SUCCESS With the new Echinaceas

echolane(SFBayMidPen)June 7, 2014

Currently, there is a lengthy discussion about a frustrating lack of success with the new Echinaceas, yet I'm optimistically hoping that some of us have had better luck with the new Echinaceas. I would very much like to find out if some of them can be relied upon because I am quite taken with them and would like to feel a little more confident about buying more.

Please, please, do chime in with your list of Echinaceas that have over wintered successfully for you.

As for me, I have had great luck so far with HOT SUMMER and SALSA RED and they are heavily blooming now in my garden, and have been since mid May. They look fabulous with tons of blooms and more coming.

I have four plants of POW WOW WILD BERRY and they are growing well and will soon be in bloom.

Two plants of HOT PAPAYA and one plant of GUAVA ICE and three plants of FLAME THROWER all over wintered, but they are noticeably lagging in comparison - they are shorter than those mentioned above, and apparently will need considerably more time before coming into bloom. But they did overwinter successfully.

I should add that all the Echinaceas were purchased in one gallon containers and were already robust plants with lots of growing stems. Previously, I had had no success in overwintering old faithful Echinacea purpurea when planted out from six pack size, so I think it would be good advice to start with larger plants.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aachenelf z5 Mpls

I don't know if what you want is possible for the simple reason everyone out here is from such varied parts of the country. We all have such different climates and growing conditions which I have a feeling does factor into long term survival of these beasts. When's the last time you had -23 F for a winter low temp??

You mentioned Hot Papaya as a survivor for you. It performed very poorly for me and disappeared after a couple of years. I've also had the exact opposite experience as you with purchasing the largest sized, established plants. I never do it anymore because in the past, these were the ones that usually didn't make the transition to my garden. Now I only buy smallish plants and let them grow into the soil I have to offer. Granted, there isn't the instant gratification thing, but that isn't important to me. I like the waiting game.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not long after I moved to my current address I planted the species E. purpurea and the following season I planted E. 'White Swan' a few feet away in the same bed. E. purpurea is doing well. 'White Swan' did okay but was never particularly robust and I think this past severe winter finished it off.

I winter sowed seeds of Pow Wow Wild Berry, ended up with nearly 100% germination but the seedlings never grew large enough to be planted out. As a general rule, winter sown perennials are extremely robust* but that wasn't the case with WS Echinacea.

* My WS Siberian iris grow to nearly 4 ft. tall every year

A friend gifted me with an E. 'Hot Papaya' plant but it struggled even in good potting mix with plenty of supplemental moisture and didn't survive its first winter.

My last effort was E. 'Banana Cream,' quite a healthy plant purchased in a gallon pot. Carefully planted in a full sun bed, it didn't survive the winter.

Do I wish I could successfully grow these colorful plants that attract & sustain pollinators? Absolutely. It hasn't happened. My soil is slightly acidic healthy sandy loam, most all my other perennials, both seed-grown & from nursery stock, are thriving and my garden gets adequate rain. Taking me, my garden soil & necessary moisture out of the equation would indicate it's the plants that are the problem.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 4:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
princessgrace79(8 PNW)

Hot papaya has done well for me, it's about ready to bloom and looks good. It's a second year plant and I'm zone 8.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

7 or 8 years ago I bought 3 'Sunrise and 3 'Summer Sky' from the Big Sky series, and 2 of the Summer sky are still alive. It's possible that voles may have had something to do with the demise of the 'Sunrise'. Voles love Echinacea and they were wiping out some of my plants until I discovered the castor oil solution.

Gardenweed, have you started other cultivars of E. purpurea from seed besides PWWB? Of the half dozen cultivars I've started from seed (all purchased from Swallowtail seeds), PWWB is probably the weakest performer so far. But they are looking pretty good this year so we'll see.

Last fall I purchased some 'Cheyenne Spirit' seedlings from a local nursery on sale, about $1.50 each. This is a hybrid Echinacea. The seedlings made it through the winter, can't wait to see what the blooms are like, and how well they perform.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I have White Swan and Magnus that have been doing well for years -- those are old ironhorses as far as I'm concerned.

In terms of newer cultivars:

* Virgin: Bought two of these on clearance last fall, were decent in size when I planted them and over-wintered just fine.

* Pow Wow White: No problems at all.

* Pink Poodle: This is my fourth year (I think) with this one. The one I have actually does look like it's supposed to -- fully formed pink double. I almost lost it last summer, it was withering away for no apparent reason, couldn't figure out why until it dawned on me -- the neighbors *!&$^#!!** cats were probably p*ssing on it! They like to hang out in that area between the houses. The poor thing managed to make it through the winter, and I think the large amount of snow melt and spring rain helped it in terms of washing away the cat p*ss and "rinsing" the soil. Anyway, it's doing quite well this year. I sprinked some really stinky Get Off My Garden around it to keep the beasts away. I really love this cultivar and look forward to the blooms, and I only have one plant of it. &^!*@&$^# cats

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

terrene - other than PWWB, I've grown only the species E. purpurea from seed via winter sowing. Germination was low. My PWWB seeds were from Hazzard's Seeds. While Swallowtail offers seeds for a number of cultivars they evidently consider hardy, I hesitate to spend $$ + the effort to WS seeds + planting out if the plants will ultimately fail. As the years pass, I'm more and more a 'one and done' sort of gardener.

mxk3 - Swallowtail does sell seeds for White Swan and Magnus which suggests those at least are more reliable plants than other cultivars.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nevermore44 - 6a

These all overwintered and are multiple years old now. These are this years blooms so far.

