Echinacea purpurea, the most common form of Echinacea found in North American, is popular in holistic circles for its leaves and roots that may contain properties that boost the body's immunity and fight mild infections. Commonly called the purple coneflower, with showy purple-pink blooms that rise on tall stems, Echinacea makes a colourful backdrop for other ornamental plants. Typically grown from seed, you may also transplant Echinacea early in the spring before it exhibits rapid growth. Echinacea is easy to grow and once established it will reseed itself every year.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Echinacea plants
- Sunny Location
Transplant Echinacea in the spring. While other plants tolerate movement in late fall, Echinacea may not overwinter since its roots spread out under the surface of the soil and need warm weather to establish new growth.
Choose a good location for your Echinacea to grow. Since this plant reaches 4 to 5 feet in height, it performs best when located towards the back of the flower garden. Make sure to choose a spot with good drainage since Echinacea does not tolerate damp and soggy conditions and it need full sun to thrive.
Prepare the soil before transplanting. Loosen the dirt to a depth of at least 6 inches with a tiller or a spade. Break up any large dirt clods and remove weeds and bits of turf. The best way to prepare the soil is by alternately tilling and allowing the soil to dry before tilling again. Repeat this process two or three times to kill weeds. Resist using a chemical herbicide that may leave residues in the soil.
Dig up the existing Echinacea plant with a spade or shovel, taking care to leave as much soil as possible on the roots.
Make a hole the same size as the root ball in the new spot. Carefully place the Echinacea plant in the soil and pack the dirt around the base. Repeat this process if you have more plants. Space the individual plants at least a foot apart for thick foliage growth and up to two-feet apart to encourage abundant flower production.
Water your new Echinacea plants well for the first two weeks, taking care not to leave them standing in water. It’s better to sprinkle the Echinacea bed two or three times a day instead of saturating it once a day.
Tips and warnings
- Plant coreopsis and yarrow close to Echinacea as companion plants that naturally repel pests.
- After your Echinacea plants are established, they will tolerate drought.
- Some people are allergic to Echinacea. If you are allergic to members of the daisy plant family, you may also experience a reaction to echinacea from handling or consuming a tea made from the leaves of the plant.
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