Growing echinacea in your garden is a great idea. Flowering rosemary makes an amazing immune-boosting tea while attracting bees and butterflies. Due to their love of sand, Echinacea is good for forgetful gardeners as well as drought-friendly gardens. Plants like echinacea are perfect for anyone seeking a valuable yet easy-to-grow plant with great value.
How to grow echinacea
Regardless of whether it receives full or partial sunlight, this plant can survive. The beautiful flowers in flower beds and landscaping will attract bees and butterflies. You should plant Enchantcia in a bed with other perennials so you won’t need to dig around it every year, as it is a perennial that needs to stay in place for a number of years.
Despite needing well-draining soil, Enchancia will grow in the soil with adequate nutrition but does not need constant fertilizing. When planting, add compost to the soil for the best growth. You should avoid heavy soils like clay, though sandy and rocky soils are perfect for growing echinacea since they allow for good drainage that prevents waterlogged roots.
A clump-forming plant, echinacea likes to clump. It is possible for echinacea to grow larger by itself, but not spread from the roots. Plants can grow up to 18 to 24 inches wide, but they can be divided once they become too big for the space in which they are growing. Since they are not fans of transplants due to their top roots, you should try to cultivate echinacea in a place where it will have enough space to grow.
It is not necessary for echinacea to contain much water after it is well established. Gardeners who tend to forget their gardens or want a more water-conserving flower garden will appreciate this drought-resistant plant. By the end of the 2nd year, when your plants have become well established, you won’t have to water them anymore.
Echinacea prefers a lean and sandy or rocky soil and does not require fertilizing. Adding fresh mulch around your plant is usually sufficient enough to provide nutrition to echinacea plants as the mulch breaks down and works it’s way into the soil.
When your plants don’t have any flowers, you can encourage more blooms by deadheading them after they fade.
How to grow echinacea from seed
In order to germinate, Echinacea needs a wet, cold environment. In order for seeds to germinate over the winter, it is best to sow them in the fall. A number of seeds should be planted near the site where the plant will grow so that it can grow its own clump and can germinate in the right place. You should lightly cover seeds with soil and add a little water to prevent birds from eating them.
Water at planting and over the winter if you have a dry winter. For most areas this will not be necessary as melting snow and regular rain will help keep your echinacea seeds moist.
It takes two years for Echinacea seedlings to bloom, so be patient with them. You can find echinacea seedlings at some nurseries, but be mindful that their taproot might not tolerate transplanting very well, and plant more than you need just in case it doesn’t make it through shot shock.
How to grow echinacea in pots
A large decorative pot is a perfect place to grow Echinacea. After the plant blooms, it adds a beautiful pop of color, and unlike many other plants in pots, echinacea doesn’t require special care to keep its soil from drying out. Because of this, echinacea is ideal for forgetful gardeners or people who tend to kill their plants very easily. The note on a plant marker will remind you to only water if the soil is very dry if your habit is overwatering.
Due to the taproot on Echinacea, you should grow it in a deep pot. A pot that is at least 2 to 3 gallons works best for echinacea. In a larger pot such as a whiskey barrel pot, you can add other flowers or dry soil-loving herbs to add dimension to the pot while you wait through the first year for flowers to form.
For the best results use a sandy soil and ensure adequate drainage at the bottom of the pot by adding some rocks before adding your soil. Mulch your potted echinacea once a year to help protect the roots and provide just enough nutrition for your plant.
How to harvest and use echinacea
Your echinacea leaves, flowers, and roots are easy to harvest. You can dry the parts you want to use in your summer salads or use it fresh if you cut it with clean garden shears. Always follow the 1/3 rule when harvesting to ensure you do not over-harvest your plants.
The flowers of echinacea take two years to bloom so you will not be able to harvest them in the first year. For the best result, you should avoid harvesting the leaves in the first year as well.
Echinacea is best preserved dried so you can use it for making healing and immune-boosting teas.