Tower of jewels plant
- Echium wildpretii : Tower of jewels plant
- Famille : Borajinaceae
- Origine : Canary Islands
- Height in its natural environment : 3 m
- Hardiness : -7°C
- Flower colour :red
Height : about 5 / 10 cm
Description of the plant
Everything is excessive in this Viperine, also called Tajinaste!
Its incredible inflorescences can reach 3 meters high, forming a column with thousands of small flowers! Its silvery gray leaves, not wanting to miss this spectacle, are even present in the inflorescence!
Its name means viper because its flowering is reminiscent of a viper's tongue and it is attributed the property of treating snake bites. But be careful, you have to know how to enjoy the "Carpe Diem" with this beautiful young lady, because after having flowered (generally her second or third year), she dies, reproducing by sowing her seeds!
We offer it in red (Echium wildpretii), purple/red (Echium russicum) or purple/blue (Echium fastuosum) flowering. It attracts bees, butterflies, birds, will it attract you too?
Also known as : Red bugloss, Tajistane rojo, Tenerife bugloss, Mount Teide bugloss
When you receive your plant, repot it in a pot slightly larger than the bucket, which must be well pierced. Avoid pot covers which prevent residual water from draining away and encourage fungal diseases. Choose a fine potting soil, ideally with added perlite or sand to lighten the substrate (do not use garden soil or acidic soil such as heather). Then plan two repottings per year (spring and autumn), gradually increasing the size of the pot and adapting it to the size of the root network (the roots must have room, but not too much as the plant must be able to dry out its substrate between waterings). This avoids having to add fertilizer, which always risks burning the fragile roots of the plants and making the plant wither as soon as the fertilizer is stopped.
Copious watering: when watering, the entire root ball should be wet, then wait for the substrate to dry on the surface before watering again. These plants are greedy in water, but you should not drown the roots either. Always water at the base of the plant, and do not mist it, because stagnant water in the armpit of the leaves favors cryptogamic diseases. If your atmosphere is too dry, put bowls of water nearby (above radiators for example), so that evaporation humidifies the air.
For an outdoor planting
If your climate allows it, you will be able to plant your plant in full ground, a full sun is recommended. We advise you however to cultivate it in pot the first year and to make it spend the first winter in the heat, in order to strengthen it well. Plant it between the end of the risk of frost (generally at the beginning of May) and the end of August, in a soil which must be light and draining; do not hesitate to add sand and fine potting soil if necessary. Be careful with the minimum temperatures indicated: they are given for a mature plant, and you have to take into account the wind which accentuates the cold felt, as well as the water retention capacity of your soil, which can rot the roots if it is not sufficiently draining. So take a little safety margin!
Our plants are grown naturally, without chemical fertilizers, so we advise you to repot them regularly (twice a year) rather than adding fertilizer.
In case of pest attack
If your plants are under attack by aphids or other pests, the best way to control them is by hand. Change their soil, remove as many undesirables as possible by hand and then shower your plants with a strong stream of water to eliminate any eggs that may be present. Spray them (insist on the underside of the leaves) with liquid black soap diluted in water. Repeat the operation several times at a few days interval. Take them outside in good weather, rain, sun and wind will kill most of the aggressors!