You can never have enough blooming and frugal plants. We show how the propagation of coneflowers works with cuttings and the like.
The coneflower ( Echinacea ) is an ideal garden perennial because it is easy to care for and its flowers add value to every bed. It is also suitable for inexperienced gardeners who have yet to gain experience.
In the following, we will clarify how you can optimally propagate your coneflower because there are very different methods of propagation. Every gardener has his preferred methods – we show what cuttings, division, and seeds of the coneflower are all about.
Propagate the coneflower by cuttings
For propagation with cuttings, coneflower stems are used that do not have a flower and have at least three pairs of leaves. These stems are cut off with sharp and clean secateurs and placed about three centimeters deep in potting soil. You can, for example, use the peat-free Gardender organic herb and seed soil. Then the cuttings are properly poured and the potting soil is kept moist throughout.
Cuttings are best planted in late summer. After about six weeks, enough roots should have formed to plant them in flower pots. There you let the coneflower grow on for a week before you cut off the shoot tips for wintering. Move the pots with the cuttings to a cool but frost-free place and take care not to let the plants dry out. In spring after the last frosts, you can put the sun hats outdoors.
Increase the sun hat by dividing it
If you already have a sun hat in the garden, you can easily multiply it by dividing it. In principle, the coneflower itself multiplies and spreads well. You will notice that the coneflower perennials need more and more space in the garden and the stick is getting wider because the coneflower can spread out easily with its secondary roots. To plant a coneflower in a different location, you can simply divide the original plant. All you need is a digging fork, spade, and knife.
How to multiply the sun hat by dividing it:
- The right time to divide is in autumn after flowering
- Carefully dig up the sun hat you want to share with the digging fork
- With young sun hats whose roots are not yet very thick, you can simply divide the roots by hand
- You can split older sunhat sticks with either a spade or a sharp knife
- Plant the separated piece of coneflower in a new, sunny spot that you have already cleared of weeds
- When replanting, you should keep a distance of about 40 centimeters between the plants
Tip: The division should be done about every three years because this promotes vigorous growth and beautiful flowering.
Propagate the coneflower by sowing
While sun hat seeds are commercially available, we would like to show you how you can easily collect the seeds yourself from an existing plant in your garden. You will also learn how to best proceed when sowing.
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Propagate coneflower by sowing: get seeds yourself
The coneflower forms its seeds by itself when the flowers are allowed to ripen. Do not let all the flowers mature, however, because that would cost the plant too much strength. Simply cut off excess flowers. A mature plant can be recognized in late summer or autumn by the fact that the seed heads have dried out and are turning brown. This then contains the seeds that can be carefully harvested. Ideally, the harvest takes place on sunny and dry days.
You simply cut off the dried stems with the seed heads and put them upside down in an old pillowcase or paper bag. Then either leave the seeds to dry in the bags in a well-ventilated place for two to three weeks or shake the seeds out of the seed heads immediately and let them dry on a tray.
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For storage, place the seeds in a dry, cool, and dark place, preferably under the exclusion of air. Simple screw-top jars are suitable for this, but you can also pack the seeds in bags and store them that way. Don’t forget to label the containers so that in the spring you will know which seeds they are. Gathering seeds is a space-saving method of propagating plants and is also ideal if you want to share the seeds with gardener friends.
Propagate the coneflower by sowing: instructions
When sowing, you should bear in mind that the coneflower is subject to sprout inhibition, because it is a cold Germer and needs a cold exposure of up to eight weeks to germinate. You should therefore sow the coneflower in small boxes that you can take to a sheltered place outdoors so that the seeds are exposed to the cold – temperatures should ideally be below 5 ° C. The freezer offers an alternative to this, because you can also artificially imitate the effects of cold and put the seeds in there.
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If you propagate a hybrid sun hat with seeds, you have to expect that the new sun hats will differ greatly in appearance from the mother plant, but this also brings an exciting biodiversity into your own garden. If you want to be sure that you have the same sun hat in the garden again, you should rely on propagation by division or cuttings.
Summary Propagating the coneflower by sowing:
- In late summer or autumn, you can cut off the dried stems of the sun hat on sunny, dry days
- Put the stems with the seed heads in an old pillowcase or a paper bag and let them dry out in a well-ventilated place; alternatively, you can remove the seeds immediately and let them dry individually
- The dried seeds are stored in a dry, cool, and dark place
- To germinate, the seeds need a cold exposure of up to eight weeks; this can either be done outside or in the freezer
- When the seeds are harvested from hybrid plants, the regrowing plant can be very different from the mother plant