Would like to hear of hybrid Echinaceas

ryseryse_2004January 6, 2014

I only have the purple and the white cone flowers currently and would like to make a bed of the beautiful colors and types I am seeing in catalogues.

My current ones are covering a steep hill and the finches come and blanket the seed heads in the fall -- just beautiful. If I intersperse some of the hybrid ones in this bed will the species ones overtake them in time? If so, I will make a new bed for the new ones I order.

I am in Z5. What are your experiences with these? What varieties do you suggest. What about the double ones?

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Bringing in new coneflowers?

I think that all the coneflower cultivars I've purchased over the last five years have gone the coneflower rosette mite way.
Below; 'Hot Papaya' (July 5, 2013), purchased in 2011.

The 'Magnus' and 'White Swan' that I purchased 10/15 years ago still looked fine.

This post was edited by SunnyBorders on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 15:13

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:50PM
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There was a specimen plant that was the orange version of the 'marmelade' hybrid series growing by a mailbox up the street that looked good all season which was loaded with blooms in fall. It was a very healthy looking plant about 2 ft tall. Surprisingly, they yanked the whole plant out when it was finished blooming. (?!!) I fell in love with orange last year so I finally walked up to take a closer look at it to see what it was and realized it was a hybrid echinacea and was a bit disappointed frankly because I was hoping to ask the owners if I could get a seed head when they died back. I think it would look very good with the non-hybrid purples you have. I don't have information about the longevity of this hybrid.

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 1:57

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:52PM
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I've resigned myself to the apparent reality that Echinacea cultivars consistently fail to perform where I am. I grew 'Pow Wow Wild Berry' from commercial seed via winter sowing, got a high germination rate but the plants did not thrive. I bought 'Banana Cream' from a nursery and it didn't come back the year after I planted it...in full sun where most other perennials have thrived for nearly a decade. A gardening friend gave me 'Hot Papaya' but it didn't return the year after I planted it.

I don't think you need to worry about the species overtaking the hybrid cultivars but there may come a time when you may be disappointed in the cultivars' performance.

For me, only the species E. purpurea & E. 'White Swan' have been reliable performers.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:50PM
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Echinacea Sombrero 'Salsa Red' is my favorite hybrid Echinacea. It performs perfectly!

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is an awesome seed variety with great colors!

Try some Zinnias too. The Crystal and Profusion varieties are good. I saw some at a garden this year and couldn't believe how good they were. I know they are annuals, but they will give the same effect you want.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Actually, the area I had planned to use for this bed has been my Zinnia bed for years. I seem to be hearing lots of negatives about the hybrid Echinaceas and need more convincing before I purchase a bunch.

Purchasing just one to see how they do doesn't work for me --- I am getting WAY up there in age and don't want to wait years to test only one. I will either get a bunch or obsess about some other flower for now.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:15AM
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terrene(5b MA)

I've had limited success with the hybrid Echs, but have a couple of 'Summer Skys' that are hanging on in a dry spot. Bummer I don't like the color that much because it fades out so quickly.

I have many cultivars of E. purpurea (some started from seed) which are reasonably vigorous, and also bought some 'Cheyenne Spirit' seedlings this past summer on sale at local farm. We'll see how they do this year.

All of the Echinacea seemed to have mangled flowers last summer, supposedly from that Sunflower worm, which also affected the Helianthus and Heliopsis.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:41PM
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Did anyone notice my faux pax I edited out??? I don't know what it is but I am always getting gallardias and coneflowers mixed up. I don't know why, they are totally different, look different and are both so bleedin' common...... and I can tell them apart (really, I do know the difference) but for some reason my mind is always doing that. What is that? Maybe I am thinking you could mix some in? Heck if I know. There are some really pretty long blooming hybrids out there, I am actually tempted.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:50PM
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franeli(z4 NH)

E. Ruby Star,Magnus and Bravado(from seed) and White Swan(from seed) have been with me for about 8 years.
The E. pow-wow that I grew from seed got diseased and was gone after one good blooming season.
I bought Fragrant Angel two years ago...neutral feelings about that one.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:27AM
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Hi there
I read about those new hybrids, that they gained the orange colors by cross breeding with E. paradoxa. It passed on its short life span as well, so it seems to be part of the genetics that most of the orange new types are just not as long lived as the common E. purpurea.

