably forms a second pile after about six to seven weeks. All species remain stable in winter and should therefore be cut close to the ground only in the spring before budding.


Globular thistles are very persistent and should be split and transplanted after 10 to 15 years in spring.

Further care tips

Higher varieties such as 'Taplow Blue' may need to be supported in the bed.


Globular thistles are propagated by division (spring) or root cuttings (late winter). Pure species can also be propagated via sowing.

Diseases and pests

Occasionally, globe thistles are attacked by aphids. They are largely avoided by snails.

Video Board: Echinops ritro - Globe Thistle - Growing Echinops.

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