Echinacea, also known as coneflowers, enjoy a sunny location with fertile soil. If your soil isn't particularly fertile, work in a little compost and supplement with a good organic fertilizer. Well-drained soil is a must.
Plant echinacea seeds in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked, and when you still expect another frost or two. Sow the seeds 1/4" deep and 2" apart.
Germination: 10-20 days
Days to Harvest: 60-90 days
Echinacea plants are good about self sowing as long as you leave a few of the last flowers to dry up naturally. When weeding the garden in spring, watch for tiny coneflower seedlings. They can be nurtured where they are, but since Mother Nature doesn't always plant her seeds exactly where we want them, you will probably want to move them to a better location.
You can also harvest the seeds to use next year. Choose a few fully mature and ripened flower heads, and cut them, leaving a nice long stem. Hang the flowers upside down with the flower heads enclosed in paper bags. This will allow them to release their seeds into the bag when they are ready. Once the seeds have fallen, remove the chaff (plant debris) and spread the seeds out on a newspaper for 10-12 days to finish drying. They will keep in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid for up to a year.
From Garden Guides,
"Coneflowers enjoy a sunny location with fertile soil. If your soil isn't particularly fertile, work in a little compost and supplement with a good organic fertilizer. Well-drained soil is a must. In moist areas, you might need to plant in a raised bed. New plants and seedlings will need to be watered until they are established. Once they are growing well, they will thrive on the available moisture from rain except in extremely dry areas."
Echinacea is a classic member of the antiviral herbs. Not only does it fight viral and bacterial infection, it also stimulates the white blood cells and is good for the immune system. Use both the leaves and the roots of this plant.
|Organic dried Echinacea Root from Mary's Heirloom Seeds|
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