3 Easy Ways to Grow Echinacea from Seeds – Coneflower

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Growing Echinacea aka Coneflower from seed is easy plus it is a great way to get many colors and varieties on a budget.

If you are looking for easy-to-grow and beautiful flowers to add to your garden that are attractive to beneficial insects then look no further than echinacea! Growing Echinacea from seed is a wonderful way to get a lot of plants for little money.

Let’s look at 3 ways! You can start indoors, winter sow, or direct sow the seeds.

Echinacea is also called Coneflower because of the cone-like shape of the centers. They are not only gorgeous but they are drought tolerant once established.

Pow Wow Echinacea Coneflower, FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

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This beautiful flower is not only drought tolerant but also native to North America (Echinacea Purpurea) and can be grown from seed quite easily.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of growing echinacea from seed. Let’s get started!

  • Where to buy Echinacea aka Purple Coneflower Seeds
  • How to Start Echinacea Seeds Indoors
  • Direct Sowing Coneflower seeds
  • Growing Echinacea Tips
  • Is Echinacea Perennial
How to Grow Purple Coneflower aka Echinacea

Where to Buy Echinacea Seeds – Purple Coneflower Seeds

The first step is to purchase echinacea seeds from your local nursery, big-box store, or online.

I have a few sources I like to buy from, Select Seeds, Swallowtail Seeds, Botanical Interests, and Renees Garden are just a few.

You can often find Echinacea listed under “herb” in seed catalogs.

There are now several hybrids of Echinacea but I want to encourage you to include growing the original wildflower, Echinacea Purpurea, as it performs so wonderfully and will often reseed itself for you in your garden. Purple coneflower seeds are widely available.

Another native species of echinacea is Echinacea Augustfolia

I like easy flowers that reseed themselves and make great masses of flowers.

Be careful of buying seeds from individuals online as I have often seen seeds of sterile hybrid selections of Echinacea offered for sale and they will not germinate.

Or if they do, they won’t be the flower you were wishing for. Those can only be propagated by root division or tissue culture for them to come true. Reputable sellers of the sterile hybrids only sell them as plants.

Once you have your seeds, it’s time to get started on the germination process.

purple coneflower seed head with white background, flower patch farmhouse dot come
Purple Coneflower Seeds

Indoor Seed Starting for Echinacea – Coneflower

Starting Echinacea seed indoors is quite the same as many flowers. Any home gardener can create a simple indoor seed-starting area.

You can start in late winter to early Spring. Fill your seed starting container with your seed starting mix. (I often just use a good quality potting mix)

Seed Starting Made Easy

Start seeds indoors. A budget-friendly way to start your seeds early.

If using little individual cell trays then place one seed in each cell. When you sow seeds there is no sense in doubling up and having to divide out later. Or worse yet, cut them off to thin them. That is just a waste of seeds.


Must you cut?

Thinning Seedlings

Thinning seedlings does not need to be done by cutting! What a waste that is. Easily thin seedlings without harming them.

If sowing seeds in a tray, as I do many times, space out your seeds about an inch apart. Press into the soil. Cover lightly. Sometimes I use vermiculite for this but often it is just a sprinkling of the potting or seed starting mix.

Next, cover your pot with a clear plastic lid or dome to create a mini-greenhouse effect. Keep at about 70 degrees F and you should see germination in 10 – 21 days.

Some coneflower – echinacea will germinate better with cold stratification, which makes them a great choice for the Winter Sowing method.

easy method to start many plants

Successful Winter Sowing!

Read the information on the seed packet for specific information.

Once your seeds have germinated and they have their second set of leaves, it’s time to transplant them into individual pots.

Fill each pot with a quality potting mix and gently transfer a seedling into each pot. Be sure to water your seedlings.

After a week or two of getting settled into their new pots, I move mine to the greenhouse to start hardening off. They are cold-hardy and will do fine.

Direct Sowing Echinacea / Coneflower Seeds

You can directly sow echinacea seeds in the garden 2 to 4 weeks before your last frost date. Sow the seeds about an ⅛ in. deep in groups of 3-4 seeds, spaced 18-24 in. apart in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

Depending on your weather you should see echinacea seedlings in 10 days to 2 weeks. Thin to the strongest seedling. (when thinning you can dig up and transplant the spares)

Many Echinacea varieties won’t bloom until the second year unless started early but many new ones will. Be sure and read the packet and that should tell you when to expect blooms.

If you want the plants to bloom in the first year then they do well with Fall sowing, many of mine reseed themselves directly in the garden in the late summer and early fall.

Now that your echinacea plants are all potted up, it’s time to wait for them to grow! These flowers typically bloom from early summer until the first frost if maintained properly. Be sure to deadhead (remove spent blooms) throughout the season to encourage more blooming.

how to

Grow Echinacea and Keep them Blooming!

Did you know that Echinacea aka Coneflower makes great cut flowers? You can grow them successfully and keep them blooming with these methods.

Using them in your Cut Flower Garden scheme is a great way to keep them blooming!

No cottage garden should be Echinacea flowers. It is just one of those reliable plants that keep on returning to enjoy each year with little effort.

If you want your Echinacea Coneflower to reseed itself leave the flower heads standing in the Fall instead of cutting them back. The seed heads are enjoyed by the birds as a food source during the winter months.

The birds will enjoy picking at the seeds but many will cascade to the ground and plant themselves. Come next Spring you will have many seedlings popping up around the parent plant.

echinacea (purple coneflower) with blackeyed susies, and other flowers

When you have several colors of Echinacea in your garden the self-sown seedlings can vary in color. Just enjoy the surprise and the free flowers.

One question many ask: Is Echinacea Perennial?

Yes, Echinacea are perennial and will last for years in your garden!

I do hope this guide helped get you start on growing echinacea from seed. Happy planting!

You can read all about the traditional use of Echinacea leaves and the benefits.

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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