Today you’ll learn how to grow and care for the beautiful Echinacea plant in your garden.
Here in this post, I have explained everything you need to know before growing them.
Even a beginner gardener will be able to flourish this plant species easily.
Let’s dive into…
Before learning how to grow the Echinacea plant.
Let’s Know a few things about this attractive plant.
Do you Know?
Echinacea is the scientific name of Cornflower and they are a native plant of North America.
Photo source: Jett Brooks
Cornflowers are a perennial plant and have multiple species around the world.
They’re not only a beautiful garden plant but also widely used for medicinal purposes.
These plant species are easy to grow in your garden and don’t need much care. They thrive easily in the area that gets plenty of sunshine throughout the day.
Cornflowers are perennial plants, they are heat and drought tolerant, and frost resistant.
Their beautiful purple flowers bloom in months of summer and attract bees, butterflies, and birds to our garden.
How to grow Echinacea plant from seed
Where to grow Echinacea plants?
Cornflower is not an indoor plant as they grow nearly 2 feet tall and spread a lot. So it’s better to transplant them directly in your garden or yard.
Or you can first grow them in a pot and later transplant them in your yard.
Photo source: Randy Greve
Do Echinacea seeds need to be soaked before sowing in soil?
It’s not necessary to soak seeds before planting. But, if you soaked the seeds in water or combined with sand and placed them in the refrigerator for a week.
Then, the seeds might germinate faster when you sow them.
Soil for Echinacea
Cornflowers are versatile plants and can thrive in rocky, sandy, and clay soil. But, for better growth, you should use rich compost soil and keep them well-drained.
Generally, they grow easily in any soil but ideally soil pH level should be 6.5 to 7.0. You can check the pH level of soil with the help of a pH checker.
Plants need sunlight as soon as sprouts start growing as it helps them in photosynthesis. Cornflowers are heat tolerant and refer to full sun or partial shade in warm climates.
Photo source: Jakub T. Jankiewicz
They need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight everyday to bloom.
Choose a spot that gets early morning light and afternoon shade. As the sunlight is more intense in the afternoon, if you have a hot climate region, especially in summer.
Excessive heat and light can fade their vibrant purple color blooms. Echinacea plants bloom within 90-120 days after planting, so you have to keep some patience.
If you plant in early spring just after winter, it will take a few months to get established.
How to Water
As I earlier mentioned, they are drought tolerant and can live without water for many days.
But, when they are young much water is required for the development of new roots, so you have to water regularly.
Photo source: Herbolario Allium
After a few weeks when the plant gets well established, then water them a couple of days in a week.
To keep soil moist you can cover them with a layer of mulch around the plant. Mulch stops water from evaporating rapidly.
Once Cornflower start blooming, you can deadhead to encourage more flowers and keep them tidy.
Most of its species don’t like to be divided or transplant as they established tap roots in the ground.
Photo source: Sean Benham
Taproots are very strong that makes division and transplant difficult. So, it’s better to plant them in a permanent spot, where you don’t need to transplant.
Fertilizer for Echinacea
Cornflowers are not heavy feeder so you don’t need to fertilize regularly.
They are low maintenance plant species that don’t need much fertilizer. But for fast growth, you can apply a balanced fertilizer in the growing season.
You can use organic fertilizers like tea bags or over ripe bananas with water.
Companion plant for Echinacea
Companion plants provide nutrition, shade, and support to the plant. They assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects and repel pests.
Photo source: Oregon State University
Some of the popular companions for the Cornflower plant are Salvia, Catmint, Gentian, and Baby’s Breath.
Cornflower’s purple flowers contrast well with orange, yellow, and pink flowers.
Step to reduce disease
To keep your plant fungal diseases free you should avoid watering from the top of the plant. Always water directly in the base of plants and avoid overwatering.
When you plant Cornflower maintain distance between them, otherwise they’ll stop growing. Planting too close will make spots crowded and plants can struggle for nutrition.
You should leave at least 12-24 inches (30-60cm) around the plants while planting.
Photo source: Jeff Miller
When you plant it might look weird, but trust me once Echinacea gets mature they’ll cover the space.
This simple trick provides proper air circulation around the plant and prevents fungal diseases.
Besides this, you should always look at your plant if they have any spots or mildew on the leaves. If you find some immediately, cut off that part so that mildew does not get spread. It transmits from air and water, and throws or burns the affected parts.
How to Harvest Echinacea
As you know Cornflower plants are used for various purposes. They are used to make medicines, herbal tea, infusions, and decoctions.
The plants roots, leaves and flowers are dried to make these products.
Photo source: Amanda Slater
The harvesting of roots can be done once plants become 2-3 years old. To dry them, roots are cut into small pieces and exposed in direct sunlight for at least 2 weeks.
The leaves and flowers are harvested after 2 years in the growing season. They are cut from the stem and put flat to get dry in the sunlight.
After they dried, put them in an airtight container, out of sunlight, and further use to make tea.
FAQ (6 Questions)
Is Echinacea Frost Tolerant?
Yes, Echinacea plants can survive in cold temperatures and tolerate frost. They become dormant in winter and re-grow in spring.
Can Echinacea Grow in the Shade?
They need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight every day to grow properly. You can plant them in the spot where they get partial sunlight.
Will Echinacea Grow in Clay Soil?
These plant species can grow in any area that has well-drained soil. That means they can grow in the clay soil as long as it’s well-drained.
Can Echinacea Grow Indoors?
Growing Echinacea is probably not a good idea as these plants grow too big. But, you can plant in pots or containers in your backyard.
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Can Echinacea Grow in a Pot or Container?
Echinacea can be grown in the pot or container if it’s deep enough to accommodate the plant’s taproots. The pot must have a hole and plenty of stone in the bottom to allow proper drainage.
Where Does Echinacea Grow?
Echinacea grows in almost any area that gets plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil.
My final thoughts
Echinaceas are low maintenance popular perennial plants that make your garden beautiful with their colorful flowers.
You should definitely grow Cornflowers as they bring life to your garden by attracting butterflies and birds.
Moreover, they’re a good beginner gardener’s plant because they thrive easily in well-drained soil and regular sunlight.
In my opinion, you should try to grow them and if you have Cornflower in your garden.
Please let me know in the comment below.
P.S. I myself reply to every comment.
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