Purple coneflower (echinacea) seeds

krazy_karma(z8a WA)February 6, 2007

Does anyone know how long I need to keep these seeds in the frige before I can start them? Is there a better way to get them going?

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Echinacea doesn't need cold strat. If you're just storing them in the fridge that's fine. If you've got them in the fridge in damp vermiculite no harm, but not necessary. Set the pot on the light table 8 weeks before last frost and you should have germination in a week or so.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 8:59PM
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krazy_karma(z8a WA)

Thanks, Cynthia. I tried twice to start this plant from seed before. (YEARS ago) Both times I got nothing. A lady at a nursery told me that coneflower seed has to be stored in the frige for ??????? (can't remember). Anyway, I did it, and got results. Now I'm in a new place and would like to have some Purple Coneflower. I just don't remember the trick to growing it from seed.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 1:07AM
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ben_birding(z3 AR)

In my experience PCF has been one of the easiest seeds to germinate and it germinates fairly quick. To encourage it, I would soak it overnight in water with hydrogen peroxide(maybe 1:10 to 1:20 search the forum for topics about this pre-germination treatment). This always speeds germination up and improves rates of germination for my seeds. It is even more effective, I have found, on Echinacea pallida(just a bit more stubborn than purpea). Also, plant the with the pointed tip facing up(this is the way they come up) and sprinkle about 1/8 inch or less soil on top.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 2:20PM
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moonphase(z7 Ga)

Krazy_karma. please check out the winter sowing forum FAQ.I ws alot of echinacea because coneflowers are one of my favorites.Wsing is easy and it works.I sowed over 200 containers last yr. and had a big beautiful cottage garden full of new plants.I have about 50 containers done so far,out in the backyard.I sowed my coneflowers first.Come on over and join us on the forum.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 4:35PM
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enart(5 ONTARIO)

Echinacea does self seed, so you should not have any problems in having more each year. When the heads of the plant get very dry, then pick them off and scatter them in the garden in the fall. They do not need any special way of starting inside, they are really easy to germinate. Make sure you try some of the new cultivars, like " mango" and "Razzle dazzle" and more.

Here is a link that might be useful: home

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Gee, I have always cold stratified echinacea (sowed on moist mix in flats about now, covered, placed in area 40 degrees or less until late March when they germinate like mad as it warms up). Like winter sowing noted above.

enart -- do the cultivars come true from seed?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 4:04PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Echinacea angustifolia and tennesseensis will often germinate best after stratifying, or even warm moist, cold moist periods preceding germination.

E. pallida and purpurea normally don't require any conditioning, but if seeds haven't germinated in a month after sowing sometimes giving them a moist chill will kick start those reluctant to sprout. Purpurea (fresh seed) will usually germinate fine for me on a guest room dresser top under a skylight at approx 68F

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:22PM
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hello i see that you have experience in growing the purple coneflower from seeds. so i was wondering if you knew where the seeds were on the plants. I have a couple and i would like to grow them next season and every year i collect the seeds from my garden and then grow them again or give them away. I am not sure thouugh if i have the correct part of this particular flower. are the seeds the spiky middle? thank you and i appreciate your time.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:49AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

The seeds are the white triangles in between the brown spikes. They are like large dandruff.

I have near 90% germination with basic echinacea using the winter sowing method.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 2:01PM
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I have never started perennials from seed before and decided to just try an uneducated experiment. I put starting mix in styrofoam cups (with a hole punched in the bottom for drainage), added 3 echinacea seeds to each cup, rubberbanded some clear plastic wrap to each cup, made a slit in the wrap, and put the cups on my north-facing front porch. I planted 10 purple coneflowers and 9 germinated. I planted 10 pow wow coneflowers and they are just now starting to come up, a week behind the purple ones. Am I accidentally on to something, or is this just freakish beginners luck?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:07PM
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Gretchen Wood

So what am I doing wrong with planting coneflowers? I want to be able to start from seed and they have been in pots covered up with plastic and nothing.....
Please help me get these to grow.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:25PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Gretchen - need much more info. What size pots, what mix, how long since seeded, fresh seeds, light, heat? Details please.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 4:47PM
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tanyuu((5/6 - South IN))

BOY do they spread. Even if you only get a few out of this year, if they're healthy they'll take over whatever area they're in over the years.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Gretchen Wood

Digdirt I put the seeds in 3 inch pots and the mix is just nothing special soil - could of been Miracle Grow. I have a trash can that I keep the soil in for future uses. Not using heat and the pots are wrapped up with plastic. Winter sowing? In Texas. The seeds were harvested from my own crop of coneflower seeds from my yard.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:52AM
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