How To Harvest Coneflower

Coneflowers can be harvested starting in their second year. Pick the leaves whenever they are in bloom, or pick the blooms as soon as the buds open.

What portion of the echinacea plant is used to produce T?

Our house always has echinacea tea on hand. I now prepare it for my family whenever someone is feeling under the weather after my mother used to make it for me. Since I was cultivating the echinacea myself, I never would have considered making it from scratch. Instead, I bought some purple coneflowers to serve as the main pollinators in my garden instead. They are absolutely intoxicating to bees and butterflies, attractive, tasty, and in abundance!

The only suggestion I’ve heard that can be a little difficult is to wait until the plants are at least two years old. Making echinacea tea at home is quite simple, though. I didn’t do that since I can’t wait more than two minutes for anything, much less two years. Therefore, this is the fundamental idea behind preparing your tea, collecting the flowers, and drying them.

echinacea tea brewed at home:

  • Harvesting your plant comes first. Echinacea is easy to harvest for tea. For maximum antioxidant potential, you can use the WHOLE echinacea plant because the roots store a lot of nutrients. If not, you can still benefit from the get-well effects by just harvesting the bloom and leaves.
  • Cut just below the first row of top leaves if you are only going to remove the blossom.
  • Cut right above the first set of leaves at the bottom if you are also harvesting leaves (so, leave one set of leaves near the soil).
  • You can either hang the entire plant to dry, OR you can remove the petals and leaves and lay them flat to dry in a cool, dark area.
  • Gather the petals and leaves when they have dried, then gently chop or smash them into little pieces.
  • When ready, combine in a tea infuser and add boiling water.

A word on brewing tea:

There must be a proper technique to prepare tea. A very gentle way is preferable whether the tea is white or green, like echinacea is (the leaves are green). Only just bring the water to a boil before allowing it to steep for three minutes.

The tea will grow more bitter the longer it is infused with boiling water and the hotter the water is. If brewed properly, tea should taste mild and light in the mouth and require little to no sweetness.

How is echinacea harvested?

The Echinacea plant’s roots and aerial parts are both useful. The roots of the plant contain the most potent medication, although the aerial parts are most frequently utilized to make herbal drinks.

In the second year of growth, the aerial sections can be harvested. Simply cutting the stem above the lowest pair of leaves will allow you to harvest the aerial components. From the stem, remove the leaves and blossom buds, and lay them flat to dry. Anytime during the growth season is appropriate for this. You should do it when you are reducing the amount of echinacea.

A 2-3 year old plant’s roots should be harvested in the spring or the fall. While E. Purpurea has a taproot, E. Augustifolia has fibrous roots. Using a shovel or a garden fork, dig around the Echinacea plant and remove the roots out of the soil. I essentially dig up the entire plant’s root ball with a big shovel. You can now harvest the roots by taking fragments of the root from the root ball or by removing the entire plant. You can thin out your Echinacea patch by taking out the entire plant. You can replant the leftover roots in the ground if you only want to harvest a portion of the root ball.

When ought echinacea to be picked?

Two plants of varying sizes from the same E. purpurea cluster. It is simpler to track roots and distinguish the echinacea from the other plants in the clump if leaves are left on plants when they are divided for replanting and tincturing.

Before digging the Echinacea purpurea plant to manufacture tincture, it must be at least three years old. Here, we take it after the frost, when the leaves, seed heads, and stalks are all dark in color.

The largest root of E. purpurea at the crown is prepared to be split from fibrous roots. The crown will be maintained for replanting, and the roots will be cut back for tincturing.

The presence of vascular rings in E. pallida’s roots aids in the identification of the plant as echinacea. Even the small fibrous roots of E. purpurea exhibit these rings.

Excellent close-up of E. pallida’s vascular rings, which separate the crown for replanting from the root for tincture.

Plants of E. purpurea are divided for replanting and tincturing. Whole tincturing roots are at the top, and the plant has been pruned for replanting with the crown at the bottom.

