How to Grow Amazing Echinacea

Echinacea color varieties

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Echinacea, also known as the cone flower is a native prairie perennial that’s very easy to grow in direct sunlight.

With the right conditions you can enjoy this amazing flower right in your backyard garden. The best part, they bloom every year with little effort.

When I was a little girl my grandmother always had a patch of daisies growing along the fence line.  She would say, “They’re not my favorite flowers but they’re perfect for filling in empty spaces.”

I agree with that because they do grow into a nice size plant.  I was known to sneak a few blooms, remove the petals one by one saying, he loves me…. he loves me not….

Back then, I’m not sure who I was talking about and little did I know there could be so many varieties of a simple daisy.

Echinacea color varieties

Echinacea is grown for a variety of reasons.  The most common would be for beautiful flowers and medicinal properties. Harvesting for tea or extract is typical because the plant is a great immune system enhancer.

You may even take echinacea tablets over the winter to keep flu at a distance?

Growing echinacea is possible in zones 3 – 9 which is pretty fantastic.  For those of you in colder climates you may want to provide a little winter protection that first planting season as sometimes it takes a while for them to climatize.

We’re going to begin our growing tips with where to purchase seeds or plants because you can start both ways.

Where to Purchase Plants

I found a really neat resource for echinacea plants and seeds at American Meadows.  They have some neat varieties!

Also note that you can purchase plants this time of year at a discount from the big box store nurseries.

Many times, after their plants sit on shelves for several weeks, they get moved to clearance racks.  They might not look great and that’s okay because echinacea is easy to revive with a little trim, water and the right planting conditions.

Don’t hesitate to begin because there’s plenty of time to enjoy this plant now and perhaps get a modest harvest in the fall.

If starting by seed is of interest then you’ll have to wait for next planting season as seeds should be germinated indoors over the later part of winter.

Bush of Echinacea

How to Grow Amazing Echinacea

  • Lighting: They love the sun requiring at least 5 hours a day.  For a plentiful harvest make sure they have access to sunlight.
  • Soil: They can thrive in a variety of soil types, sandy, rocky and clay.  However, they don’t like to be over watered and prefer a neutral PH.
  • Water Schedule: I have great news for those of us further south, they’re drought tolerant.  New plants water once or twice a week to help get established and future growing seasons they’ll need very little water because they’ve been climatized.
  • When to Fertilize: Keep it simple and fertilize every spring with mulch.  I like to cover the base with natural material like leaves and then follow up with mulch.
  • Pruning:  Begin with seasonal dead heading during the growing season.  This is a matter of removing expired blooms with clippers to encourage new growth.  Once fall arrives let it be through winter so the birds can eat.  Prior to spring prune back, then clip about half way to inspire new growth for a bushier plant.  Seeking good clippers read here.
  • Growth Size: This plant loves to branch out as it grows.  However, the potential size really depends on the variety.  Transplant according to suggested growth at the time of purchase to allow the proper space and consider over the course of a few years you may need to propagate. Mature size can range anywhere from 12 – 36 inches wide and 4 ft. tall.

Echinacea is a wonderful wild flower that really adds amazing color to any large or small garden. It can be perfectly paired with salvia which is another perennial I enjoy growing.

Think about adding echinacea to your garden and use these easy to follow grow tips with very little effort.

Learn to Grow Amazing Echinacea and how this herb can benefit your environment. #GardenTips, #Echinacea

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8 comments

  1. Do you know if they die back during the winter or does some of the plant remain?

    1. Carole says:

      Yes they do unfortunately, but they come back in the spring just as nice.

  2. daisy says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips. This is one of my favorite flowers and we have many blooming now in an assortment of colors. Glad to help the pollinators along!

    1. Carole says:

      They are a wonderful addition for the pollinators and I’m glad this was helpful. It’s such an easy one to grow and maintain and a great consideration for those in warmer climates.

  3. Penny says:

    Hi Carol, You are an “Inspirational Woman” and I love your emails. Yes we all I feel that feeling of darkness at times, I have had in high stress times. I kept trying to look at the positive things, even if it was looking at what was crawling around in the grass. It works, but that there is always room for improvement I know, but I laugh ? when most people cry at the little things, it helps you cope and get an understanding that it isn’t that bad, you cope better in the long run. Yes I do have my crying sessions, but they are shorter, and nature has a lot to do with giving me an “up lifting” feeling and inspiration to keep going…… we all need to just Stop and look around us and see the “beautiful” things around us that Mother Nature has given us……. God Bless You Carol ???

    1. Carole says:

      Penny, You are so sweet and another breath of fresh air today. I agree with stopping and looking around at the beautiful… I’ve been doing more of that lately and it’s been amazing. I was chatting with my son today and telling him some of the things that I’ve been discovering out about myself and he responded with, “Yea mom we kind of already knew that about you.” He was so polite and it made me laugh because sometimes it’s those close to us that see things so clear before we do. I’m very blessed and have to say so far this six month journey has been amazing. Also finding that regular exercise and eating healthy makes a huge difference. I’m so glad you enjoy my emails and hope you don’t mind me changing the day it goes out. I’ve got some neat plans for the future and trying to get to it all involved me making healthy work decisions. Hugs! Carole

  4. Christine says:

    Funny that you mention big box store clearance isles! I found two echinacea plants-along with several other perennials a few years ago at our local Walmarts clearance aisle! They were sickly looking and WAY over watered but super cheap so I grabbed them up. I just recently grabbed up a few more perennials that way this past weekend! The big bonus is the bees just love my echinacea and since we’ve had some issues in our area for them, I’m so glad I can offer them a treat! Great tips, as usual, Carole! Hope your week is going well. Loved your what’s new section of your email today. It’s hard sometimes to keep chugging up what seems like a never-ending hill, but you’re doing it day by day and with a positive attitude and inspiring others while you do it! Kudos to you!!!

    1. Carole says:

      Such kind words thanks for shaing that… I just got back from a morning walk so my day is off to a great start. I love getting perennials off the clearance racks and I hope to head out next week to see what I can find as I’m thinking of changing the beds near the Tiny House with all herbs, roses and perennials then just keep veggies over in the quail run.
      Thanks for stopping by your like bright sunshine!

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