Now Sowing: Coneflower (September–December)

About Coneflower

Coneflower: Sow September - December

Coneflower / Echinacea seeds in the catalog

Common Name: Coneflower, Echinacea

Scientific Name: Echinacea Purpurea

Seed Saving Level: Easy

Planting: Coneflowers are tall upright flowers that enjoy full sun and well-drained soil, but need a little shade in the hottest parts of the day. Sow in the fall. They are intolerant of summer heat in Arizona and prefer cooler conditions, but are drought-tolerant and grow quickly, attracting birds, bees and butterflies. Sow seeds 1 to 3 feet apart. Add a thin layer of compost and mulch to keep plants moist. Water daily after planting to help establish roots, and then one inch of water per week thereafter.

Harvesting:  Coneflowers take 2-3 years to produce blooms when started from seed. To prolong the blooming season, deadhead (removing the dead flowers from living plants) to keep them in bloom.

Seed Saving: Coneflowers will self-sow profusely if allowed. They produce lots of seed, but you have to beat the birds! When the flowers dry, cut them off and hang upside down to dry in bundles. The seeds are contained in the heads between the spikes. Winnow by hand.

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Echinacea Tea Recipe

Echinacea is often taken when the seasons change to boost the immune system as a preventative against catching the cold or flu. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to decrease cold symptoms.

You can use the entire plant, even the roots. Pull from the garden or cut flowers above the lowest set of leaves.  Hang to dry or lay cool on a towel in a dark place. Once dry, gently crush into smaller pieces and store in a glass jar.

Add a handful of dried roots or leaves from the coneflower plant to one quart of boiling water, covering for 10-15 minutes. Strain and flavor with honey or sugar to sweeten as the taste is somewhat bitter.

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