Plants and crowns are separated for replanting as follows: bottom, trimmed crowns on wet paper towels; top, plants with tops wrapped in damp towel; top right, crowns are placed in damp towels and plastic bags to conserve root moisture until time for replanting.

Splash some menstruum (90-proof vodka or 1 part pure grain alcohol to 1 part distilled water) on the roots as you pound them to aid in the process.

Pour the menstruum over the crushed root in a clean glass container that has a plastic top. 2 parts menstruum to 1 part root is the customary ratio.

It is now time to strain the completed tincture, which has been matured for two to six weeks. The leaves and/or blossoms should only be allowed to steep for 48 hours when creating a tincture. All tinctures need to be shaken twice a day for the menstruum and root to function at their optimum.

The tincture can be strained using a yogurt cheese maker.

It strains the tincture effectively and moves quickly. Naturally, if you create a lot of tinctures, a tincture press is fantastic, but a sieve coated with fine cheesecloth works just as well. Apply pressure on the roots with a pestle to get out every last drop of flavor.

When prepared, transfer the tincture to a pristine, brown glass bottle. Since the rubber tends to degrade, we use a variety of recycled dark glass bottles and swap out worn-out droppers for fresh ones.

Insert the fork or shovel into the ground all around E. purpurea, between 11/2 and 2 feet away from the plant.

Use the fork’s tines to gently lift the plant from the bottom up, making sure to get the entire root. It will be necessary to separate the clump’s echinacea and other plant roots.

How are coneflowers dried for tea?

On a drying screen, spread the flower buds and leaves out. Put them in a warm, dry area with excellent circulation, away from extreme heat or light. Coneflower portions should be dried for five to seven days, or until they feel papery and brittle.


Take echinacea three times daily for the first ten days of a cold, flu, upper respiratory infection, or bladder infection to stimulate the immune system generally.

Echinacea should NOT be taken on an empty stomach. Take it with food or a big glass of water instead.

Echinacea dries well, right?

Every year, I also like to dry a variety of flowers from my garden. Although the purple coneflower makes a wonderful cut flower, it really won’t dry well. Even if you attempt some of the drying methods, such silica sand, the petals really don’t hold well; they collapse and wilt. They will probably just fall away. You will only have the central cone with the bristles. I looked online for advice on drying butterfly bush blossoms, but I couldn’t locate any. I think it might not last either, given how easily those tiny blossoms might fall over. Simply cut some celosia flowers, hang them upside down in a dry area away from direct sunshine, and they will dry beautifully. It is challenging to remove the grains of sand without harming the fuzzy flower clusters. The flower cluster might now be rigid and matted. I’ve read that the solution to this is to hold the object over a boiling tea kettle’s spout. Turn the flower cluster in various directions, allowing the steam to quickly pass over it. The cluster should immediately puff up. The flower should become dry again after being moved away from the steam and held for about a minute.

What flavor does echinacea tea have?

Echinacea is a herb that is frequently used to create herbal treatments, essential oils, tea, and dietary supplements. The echinacea plant’s blossoms and leaves are steeped in boiling water to create the tea. The American coneflower or the pale purple coneflower are other names for the echinacea plant.

The Asteraceae family, which also comprises daisy plants, includes echinacea. The echinacea plant is indigenous to North America, which includes the US. For hundreds of years, Native American tribes including the Great Plains Indians employed echinacea tea as a home cure for ear infections and pain.

Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea angustifolia are the three primary varieties of echinacea plants used to produce tea. The pallida variant of Echinacea features blooms that are more pale rose in hue as opposed to the angustifolia variety’s big leaves with violet blossoms. The reddish-purple blossoms of the purpurea cultivar are prized in Europe as an immune system enhancer.

Polysaccharides and vitamin C, which are abundant in echinacea, support general health and wellbeing. As a herbal tea that is naturally caffeine-free, echinacea tea can be consumed all day long.

