Echinacea

(Echinacea sp.) Commonly referred to as coneflowers, echinacea is native to eastern and central North America. This genus of wildflowers is both medicinal and very attractive to pollinators. The clump-forming perennials are easily divided once established. They prefer full sun and are quite cold hardy and drought tolerant. Seeds require stratification in order to germinate. Sow seeds thickly in the fall (after hard frost in the north and before winter rains elsewhere), and lightly cover with soil. Alternatively, they can also be refrigerated in a moist medium for two to four weeks before planting in the spring. If you choose to start them indoors in spring, start in trays 8-10 weeks before last frost. Ideal germination temperature is 65-70 F. Seeds can take from 14-28 days to germinate. The hardy plants are a top choice for low- and no-water gardens; they are carefree and provide a long season of blooms. Keep plants deadheaded to promote blooming.

 

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