The genus Echinacea in the Asteraceae family comprises nine species of flowering plants. These flowering plants are native to North America, and can also be seen in some other regions of the United States. These comprise Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea atrorubens, Echinacea laevigata, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea paradoxa, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea sanguinea, Echinacea simulata and Echinacea tennesseensis. These species are referred to as purple coneflowers. Their beautiful blooms can add visual appeal to any flower garden. These are also known for their therapeutic properties.
Various parts of this plant are used for making herbal infusions, which help strengthen the immune system. These are believed to be quite effective in fighting against bacterial and viral infections. Some of the varieties are known for the vibrant purple hue and bright foliage. Not only are these flowers great to look at, they also have a wonderful fragrance. This plant also attracts songbirds and butterflies. If you are thinking about growing this herbaceous flowering plant in your garden, here's some information that might be of some use to you.
How to Grow Purple Coneflower
Here's some information on the conditions required for proper growth of this perennial flowering plant.
You can propagate it by sowing the seeds. It is relatively easier to grow. If you are sowing it outdoors, then the best time to do it is during the late spring or summer. Make sure that you select an appropriate planting site. The soil should be well-drained, and the seeds must be sown at a depth of half an inch. Choose a site that gets ample sunlight. The process of seed germination will start within 3 to 4 weeks. If you are sowing the seeds indoors, make sure that the room temperature is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them outdoors after 9 to 10 weeks in early fall. If you are propagating it through division, that is dividing its clumps or roots, then the best time to do it would be during the spring or fall. If you are planting them in flower beds, then make sure that you plant them at least 20 inches apart.
These plants are quite hardy, and grow well in ordinary garden soil, but ideally the pH of the soil should range between 5.5 to 7. Even if you don't amend the soil by adding fertilizer, these will grow. During the first bloom season, water them adequately. Once they are well-established, they can survive with very little water also. They are basically drought-resistant. These plants can grow up to a height of 3 to 4 feet, so make sure that you prune them from time to time. The blooms start appearing during summer, which is why pruning should be done before the bloom season starts. This will also ensure profuse flowering. Also, remove the spent flowers and foliage. Once the flowers have dried out, you can collect seeds that are present in ripened conical seed head. You must also make sure that the plant is protected from leaf hoppers and aphids. Make sure that you don't let these pests cause damage to your plant.
Echinacea species produce beautiful flowers that are not only a visual delight, but are fragrant as well. If you plant this herbaceous flowering plant in your flower garden, you will see songbirds flitting over the blooms. Its blooms would certainly accentuate the beauty of your garden.