Flavor Profile

A tingling sensation that is both revitalizing and refreshing is provided by echinacea tea. The flavor of echinacea is potent and dominantly flowery. It tastes smooth and round like meadowsweet while having the crisp sharpness of pine needles. To give this tea a smoother flavor, lemongrass and mint are frequently added to the blend.

Should coneflowers be deadheaded?

Coneflowers can also be pruned in the summer. Pruning, meanwhile, does not appear the same in the summer as it does in the spring or fall. When you prune in the summer, it is more akin to “dead heading” and bouquet-making trimming. Unlike in the fall or spring, you won’t want to completely prune your plant.

In order to deadhead your coneflowers in the summer, you must remove bloom-expiring flowers. Deadheading is frequently done to maintain the plant’s appearance, stop seed production, and promote new blooms on the plant.

Did you know that cutting the flowers will increase the amount of blooming in many coneflower species? It’s true that cutting your flowers to enjoy indoors can frequently lead to even more blooms all summer long. So pull out the scissors and enjoy the lovely blooms both inside and outside.

Are coneflowers contagious?

Echinacea needs full to partial sun to grow well. At least four hours of sunlight every day are required for plants. Since the plants are native to woodland borders, they will flourish in locations with morning shade and afternoon light, or the opposite.

Echinacea may thrive in rocky, poor soil, but not in soggy, waterlogged soil. Compost should be used as a mulch around newly planted plants.

Coneflowers grow in clumps and require space. One plant will typically grow bigger, but it won’t spread through roots or rhizomes and take over the entire garden. Check the mature size stated in the plant description to help you choose the appropriate spacing because the final size of the plant clump depends on the cultivar. Leave 18 inches between plants if it is anticipated that they will spread to be 18 inches broad. Echinacea must be planted where you want them since they have deep taproots. They dislike being relocated after being established.

Echinacea plants should be planted in well-drained soil in full to part sun in the spring or the fall. Echinacea is also simple to cultivate from seed, but it needs a period of stratification—a cold, damp time—in order to germinate. In the fall, scatter seeds widely (after hard frost in the north and prior to winter rains elsewhere), lightly covering them to deter birds from eating them. In the spring, seeds will begin to sprout. One benefit of starting with transplants is that the majority of plants will bloom during the second year.

Should I prune coneflowers back for the winter?

  • Before cutting down to the ground to get ready for fresh growth in the spring, let plants stand through the winter to provide food for wildlife.

Coneflowers are a must-grow if you appreciate watching pollinators buzz and flit about lovely, trouble-free flowers that bloom for a long time. Although purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are the most prevalent, there are many new coneflower cultivars available in a rainbow of cheery hues, including pink, yellow, orange, red, and white. These flowers don’t just provide joy for a short time; they return year after year because they are perennials.

Because of the “cone that starts to poke up in the center of the circle of petals as each flower matures, coneflowers get their name. Actually, this is a group of seed heads that, when allowed to dry on the plant, serve as Mother Nature’s bird feeder, luring a large number of cardinals, goldfinches, and other hungry birds.

How to Choose Coneflowers

Which of the dozens of different coneflower kinds should you grow? The quickest response is: whichever ones you deem attractive and have room for (check the plant tag for info on this). Want some recommendations? Use these

  • There are numerous native coneflower species, but the purple coneflower, which typically reaches heights of 2 to 4 feet, is the most well-known.
  • ‘White Swan’ is a well-known variety that grows up to 4 feet tall and has big white blossoms among other widely available types.
  • A lot of dwarf coneflower types, like “Kim’s Knee High,” remain fairly compact (with pinkish-purple flowers). If you have a small garden, consider planting them because you will get many blossoms in a short amount of space.
  • Coneflower variants are also available that hardly resemble coneflowers at all, notably hybrid double types with two rows of petals. Just be mindful that some of plants produce flowers that fade more quickly than others in the garden.

