How To Propagate Echinacea From Cuttings

Coneflower plant’s outer edge should be dug up until the thick, meaty roots are clearly seen. To remove the soil, squirt water over the roots. For good echinacea propagation, find a 1- to 3-inch-long root with a thick, robust sprout emerging from the top.

Can cuttings of echinacea be grown?

It is unknown whether cold stratification is necessary for echinacea seed. Scientific research have produced contradictory findings. But Chicago Botanic Garden expert Dr. Jim Ault stratifies his echinacea seeds in the cold for 8 weeks before planting them. Surface-sow the seeds in a pot at 68F if you’re planting them indoors (20C). Compared to direct sowing, seed that is sown indoors or in a greenhouse germinates better. Plant 1/4 of the seeds directly into the garden “In the early spring, they are a few inches apart and deep. Separate or thin the seedlings after germination until there are no less than 18 plants “apart.

Clonal Echinacea plants are propagated commercially by tissue culture because they cannot be grown from seeds (micro cuttings taken in sterile lab conditions). Established clumps can be divided to produce new plants. Shake or wash the soil off the cluster by carefully lifting it after you’ve dug around it. The crown should be easy to separate by hand, though a knife might be required. Each clump will contain numerous rooted plants. Replant them right away after breaking them apart. Although no one will object if you divide plants for your own use, keep in mind that the majority of new hybrids are patented, making their propagation illegal.

Anecdotal information suggests that cut taproots and fibrous roots of Echinacea can regrow an entire plant. About 25–50% of plants hand-dug for the herbal industry sprout again the following year. All of the species, with the exception of Echinacea purpurea, produce thick, fleshy roots, including taproots, and can be multiplied through root cuttings. In the fall, place a root piece the size of a pencil standing erect (top side up) in a pot.

Echinacea can also be multiplied through basal stem cuttings. 4″ to 6″ cuttings should be taken in the spring and treated with 1000ppm IBA powder. Through tissue culture, all commercial hybrids are reproduced utilizing axillary buds, stem cuttings, or individual cells.

What time of year should I cut Echinacea?

Echinacea cuttings should be started in the late fall or early winter when the plant is dormant. The night before removing the cuttings, water the parent plant to a depth of 3 inches to make sure the soil is soft and the roots are well-hydrated.

How is echinacea sprouted?

Echinacea seeds can be seeded early indoors and moved outside after a frost, or they can be sown directly in the garden in the summer or in a pot.

Indoor Seed Sowing

  • Use a seed starting kit to sow echinacea seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the date for planting them outside in the spring.
  • Lightly round the seeds with 1/4 inch of seed starting mixture.
  • Maintain 65–70°F soil moisture.
  • Seedlings appear after 10 to 20 days.
  • As soon as seedlings appear, give them lots of light on a sunny windowsill or grow them 3–4 inches beneath 16–hour-per-day fluorescent plant lights that are off for eight hours at night. As the plants get taller, turn up the lights. Because they will become too hot, incandescent bulbs will not function in this process. Do not leave lights on continuously for 24 hours; most plants need a time of darkness to flourish.
  • Seedlings don’t require a lot of fertilizer; feed them when they are 3–4 weeks old with a starter solution (half the strength of an indoor plant food), as directed by the manufacturer.
  • When transplanting seedlings into the garden from small cells, you may need to move them to 3 or 4 inch pots once they have at least 2 pairs of genuine leaves so they have room to grow robust roots.
  • Seedling plants must be “hardened off” before being planted in the garden. By relocating young plants to a protected area outside for a week, you can acclimate them to outside circumstances. At first, be sure to shield them from the wind and the light. If frost is expected at night, cover or bring pots inside; then, in the morning, reintroduce them to the outdoors. The plant’s cell structure is toughened during the hardening off process, which also lessens transplant shock and scorching.

Direct Sowing in the Garden

  • Direct sow at least 12 weeks before the ground freezes in the late summer.
  • Take out the weeds and smooth and level the top 6 to 8 inches of soil after working in organic matter.
  • Sprinkle seeds evenly, then add 1/4 inch of fine dirt.
  • Lightly compact the dirt and consistently moisten it.
  • In 10 to 20 days, seedlings will appear.

