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Growing Echinacea.

Botanical name:
Problems:

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Growing Echinacea
From: ccjs.sun.cse.bris.ac.uk (J. Simpson)
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 15:23:41 GMT

Have bought plants and they have been in the ground some six weeks, in two locations.

Not making much progress, no new shoots etc. Stems holding flower/seedhead flopped over and died off, leaving the seed head hanging. But the plants are not dead with the leaves turning brown or wilting. So I'm looking for a bit of info. on the conditions they like. Lots of water, little water, lots of sun, dappled sun, partial shade ? My variety is Echinacea Williamsi (narrow leaved).


From: schwamf.grape.epix.net (Michael Schwartz)

> So I'm looking for a bit of info. on the conditions they like. Lots of water, little water, lots of sun, dappled sun, partial shade ?

In my experience, echinacea prefers full sun and not too much water, growing them in partial shade produces spindlier plants.


From: Cathy <Cathy.tcd.net>

This is the second year I am growing echinacea. The variety I am growing is Echinacea purpurea (i.e. purple coneflower). I grow them in a sandy clay loam with some compost mixed in. They are in full sun and I water them about once a week. They are doing very well.

I did not have much luck with plantings from starts. Out of 24 starts that I bought only one survived the winter. I planted my successful plants from seeds that I purchased commercially packed from our local farmers co-op. I sowed these seeds directly into some bordered herb beds that my brother and I built and covered them with about half an inch of compost to help keep them moist as they germinated.

I didn't think they were ever going to grow. They took quite a while to germinate, but I faithfully watered and weeded and finally they grew that first year. They didn't get flower heads on them until September.

This year they were one of the first things up in my herb garden this spring and already I have four or five flower heads coming up. They have not bloomed yet, but they are up.

I even had a couple of plants that shared a bed with my chamomile. Of course the chamomile took over the bed and grew much faster than the echinacea until it was completely covered. I transplanted those and keep them damp for about a week and they are doing very well. However, they were much larger than the average start you will get from a catalog.

I harvest the roots of about 20% of my plants in the fall. That way I will have a nice bed again in the spring and I still have roots to make extracts from to treat those winter illnesses. Of course the leaves and flowers go in my compost bin. Some people dry the leaves and flowers for tea, or chop them up for extracts. Personally I use only the root. Most of the references I have read that refer to the use of echinacea say to use the root.

I wish you success in your cultivation efforts. Don't give up!


From: oatstraw.twain.oit.umass.edu (ROBIN F HOWARD)

: Personally I use only the root. Most of the references I have read that refer to the use of echinacea say to use the root.

Just a tidbit...studies in Germany have shown that the whole plant has a more marked immune response effect, though the traditional use by native americans is primarily the root. My teacher tinctures some of the aerial parts in flower in summer, then tinctures the roots in the fall and mixes the two together. Just a thought...


From: phuyett.axp2.umkc.edu (Donna Beach)

I've had good luck growing echinacea--purple coneflowers, I mean. They are native to the Midwest where I live. I started with plants I got at our local farmer's market. But I've found them easy to grow from their seeds. Thing is, they don't bloom the first year. Like growin daisies from seeds. But they are hardy and drought resistant. And they will grow in very poor soil, too.



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