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We grew some of these flowers this year (summer 2021), starting them from seed prior to last frost indoors on a window sill. Plants performed best in full sun. They bloomed but flopped a bit in areas where there was part-sun. Bees LOVED them regardless of their location, especially small bumble bees. Plants self-seeded as described. We hope some volunteers come up next year, and we will start seeds early again next year to ensure that we have some of Echium to include in our flower beds. We are located in zone 6B and grew the plants in flower beds amended with a small layer of mushroom/topsoil at the beginning of the summer. Plants were fed with half-strength bloom boost or all-purpose fertilizer each week in the beginning of the summer.
I grew this in the very short, cool Alaskan summer last year and it bloomed well into the (early) Fall. A great bit of color in the holes between perennials. I'm buying more this year!