Where to Plant Coneflowers

Coneflowers should be planted in an area with at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. However, in warmer climates (zones 8 and higher), a little midday shadow is beneficial because it will prevent the blooms from fading. As a result of their clump-forming nature, these plants won’t spread as widely as some other perennials. If you leave blossoms in situ, many of the older kinds may self-seed, which is a simple way to grow new plants!

When to Plant Coneflowers

Coneflowers grow best in the spring, after all threat of frost has passed. You can plant in the early fall as well. Just make sure your new plants have at least 6 weeks before the first anticipated frost to form roots; otherwise, they might not reappear in the spring.

How to Prepare the Soil for Planting Coneflowers

Coneflower roots need a healthy environment to flourish, so strengthen your natural in-ground soil by adding 3 inches of Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flowers to the top 6 inches of soil. The Moisture Control technology in this nutrient-rich garden soil helps to safeguard plants when they unintentionally receive too much or too little water. Additionally, if you use Miracle-Gro soil and plant food (and adhere to all instructions), you’ll get up to three times as many blossoms during the growing season (compared to unfed), so be sure to read the part below on “How to Feed Coneflowers.” Just one coneflower planted? Make a hole, then mix garden soil and the recently excavated earth 50:50.

How to Plant Coneflowers

1. Determine the location where you’ll plant your coneflowers, making sure to allow enough room between each plant. (The plant tag ought should indicate how much room you need.)

2. Create a hole for each plant that is identical in depth and width to the root ball.

3. To give root growth a boost for the first 30 days, drop a Miracle-Gro Quick Start Planting Tablet into the planting hole (as per the instructions on the label).

4. Remove a coneflower plant from its pot and insert it into the gap. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding soil.

5. Fill in the area surrounding the plant and firm up the dirt there.

6. Water sources.

7. Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the plant, being careful not to let it contact the stem, to help keep the soil moist and to block sunlight so weeds can’t develop.

How to Stake Coneflowers

Coneflowers rarely need to be staked because of their sturdy branches and large flowerheads. However, if you do encounter floppy plants, drive a strong stake close to the middle of the plant (avoid going through the plant), and then loosely wrap twine around the stake and the individual stems. Or, you might spend money on a spherical flower clumping stake. In either case, the finished product should appear natural, not constricted around the plant’s middle.

How to Water Coneflowers

Coneflowers can tolerate drought pretty well once they’ve had some time to establish themselves. Check on them every other day after planting; if the top inch of soil is dry, thoroughly water. Your coneflowers’ droopy leaves are another indication that they need water. Coneflowers shouldn’t require watering after a full growth season in the garden unless it hasn’t rained in at least two months.

How to Feed Coneflowers

Want a ton of lovely flowers? As soon as fresh leaves begin to grow in the spring, begin feeding your coneflowers Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster Plant Food. Your plants will grow bigger and produce more blooms as a result of this flower feast, which gets to work right away. Additionally, since you may apply water-soluble fertilizer when watering, it won’t require any extra time to do so.

How to Deadhead and Prune Coneflowers

Deadhead coneflowers frequently at the start of the bloom season to promote greater flowering by removing the faded blossoms before they set seed. Always prune back to a leaf or section of the stem where a new bud is visible. You can just leave them alone later in the season when the plant starts to produce fewer blooms.

To feed the birds over the winter, let the plants alone. Prune them to the ground in late winter. In the early spring, leaves will appear at ground level, soon to be followed by flower stalks.

Try this simple trimming tip to prolong the blooming period of your plants’ coneflowers by at least a season. Cut back some of the stems by half as they start to grow again in the spring to postpone flowering on those stalks. The cut stems will lend their beauty a bit later in the season after the uncut stems have finished blooming.

Can I Divide Coneflowers?

Coneflowers don’t require dividing like some perennials do in order to thrive. They are difficult to divide because each plant has a single taproot. Therefore, simply let them be.