Have you grown the newer coneflowers from seed?

christinmk z5b eastern WAMay 5, 2011

I got a bunch of the newer coneflower seeds in trades last fall. Seems all of them are up in the jugs now ;-)

I'm curious to know if anyone else has grown the new ones from seed. Have they come 'true', or even somewhat similar to the parent? Or did they dehybridized and turn out to be plain ol' purple?

Look forward to hearing your experiences! ;-)

Thanks

CMK

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terrene(5b MA)

Many of the newer cultivars are hybrids, for example the Big Sky series are hybrids of Echinacea purpurea and E. paradoxa. They have mixed parentage and very unusual traits that do not breed true, although I suppose there's a remote chance of a close match. It would be like a child coming out looking exactly like one of the parents. I think Echinaceas also cross-pollinate a lot.

I have 'Sunrise' and 'Summer Sky' and they seed around quite a lot and for the most part the seedlings have a washed out light pink color that fades out quickly. They also tend to be very tall. I don't like them and have taken to pulling them out. You might get a nice one.

This year I WS'd 3 new Echinacea cultivars from seed, purchased from Swallowtail, Pow Wow Wild Berry, Primadonna White, and Bravado. These are not hybrids, but cultivars of E. purpurea, and should be true to seed. No doubt they were carefully pollinated to breed true.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 7:24AM
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gardenweed_z6a

I WS E. Sundown, White Swan, Tiki Torch & Harvest Moon last year from traded seeds and expect to see a few blooms on those this year. I bought Pow Wow Wild Berry seeds from Hazzards that I WS this year and it appears I got 100% germination from 24 seeds. I'm excited about those as they're said to bloom first year from seed and I think the color is really gorgeous. We'll know in a month or so.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 7:50AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Gardenweed, I sowed 6 seeds of the PWWB and got 100% germination too - until the slugs got two of the seedlings the other night! Still have 4 left and moved my Echinacea seedlings - also spread some Slug Magic around the pot ghetto.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 9:11AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks much for the info. Guess I will put the seedlings in an out of the way area and see how they look in a couple years! Didn't think there would be a great chance of them being true, but it is an interesting experiment at least ;-)

-gardenweed, I also sowed Tiki Torch. If yours blooms this year I would love to know how it turned out!
CMK

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:51AM
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gardenweed_z6a

terrene - oh no!! Sorry about your sprouts!! My sprouted containers are on a portable banquet table I drag out of the garage every year at this time so the sprouts are at least up off the breezeway cement where they are easy pickins' for slugs. I crushed egg shells I saved all winter and sprinkled them around all my hostas this week. Can somebody remember to ask me if it worked?

I'm impressed with the high germination from the PWWB seeds and hope to harvest enough this year to grow a whole bunch more next year.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:55AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I haven't tried. I bought a Hot Papaya last year which I loved.

I tried to find seeds on it but didn't find any. Each "seed" turned out to be a flat, paper-y casing. Maybe the birds beat me to them, but I'd expect to find at least a few, but found none that looked viable. (I do know what ech seed should look and feel like; I've started lots of regular purple coneflowers from saved seeds).

I also have a store-bought pink double delight but never tried saving the seeds.

Karen

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 4:39PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

I'd like to grow ANY coneflower from seed, LOL, but none of the 5 jugs I sowed have sprouted. It must be me because the seeds were from several different sources.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 9:03PM
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dorisl(5)

Holy Cow! Those are gorgeous, Ive never seen coneflowers that big!

:)
That good soil!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 11:20AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Those are amazing Karen, thanks for sharing. Did they overwinter well for you this year? As well as some of the regular ol' purple ones? I tried some of the 'newer' coneflowers years ago and didn't have any luck (although the ones I got were from the Big Sky Series, which I read are pretty much all around duds).

Think I may have to break down and end up buying a plant this year and see how it does! That Hot Papaya has caught my eye...
CMK

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 12:57PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I think all my coneflowers are coming back, but at this point it's just foliage. We need a lot more heat before they're going to do anything. I'm pretty sure both Hot Papaya and Pink Double Delight are returning. My labels disappeared over winter so it's hard to tell what's what out there. I planted a new Hot Summer a couple of weeks ago, but it's really not liking all this rain.

I really love Hot Papaya, too. I've only tried one of the Big Sky series and it didn't do much of anything in 4 years. It did come back this year, but I evicted it, fed it to the compost. I'd rather devote the garden real estate to something that will perform well, rather than one that just limps along year after year. It was wimpy enough that it convinced me to never try another Big Sky.

