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​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.


GROWING GUIDE

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Growing Notes

  • Echinacea will begin to show the familiar large, purple coneflowers in late May or early July. It can grow to a height of around 4' and will attract bees and butterflies.
  • Echinacea prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained, loamy or sandy soil that has some nutrient content and a slight alkalinity.
  • Echinaceae purpurea can be started in spring, or more ideally towards the end of the growing season in late summer or fall. Seeds are light dependant germinators so to get started, lightly tamp into soil or cover with a thin layer of soil (1/4" depth). If starting in early spring, your germination rate can be enhanced by placing flat of sown seeds outdoors for one week after the last freeze of the season has passed. This will help enhance germination rates.

SEEDS

START

Perennial (zones 3-10)

GERMINATION

10-20 days (5-10 w/stratification)

SEED LIFE

2 years

PLANTING

SOIL

Alkaline, rich, rocky, well-drained

SUNLIGHT

Full sun, partial shade

SEEDS

Root, Leaf, Stem, Flower

SEEDLINGS

8 to 12" apart rows 18"

DAYS OF HARVEST

180 days

Maintaining

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.

​HARVESTING GUIDE

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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.

Saving Seeds

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