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How to Grow and Care for Echinacea

Our latest blog post is encouraging YOU to take some time outdoors and get your hands dirty!

Glimpse into the world of wondrous wonders, captivated by the breathtaking blooms of our beloved Echinacea. Fall in love with nature over and over again with these easy steps to follow.

How to Grow and Care for Echinacea

Echinacea is a genus of nine species of herbaceous plants in the daisy family. The most common species is Echinacea Purpurea. The word Echinacea comes from the Greek word Echinos, meaning hedgehog, and refers to the spiny head of the plant.

Echinacea has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a herbal remedy for colds, flu, and other respiratory infections. It was introduced to Western medicine in 1892 by Dr. M.G. Claus who brought it back from his travels in North America.

Echinacea Benefits and Uses

Echinacea is used in herbal supplements and as a traditional medicine. It is the most popular immune-enhancing herbal product on the market. It appears to stimulate the body's own production of white blood cells, relieving symptoms and reducing inflammation in people suffering from colds and flu, especially who have a weakened immune system due to diseases like HIV/AIDS or cancer. Echinacea is also used for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria, such as acne and canker sores.

Planting Echinacea

Loosen the soil to a depth of 30-40 cm or more and mix in compost or aged manure.

Echinacea needs full sunlight and well-draining soil. They tolerate drought conditions.

Plants can be started indoors from seed, 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost, or outdoors when the soil has warmed to at least 18°C. (Seed-sown plants require 2-3 years before they bloom.)

If you are buying plants from a nursery, make sure they are small with blooms on the way. Spring or early summer is an excellent time of year to purchase and plant them.

Planting in your garden

  • Dig a hole twice the size of the pot’s diameter—place the plant and level the root ball with the soil surface.

  • Fill the gap with compost and fine soil.

  • Satiate soil with water

  • Laying thin layers of mulch and compost will keep plants moist and prevent weeds.

Planting in a growing pot

  • Use at least 7-10 liter pots, with drainage holes.

  • First spread a thin level of gravel in the bottom for drainage, then fill half of the pot with potting mix and tamp

  • Place the root ball leveling 3 cm below the rim of the pot, and spread the roots a little without disturbing the plant too much. Then add soil gently till it balances with the root ball. Tamp down gently.

  • Water firmly

  • Place the pot in partial sun for 2-3 days. Afterward, transfer it to a place with full morning sun with partial shade in the afternoon.

  • Fertilizing every couple of weeks with a liquid balanced fertilizer will be invigorating.

Echinacea Growing Tips

  1. Deadhead the plant just below the base of where the flowers are growing. This will ensure continued blooms.

  2. For winterizing, prune to the ground as plant growth slows in fall. Pinch out tips of perennial plants to allow more food storage near roots.

  3. After pruning, move your plants to a shaded area with temperatures between 5°C and 10°C.

  4. Water the plant every couple of weeks lightly after checking the soil is dry.

  5. Move the plant to a brighter, warmer (15º to 20ºC) area in spring when the new growth starts.

  6. Try to water thoroughly at the soil level, but do not get any liquid on leaves– this can cause fungal diseases.

  7. Try using an insecticidal soap spray if you see any pests such as aphids.

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