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Echinacea purpurea. Purple Echinacea seeds produce plants that are long-blooming from July to October. At home as a border feature or in the vegetable garden. Bright mauve-pink petals surrounding a distinctive rich plum center cone. Sow 5mm (¼”) deep. May bloom in the first year if planted in early March, but it’s their third year that is really spectacular. These perennial coneflowers attract hoverflies and parasitoid wasps, so they’re useful for pest control in companion plantings. Echinacea plants are sturdy and drought tolerant once established, so they are useful in xeriscaping. Plant height to 80cm (32″).
How to Grow Echinacea
Here are some notes on how to grow Echinacea. Hardy perennial plants broadly referred to as Coneflowers.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Sow indoors 8-10 weeks before planting out. Any time from mid-February to late March on the coast. Or direct sow in early spring or early fall. Germination should occur in 10-21 days.
Sow seeds shallowly at only 3mm (1/8″) deep. If starting indoors, provide total darkness and a soil temperature of 21-25°C (70-75°F). Once sprouts appear, provide bright light.
Space plants at 30-38cm (12-15″) apart in any average, well drained, slightly acidic soil. Water plants regularly for best results, keeping the leaves as dry as possible. Leave seed heads intact over winter to feed birds and provide shelter for beneficial insects.
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