Growing Echinacea From Seed: A Comprehensive Guide

The Complete Guide to Growing Echinacea/Coneflower From Seeds in 2021
The Complete Guide to Growing Echinacea/Coneflower From Seeds in 2021 from

Echinacea, also known as coneflower, is a beautiful and beneficial plant that can be grown easily from seed. With its vibrant colors and medicinal properties, it is a popular choice for many gardeners. If you are interested in growing echinacea from seed, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started.

Choosing the Right Seeds

When it comes to growing echinacea from seed, the first step is to choose the right seeds. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Variety: There are several different varieties of echinacea available, each with its unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, and Echinacea pallida. Choose a variety that suits your preferences and growing conditions.
  • Source: It is important to buy your seeds from a reputable source to ensure their quality. Look for seed companies or nurseries that specialize in native and organic seeds.
  • Freshness: Fresh seeds have a higher germination rate. Check the packaging or ask the supplier about the seed’s freshness before purchasing.

Preparing the Soil

Creating the right growing environment is crucial for the success of your echinacea seeds. Follow these steps to prepare the soil:

  • Location: Echinacea thrives in full sun but can tolerate light shade. Choose a location in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Soil type: Echinacea prefers well-draining soil with a pH level between 6 and 7. If your soil is heavy clay or compacted, consider adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve drainage.
  • Soil preparation: Remove any weeds or grass from the planting area. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller to a depth of 12-18 inches. Mix in a slow-release fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.

Sowing the Seeds

Once you have prepared the soil, it’s time to sow the echinacea seeds. Follow these steps for successful sowing:

  • Timing: Echinacea seeds can be sown outdoors in early spring or late fall, depending on your climate. If you live in a region with cold winters, fall sowing is recommended to allow the seeds to go through a period of cold stratification.
  • Spacing: Echinacea plants need room to grow, so space the seeds at least 12-18 inches apart. If you are planting multiple rows, leave a distance of 24-36 inches between the rows.
  • Depth: Sow the seeds about ΒΌ inch deep in the soil. Lightly cover them with soil and water gently to settle the seeds.

Caring for Echinacea Seedlings

Once the seeds have germinated, it is essential to provide proper care to ensure healthy seedlings:

  • Watering: Echinacea plants have deep taproots and prefer infrequent but deep watering. Water the seedlings thoroughly once a week, especially during dry spells. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  • Thinning: If you have sown multiple seeds in one spot, thin out the seedlings once they have grown to a height of 2-3 inches. Remove the weaker seedlings, leaving only the strongest ones to grow.
  • Weed control: Keep the area around the echinacea seedlings weed-free. Weeds can compete for nutrients and water, affecting the growth of your plants.

Harvesting and Using Echinacea

Echinacea plants typically bloom in their second year. Once the flowers have fully opened, you can harvest them for various purposes:

  • Medicinal use: Echinacea is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. The roots, leaves, and flowers can be used to make teas, tinctures, and other herbal remedies.
  • Ornamental use: Echinacea flowers are beautiful and make excellent cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements.
  • Seed collection: If you want to collect seeds from your echinacea plants, allow the flowers to mature and dry on the plant. Once the seed heads are fully dry, harvest them and store them in a cool, dry place for future use.


Growing echinacea from seed is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By choosing the right seeds, preparing the soil correctly, sowing the seeds at the right time and caring for the seedlings properly, you can have a flourishing echinacea garden in no time. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties or simply want to enjoy its vibrant blooms, echinacea is a versatile and valuable addition to any garden.

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