Have you seen this Marco Van Noort video?

Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: Marco Van Noort coneflowers

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 1:32PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks for the extra info Karen. They look so wonderful in your garden that I am convinced I need at least one this year, lol! ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 12:32PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-gardenweed, did your ws Echinacea bloom? How do the ones from saved seed look?
CMK

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 2:07PM
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gardenweed_z6a

CMK - the Echinacea I WS this year, including Pow Wow Wild Berry, did not bloom altho' the ones I WS last year did put out a few flowers. I've read here on GardenWeb they really don't get going until year 3 so I'm not too disappointed. I'd rather they devote all their energy growing into healthy, strong plants. Besides, my neighbor gave me all her purple and white coneflower plants last year so I had plenty of blooms from those. I summer sowed White Swan seeds and got okay germination. They're about an inch or so tall with a second true leaf showing so I'll get those in the ground soon before it freezes.

I really like the white ones best and from here on will WS just those so I can plant them in other beds.

The Tiki Torch, Harvest Moon and other Big Sky plants from WS seeds only had one flower that was sort of orangey. The rest were all either pink or a washed out purple. Wouldn't you know I planted the one that bloomed orangey in my neighbor's flowerbed rather than my own. I don't mind--her south-facing bed is close to my north slope bed so I get to enjoy the flowers anyway... and harvest seeds to WS from them.

cAROL/just1morehosta sent me two Hot Papaya plants back in June and I'm nursing those along in pots before planting out. Funny how I never thought about adding anything bright red before, now I can't seem to grow red-bloomers fast enough.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 6:37PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I too winter sowed a large number of seeds from the newer hybrids sent to me in a trade. I did not have very good germination, and in each case just one seedling of each set of seeds. I will be planting them out soon and expect flowers next year. At the moment I have magnus and jade in bloom but they're not in the best position - I just had a tree that was providing too much shade cut back severely so I should have a better show next year.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 3:28AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I have no luck with designer echs. They are either short-lived or revert. Seeds? Haven't been able to harvest and try.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:09AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks for the information. I started 'Tiki Torch', 'Tomato Soup', 'Pink Poodle', 'Green Envy' (I think that is what it was...), and 'Milk Shake'. I got a LOT of germination from the first two, nothing from PP, and then one seedling each of the last two. I'm very excited to see what they look like next year (even if they are ugly, lol!)

By the way, as anyone tried this awesome looking mix yet? I SO want to try this!!!: Magic Box Echinacea Seed Mix
CMK

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 1:19PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Out of my WS Echinacea this year, there are 2 of the 'Pow wow wild berry', and several of the 'Bravado' plants that look like they are sending up a blooming stalk! First year from seed - pretty impressive - can't wait to see what these look like.

I don't have any interest in growing seeds from mixed parentage of the new hybrids. I haven't liked the seedlings, and the Big sky plants themselves have done poorly over time.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:08AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I agree Terrene, and I haven't sown any seeds from the newer hybrids either.

I fell hard into the wintersowing mind set over the last five years. I sowed all kinds of seeds and stuffed my yard with plants that have reseeded wildly, driving me nuts. Last year I really felt deprived, having not bought any newer hybrid plants in about five years, and mended my ways. I bought a few new hybrid echinaceas, as well as some others that I'm loving.

Geranium Rozanne, my new favorite plant. I planted a tiny new one last fall, and it has been blooming non-stop all summer.

Dwarf Joe Pye

Verbena Homestead Purple

Nepeta Walker's Low

Specific named sun tolerant coleus

In all I guess I've bought about a dozen new perennials the past year (not counting dozens of coleus which I continue to propagate from cuttings) and I'm so happy that I did. I will continue to wintersow, but I'm open to buying new perennials again, too.

Karen

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:34AM
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terrene(5b MA)

I bought a Rozanne from Bluestone 2 falls ago, it ended up dying off so they sent a replacement last summer, which has done great this year. I like it too, it adds a splash of color for months.

This year I mostly bought seeds of specific cultivars, like the Echinacea PWWB and Primadonna white. Some breeder has already done the work to cultivate a showy strain of seed. The seed is somewhat more expensive than more common seed, but still much cheaper than nursery plants. Easy for us winter-sowers to grow and experiment with.

Here's a pic of the Bravado that I just went out to take, you can see the stalks coming up -

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 12:40PM
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