Tree Echium (Echium pininana) winter Maintenance and caterpillar Damage

Ahh, Tree Echiums or as I clearly like to call them 'Giant Echiums', which of course they are! The problem with growing them on the south coast of England is that they live on the very edge of where they can survive. This means that a harsh winter here can really damage them. So in order to survive into the following season they will need some frost protection - which creates its own problem. When left hidden under cover, it is possible that caterpillars are in there too meaning that they can happily munch on the succulent new growth throughout the winter leaving you with a damaged, poor quality specimen come the spring!

No at first sight your specimen my look absolutely fine, and of course these plants really want to grow so will happily produce luxurious side shoots as soon as the weather improves. The problem is that these side shoots are always weakly connected to the main branch. So as they grow upwards to produce the flower spike they will not be able to hold themselves in strong winds resulting in fallen spikes which has snapped where they join the trunk.

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