Solar Flare

Tiki Torch


Hula Dancer

Paradoxa and Pallida in the back

Hot Papaya

Raspberry Truffle

Pow Wow

Ech bed

This post was edited by nevermore44 on Tue, Jun 17, 14 at 18:06

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From the Cheyenne series I bought last year

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, Nevermore, for posting those gorgeous photos of your Echinaceas!

Hula Dancer really seems to stand out from the crowd. I've got to put that on my list of plants I want to acquire.

Here's a link to an interesting and informative article about Echinaceas and the major breeding programs....and if you stick with it to the end, you will see a list of hybrids vs cultivars of E. Purpurea which has me wondering.....

Apparently all Echinaceas except purpurea have taproots and I've wondered whether the new hybrids have tap roots and whether tap rooted hybrids have better survivability.....????

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nevermore44 - 6a

The 'hula dancer' is a seed grown variety actually.... picked the seeds up from Chiltern years back. It's a tough one too... has come back reliably each year and has seeded down and spread a bit.

I two things that cause failure of these hybrids is poor drainage in the winter. The hybrids aren't as resilient to standard purpurea ... which can grow in the cruddiest clay without issue... but by just making sure the drainage is good I have been able to winter them over just fine. The second is also the requirement to make sure the plants bulk up before they bloom out the first year past plug stage. Many times the quart pots you get are just plugs potted up.... and as instructed from the breeders ... the blooms should be removed for this year. But many times they bloom out and then don't bulk up to create a good root system to hold them over winter. So if you ovoid the single/double stem quart pots that don't have a nice cluster of leaves... you are should have better luck.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a2zmom(6a - nj)

Nevermore, stunning photos. I will keep your advice in mind as I just purchased 3 small Tiki Torch plants. I'll disbud them so energy will get directed toward the roots.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only echinacea I've tried is Pow Wow Wild Berry. I started with two plants in spring 2012, and now have three - one was accidentally divided in an emergency relocation last summer. The smaller of the two divisions hasn't done much yet, but it survived winter and is hopefully just in its "creep" stage. The other two, the one original plant, and the larger of the divisions, are doing well.

They're not quite as happy in their new home, slightly less sun (although that might have changed with our neighbour taking down some tall trees), and more root competition from a viburnum, gardenias, and a pine tree, but that's their home for the moment and I'm not doing another mid-summer emergency relocation.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nevermore, I think your point about good drainage is worth repeating. I've wondered why I suddenly had success overwintering the tricky new Echinaceas last winter when the ordinary E. Purpurea wouldn't survive until spring in previous years..... And I think it's because I amended the soil significantly and mulched when I planted the newer ones and just put my smaller plants into unamended soil.

My soil is native clay in a raised bed and "well used" in the sense that I've grown many plants there over the last 30 years, typically perennials and grasses, and never ever amended the soil or fertilized anything. So maybe amending the soil improved fertility and drainage and fostered survival???? I wish I knew, but I will be amending the soil and mulching any new ones I plant in this bed.

I've just bought a couple of plants of the lovely Cleopatra and ordered three plants of Hula Dancer. How long does Hula Dancer stay in bloom?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would like to say I am incredibly jealous. I bought some of the new echinceas from parkseed. Each $5 pack had like a whole 10 seeds. I sowed 5 of each one and not a single one germinated. UGH.

I have NO echinaceas this year at all!!! :( :(

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Overwintered here were PW Wild berry, Double Cup Bubble Gum(a blooming fool) Pink double Delight, a lovely coral, don't know name, but single bloom.And many older ones from long ago.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Nevermore, really lovely pictures! You have a nice variety of Echinacea and that garden shot is very pretty.

Gardenweed, the Echinacea seeds from Swallowtail have done pretty well, they've actually performed better than most other Swallowtail seeds I've purchased. Although most of the seedlings aren't fully mature plants yet so the jury's not out.

In general the Echinacea looks good this year, but none of them are blooming yet. Hopefully that Sunflower worm won't be as bad as it was last year.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Last year I planted Aloha, Maui sunshine and Cheyenne spirit. Aloha, shown in this picture, is doing the best.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maui sunshine just hasn't put out as much growth. They are within a few feet if each other but Aloha is on a slight hump in the garden. Maybe that gave it some extra drainage. First year lavender also survived there.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Zone 10b: Dog Friendly Ground Covering (Creeping Perennial)
I am considering replacing our front lawn (in a gated,...
I love wood Anemones...
Or Anemone nemorosa. They are just starting to poke...
christinmk z5b eastern WA
Establishing perennials beyond the reach of hoses
I was wondering about peoples tactics for establishing...
wantonamara Z8 CenTex
A walk in the park
A few pictures from my local park this morning.
floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
Sponsored Products
Le Corbusier LC2 Style Loveseat-White - 100% Italian Leather
IFN Modern
Casablanca ORB Integrated Low Profile Fitter Light Kit K2CA-73
$83.20 | Home Depot
Tanga 1 Pendant by Eglo
$66.00 | Lumens
Indoor Ceiling Fans: Yosemite Home Decor Zephyr 54 in. Oil Rubbed Bronze Ceiling
Home Depot
Couristan Afuera Yacht Club Indoor / Outdoor Area Rug - 52296099022119U
$49.00 | Hayneedle
Illumine Outdoor Lighting. 18 in. Warehouse Shade in Black, White Cord
Home Depot
Edushape Senso-Dot Ball - Set of 4 - 715174
$24.99 | Hayneedle
Couristan 2129-1021 Covington Tropic Garden Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug - Multicolor
$59.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™