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Garden Answers (UK) - - Gourmet Grower -

Q How can I over­win­ter my Echium can­di­cans? JOHN MEASE, NEW­CAS­TLE-UPON-TYNE

A Echium, or pride of Madeira, is a ten­der, shrubby plant with 30cm (12in) blue flower spikes in spring and early sum­mer. In mild coastal ar­eas it can be kept out­side in well-drained soil, but in most parts of the UK it should be treated as a pot­ted plant and over­win­tered un­der cover. How­ever, it only needs frost pro­tec­tion, not high tem­per­a­tures, to sur­vive. Dig it up and plant it in a pot of John Innes No 3 com­post, then move it into a green­house or con­ser­va­tory to pro­tect it from frost. In late spring, when all chance of frost has passed, move it into the sun­ni­est spot in your gar­den. Cal­lis­te­mon sub­u­la­tus (bot­tle brush) and Tra­ch­e­losper­mum jas­mi­noides (star jas­mine) need sim­i­lar treat­ment. See our fea­ture Tuck up ten­der plants for win­ter on p36 for more guid­ance.

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