Echinacea is a flowering plant in the asteraceae family. It is also called Rudbeckia purple since it strongly resembles rudbeckia. This plant with charming flowers comes from North America. Robust and vivacious, it adapts perfectly to our climate and brings color to our beds throughout the summer. It is very well known in the United States for its ability to heal wounds but also strengthen the immune system, even if it is now widely replaced by antibiotics. In France, it is appreciated in a vase with a fresh bouquet or dried flowers.
Nine species are listed, the best known being echinacea purpurea, one of those used in herbal medicine. According to the varieties, the flowers differ in terms of colors. This is how the Magnus offers red rose flowers, the Harvest Moon® apricot yellow flowers and the Alba white flowers. Depending on the variety, the plant can reach 45 cm to 1 m high.
Planting and sowing of Echinacea
Echinacea is not a particularly demanding plant, it will flourish as soon as you offer it a sunny location. However, it is best to sow it in rich, drained and cool soil. You can choose to sow your plant in the spring in a sheltered pot or buy directly in a pot to plant as soon as there are no more frosts and the heat is not excessive. Mix garden soil with compost and sand to enrich your soil and plant without too much space for a well-flowering bed. It can be useful to place a tutor on the largest varieties to avoid an anarchic development.
Echinacea culture and maintenance
Compost is advised twice a year to support the development and flowering of your flowering plant. Watering is essential in case of drought or hot weather and mulching will keep feet cool. It may be useful to cut down the stems after flowering in order to have even more flowers the following year. However, it is interesting to leave some dry flowers, these can both decorate your beds with their colors and feed the birds that come to feed during the winter.
Multiplication of Echinacea
The multiplication can be done by sowing or by division. When the center of the flower is brown, collect the seeds and keep them in a cool place until spring then sow in the nursery. Division, for its part, consists in digging up the stump and dividing it to replant in a soil with added compost. This operation is carried out in the spring.
The plant is appreciated fresh in a vase or in a bouquet of dried flowers. Pick in the morning to keep your flowers fresh, they will last longer. If you want to dry your flowers, hang them upside down in a dry, airy room.
Echinacea diseases and pests
If snails and slugs can attack young plants, Echinacea does not really know any important enemies and does not suffer from specific diseases.