Echinacea - Key Growing Information

Echinacea flowers, usedful as a cut flower, to support beneficial insect populations, and in teas and tinctures.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 10-15 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C).

SOWING:
Transplant (recommended): Sow 8-10 weeks before planting outside. Transplant into cell packs or larger containers after the first true leaves appear, 30-40 days after sowing the seed. Harden off and transplant outside in late spring or early summer.

Direct seed:
Sow in spring when soil is warm, 65°F (18°C). Sow in groups of 3-4 seeds, 1/8" deep. Thin to one plant. Sow in the fall to allow the oscillating temperatures and natural rain to stimulate germination.

LIGHT PREFERENCE:
Sun. Will tolerate partial shade.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
Average, well-drained soil.

PLANT SPACING:
18-24". Division is necessary only when the plants appear crowded.

HARDINESS ZONES:
Zones 3-10.

HARVEST:
Fresh: For harvesting the flower, harvest when the petals are expanding. For harvesting the cone, harvest when the cone is raised and has turned golden.

Dried:
Harvest when the cone is raised and has turned golden. Petals strip most easily at this point. After removing petals, hang to dry.

USES:
Cut flower. Seed heads can be used fresh or dried. For beds, borders, mass, or wildflower plantings.

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Echinacea spp.

ALTERNATE NAMES:
Coneflower, purple coneflower, eastern purple coneflower