So personally I stick with pink and white coneflowers (which are still something special in an European garden...)

Bye, Lin

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:31AM
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Actually in the native habitat E. paradoxa seems to be at least as long lived as purpurea, but is just a bit more picky about it's conditions. It takes longer to get to blooming size etc.

I'm not surprised people don't find the hybrids as easy as E. purpurea straight. I haven't tried the hybrids myself. I was reading the thread to see if anyone had indicated the length of blooming season (that's another area purpurea is better than paradoxa in).

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:36AM
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I am on a very restricted budget and grow most everything from seed. Just thought I would splurge one time on something new. It won't be Echinacea. Maybe 'Knock Out Roses' which I haven't tried yet.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Campanula UK Z8

I would say that was a good call, Ryse.....although I think you could probably come up with something other than the ubiquitous Knock-outs (there are some lovely roses available though).....and if you are desiring a blast of orange, there are always the reliable annual tithonias, ursinias or osteospermums.....all good from seed.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Isn't there seeds that you can purchase called Cheyenne Spirit - an AAS award winner that you can try and you'd only be out the cost of a package of seeds and your time? If you winter sowed them, you would probably see some flowers this year as they are described as blooming the first year. The flowers from this mix are bright and quite varied.

I, on the other hand, have had very good luck with the new cultivars. I bought many of mine the first spring we were in this house and we've been here for 7 years now. That group includes Sunrise, Summer Sun, Harvest Moon, and Sunset. I would say that Sunset is the only one that is still a small plant and never gets very big.

I received Milkshake in a trade a couple of years ago and this double is very healthy and produces quite a few flowers. I had a seedling come up that looks exactly like Tiki Torch. My guess is that it is a cross between E. Paradoxa - another great grower for me - and my Sunset since they grow fairly near each other.

I purchased PInk Double Delight in a trade and it did not make it through it's first winter. I received a piece in a trade last year and it bloomed and grew well. We will see if it makes it through this winter.

My daughter has had Raspberry Truffle for two year and it is a good size plant that produces a lot of flower. It's a very pretty plant.

A friend sent me Pow Wow Wildberry and it has done very well. I love the vibrant color of the flowers which are much more saturated in color than the regular purple cone flowers. Another plus is that PWW is a small plant, great for the front of the border. The same friend sent me Colorburst Orange, which is a bright, orange double. Alas, it has not bloomed as yet and I will move it this spring to a sunnier location. I think a quick growing lilac growing near it has provided too much shade for it.

I can share some seeds from some of these if you are interested in giving them a try. Let me know,

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Linda, I will email you. I would love to trade for the seeds. If I can winter-sow them that will take care of the cost thing.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:51PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Oh no, I hope the Pow Wow white don't get diseased. I had a few clumps that performed beautifully in part shade right in front of my window, I really enjoyed them last summer, but they were a casualty of the patio re-build. So, I bought some luscious new clumps during the end of the season blow-out sales - will be disappointed if they don't perform well for at least a few years.

I've never had any problems with "Magnus" or "White Swan" other than what folks on the forum told me was the mites on my White Swan last season - they still bloomed their heads off, though.

I had one specimen of "Pink Poodle" which I very much looked forward to for the last couple seasons, it had gorgeous fluffy double pink blooms. And then the neighbor's *&*^! cat p*ssed on it and it took a serious nosedive - I hope it it survived, but won't be surprised if it doesn't reappear in the spring.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:20PM
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I also love Pow Wow 'Wild Berry' (vibrant colour and compact growing habit).

Below: last July and now eliminated (coneflower rosette mite).

I'm currently still planting that cultivar but only counting on (purchased) plants lasting for maybe three years.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:45PM
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