Xeric Gardening with Red Feathers

Last summer I planted Echium amoenum ‘Red Feathers’ and here’s a current update of how it’s growing in my xeric garden.

At the Plant Select annual meeting last year, I purchased several of the 2010 recommendations to test in my landscape.

After seeing how well ‘Red Feathers’ grew, I can say it’s a favorite new perennial for my xeriscape.

I planted two Echium amoenum ‘Red Feathers’ in different parts of the yard.

The one planted in the hottest, driest spot was well-established by fall. It grew a large mound of dark green leaves, but didn’t bloom.

The other was planted in another perennial bed in a spot that receives moderate amounts of sunshine and water. By the fall, it was still a small mound of green leaves, so I transferred it to the other bed.

Winter 2009 was an especially wet one and there were times when this bed was covered with a thick snow cover. In fact, it was such a wet winter, I didn’t have to do any supplemental watering at all.

The ”Red Feathers’ I planted originally in the xeric bed is now a bloomin’ beauty and features tall showy red spikes that quickly shot up from its tuft of green leaves once the weather warmed.

The ‘Red Feathers’ I transplanted to this spot is still stunted, but it gave blooming a good try and now has one short red spike. I guess planting it in the wrong spot and transplanting it was too much of a shock and I’ll be interested to see if it catches up with its big brother by the end of the season.

According to Plant Select, Echium amoenum ‘Red Feathers’ will re-bloom again in summer and fall if I’m good about deadheading it. Wait until the flowers are gone and then cut the spike’s stalk at the basal tuft of dark green, skinny leaves at the bottom of the plant.


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I love Echium but havent grown it in years. Thanks for reminding me about this lovely plant.

I was surprised at how nice this Echium looks in my garden–its upright blooms look fresh even in the heat.

Thanks for this info. I was thinking about getting this plant, but I have had some problems with some of the Plant Select plants before. Hearing about your success, I will definitely give this one a try!

I’m glad you’re going to give ‘Red Feathers’ a try!

Thanks for letting me know.

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