In the Garden, Plant Potted Plants:

  • Choose an area with good, rich, moist organic soil that receives direct sun.
  • Turn the dirt under to a depth of 6 to 12 inches, remove any debris, and lightly rake the soil as level as you can to prepare the bed.
  • All gardens benefit from the addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure), which is crucial in recently developed communities.
  • To lessen transplant shock, plant during gloomy weather or in the late afternoon.
  • For each plant, create a hole that is sufficiently large to hold the root ball.
  • To promote healthy root growth, unpot the plant and use your hands to gently release the root ball.
  • Set the top of the root ball so that it is level with the dirt around it. Up to the top of the root ball, cover with soil. With your hand, forcefully press the earth.
  • Use the plant tag to indicate its location.
  • To save water and prevent weeds, thoroughly moisten the soil and sprinkle a thin layer of mulch (no thicker than two inches) on top.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control while the plants are growing. In order to suppress weeds, either cultivate frequently or apply a mulch to stop their germination. Weeds compete with plants for water, space, and nutrients.
  • Mulches also support stable soil temperatures and moisture retention. When used as a mulch for perennial plants, weathered bark or finely chopped leaves give the bed a more natural appearance and, as they decompose over time, enrich the soil. Mulches should never be placed on a plant’s stems to avoid potential decay.
  • Perennials need to be watered carefully to get them started. To encourage young roots to swell deeply, water thoroughly at least once each week. One inch or so below the soil’s surface, the soil should be wet. By placing your finger in the ground, you can verify this. Water in the early morning hours so that all of the leaves have time to dry. The majority of perennial plants need an inch of rain or weekly irrigation. Using a rain gauge, you can determine whether you need to add water.
  • Some protection from strong winds and intense sunlight may be required until plants grow established. Additionally essential is good airflow.
  • A mild fertilizer can be administered after new growth starts to show. To prevent burn damage, keep granular fertilizers away from the plant’s top and leaves. Use moderate amounts of a slow-release fertilizer because greater amounts could promote root rots.

Do I need to take less Echinacea?

By the fall, many perennial herbaceous plants have run their course and are starting to lose their blooms and old foliage. The old leaves should be pruned back to the ground now. The plant’s crown, or base, will remain dormant throughout the winter and sprout new shoots the following spring.

Dying stems will benefit from being severely pruned back because they can become damaged to the crown and roots if pounded by autumn and winter gales. By doing this, messy clumps can also be cleaned up. Autumn pruning and cleanup of leaves can also aid in preventing fungus issues. Dead and rotting foliage, which can also house pests like slugs, can serve as a wintering place for diseases.

But that does not mean that all perennials need to be thinned out. These days, many gardeners choose to leave certain perennials intact, especially those with beautiful seedheads since they offer interest in the winter and give wildlife essential food and shelter. In the spring, when new growth begins to show at the base and they begin to appear untidy, they can be pruned back.

Many gardeners these days choose to leave some perennials whole, especially those with eye-catching seedheads.

Cut down old flower stems

Pruning with wasted flower stems removed is the most basic kind. Since these are frequently hollow, cut them as low and angularly as you can to prevent water from collecting within and freezing, which would harm the crown. If the base of the cluster has already developed new growth, cut just above it.

Prune clump-forming perennials

In the fall, cut perennial clumps like alchemilla, astrantia, and hardy geraniums down to the ground. To prepare the plant for winter, remove all the dead leaves with secateurs. This technique can be used in the fall to tidy up any perennials and grasses that die back.

Leave attractive seedheads

Perennials with attractive seedheads or stems, such as ornamental grasses, thistles, and umbellifers, shouldn’t be cut down since they give structure and appeal over the winter and provide essential food and shelter for wildlife. Find plants with beautiful seedheads.

Perennials to leave

The dense clump of basal leaves that some perennials, including Pulmonaria, retire to should be left alone. Leave perennial evergreens like epimedium, euphorbia, and hellebore. Penstemons shouldn’t be pruned until spring since the old stems will shield the crown from winter frost.

Are coneflower and echinacea the same plant?

One of the three distinct genera referred to as coneflowers is echinacea. Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea are two well-known members of the Echinacea genus. Purple coneflowers, or (more ambiguously) plain coneflowers, is the common name for members of the Echinacea species. The only coneflower genus that most people are familiar with by name is the Echinacea one because of its reputation as a medicinal plant.

Echinacea self-seeds, right?

Echinacea purpurea normally self-seeds once a year in the landscape, but if you want to start your own plants, you can sow the seeds outside in the spring or summer, up to two months before the first frost. Remember that it can take plants grown from seeds two or more years to mature into sizable plants.