Echinacea purpurea is a fantastic perennial for the garden with its long lasting, upright flowers with dark purple petals and an orange centres. They are easy to grow and the flowers have a distinctive, sweet, fragrance that attracts bees and butterflies throughout summer.
The summer blooms are followed by attractive, long-lasting seedheads which provide winter food for birds and architectural interest. Echinacea will flower in the first season if they are started indoors early enough.
|When to sow||Indoors Feb to May, August to October|
|Where to sow||Sow indoors on the surface of moist compost filled pots or trays. Do not cover the seeds as they require light for germination. Place in a warm, light position (temperature of 18 to 24°C (64 to 75°F) is ideal).|
|Watch out for damping off.|
|What to do Next||When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays and grow on in cooler conditions.|
|When all risk of frost has passed, acclimatise indoor raised seedlings to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days. Then transplant into final growing position planting them 45cm (18in) apart.|
|Water, fertilise and dead-head regularly to prolong the flowering period.|
|Flowering period||June to October|
|Companion Planting||Attracts Bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.|