Echinacea coneflower can be grown as a garden or pot plant even though it native habitat is wilderness . This coneflower makes a beautiful eye catching ornamental plant and great for perennial borders the name coneflower comes from the shape of the flower head .
Fact to know before planting Echinacea
The best species to plant in your garden for medicinal uses are the Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea ,Echinacea purple flower is beautiful and it will look great among your other flower plants they have sturdy purple stem that can grow as tall as five feet . Echinacea purpurea the flower usually grow about 4 feet they are easier to grow than Echinacea angustifolia . Its native habitats are coastal or mountain terrain and eastern and western United States . This species like limey soil and grow well with full sun about 7 to 8 hours of sun and plenty water .
Echinacea Angustifolia is well adapted for growing high elevations there the native habitat are the limestone hills plains and mountain of western American . they grow in well drained slightly alkaline soil (PH 6-7) soil . If the soil is low alkaline ground limestone can be added . seed are down during the fall or early spring thinning or seed can be sown flat during winter and leave them outside covers with a protective screen . Snow rain and fluctuating temperature helps prepare seed for germination in fact , echinacea require cold conditioning order to sprout . In the spring the flats may be moved into the greenhouse after which the seeds will finish germinating . Allow the seedling to develop their second set of leaves before transplanting to the ground .
How to plant Echinacea in a garden
- Pre preparation Echinacea seed can take about 1 to 3 weeks to germinate but in some cases can take longer to come out its dormancy stage and germinate so you should follow the instructions on the seed package for best results. You would find many seed package recommending cold stradifying and since these seeds are perennial this is a good recommendation you can place the seed in a damp paper towel then in a ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for 4 weeks before planting.
- Seeds should be sown directly into the garden soil early to mid spring .This plant will grow in loamy soil which drains easily . Loosen the soil with a fork up to 13 to 16 inches deep . Mix in compost 2 to 3 on the top layer of the soil . Place the seeds about 1/2 deep into the soil. Water daily but not too much to cause muddy soil.
- When seedling emerges for Echinacea purpurea they should be separated 12 inches apart for Echinacea Angustifolia 6 inches apart.
- Planting by root you do the same preparation done for the seed then divide up the root ball you have from previous growth or which you may have collected .
- Dig a hole deep enough so as to have the root ball at the same level of the earth . Cover with some compost and level it out . Water regularly.
- Seeds can also be planted in a greenhouse during spring and be transplanted to the garden during mid spring . Though the plant flower will generally be ready by its first year the root will be ready for harvest during it’s second autumn you can then make your DIY home remedies such as echinacea tea tincture or ointment .
Planting Echinacea in pots
- To avoid root rot you need to ensure this soil drain easily when planting echinacea in plant pots .Use a 5 gallon plastic pot with holes at the bottoms.
- place 3 inches of gravel at the bottom of the pot then commercial fast draining soil or loam above the gravel until it reach just about 1/2 full.
- Remove the root ball from a the soil shake off the dirt cut out a desired size . Dig a 1/2 inch hole in the middle of the pot then place the root ball in the hole and cover with 3 1/2 inches of soil and pat it down to the level of the root ball.
- Place the pot in open space where it can get sunlight and water every morning do not allow the soil to get sappy.