How To Grow Echinacea Flowers From Seed

Echinacea, also known as coneflower is well known for its medicinal properties. Said to be natures antibiotic, the roots, flower and leaves can all be used to make tinctures and teas to help with cold and flu symptoms and boost the immune system. Echinacea comes in all sorts of colours including the new ombre yellows, oranges and reds and the fluffy super duper and the striking white swan.
The perennial echinacea plants are drought and frost tolerant once established.
The flowers are an absolute magnet for bees and other beneficial pollinators. 
Some echinacea may not bloom until the second year in the garden.
Growing echinacea from seed can take a little bit more effort than other flowers, but will all be worth it!
Germination Tips
  • Sow the seeds in spring, summer and late autumn. 
  • Raise as seedlings over direct sowing.
  • Echinacea seeds need light to germinate so cover with vermiculite. 
  • Germination can sometimes be slow and can take longer then most other flower varieties, so please be patient as they can take 10-28 days to germinate at 18-21 degrees.
  • Echinacea seeds may benefit from cold stratification by popping the seeds in the fridge for 2-4 weeks.
  • Keep the soil moist until germination has occurred.
  • Natural rain can assist with germination.
Planting Tips
  • Once the seedling have reached around 6 weeks of growth, it is time to harden the seedlings off. Do this over a week by putting the seedling outside for a few hours on the first day, gradually working up to a full day to prevent any transplant shock. 
  • Take great care when transplanting echinacea seedlings, as they do not like root disturbance.
  • When ready to be planted out in the garden, choose a full sun position, although they can tolerate part shade.
  • Echinacea thrive with well draining soil.
  • Space each plant 50cm apart.
  • Support not generally needed.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant to prevent moisture loss and keep the weeds at away! 
Harvesting Tips
  • Harvest when the stem is stiff, you can do the wiggle test to check if ready, if flops around then leave, if stiff then it is good to snip! 
  • If you are wanting the seed head for design, you will have to wait until the seed head has turned golden brown. 
  • Echinacea takes around 90-140 days to harvest.