How to Grow Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)
Echinacea has been used in North America for more than 400 years to treat infections and wounds, and as a general "cure-all." Today, people use Echinacea to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu and reduce symptoms, such as sore throat (pharyngitis), cough, and fever. Many herbalists also recommend echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections. Echinacea is well known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Perennial (zones 3-10)
10-20 days (5-10 w/stratification)
Alkaline, rich, rocky, well-drained
Full sun, partial shade
Root, Leaf, Stem, Flower
8 to 12" apart rows 18"
DAYS OF HARVEST
Seeds can be placed indoors or inside a greenhouse to provide warmth needed for germination.
Once seeds have reached height of approximately 4" and show true leaves, they can be transplanted outdoors, spacing 8-12" apart between plants.
Leaves, flowers, stems and seeds can be cultivated near the end of the first season. Be careful not to over-harvest any one plant, and be certain to give your plants adequate time to regenerate new growth between collections. Roots take more time and effort, as much as 3 or 4 years of growth or more to produce a sizable taproot, and should be collected in the spring or fall when the plant has gone to seed.
Store Echinacea seeds in a cool, dry place. For long-term storage, tuck seeds into the refrigerator in sealed jars. Although seeds remain viable for at least seven years, you'll get best germination when you plant coneflower seeds within a year of harvest.
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