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FutureStarrAEchinacea Sun or Shade
Echinacea, commonly called “coneflowers” for their cone-shaped inflorescences capped by a prickly dome of seedheads, grow well in the home garden, when provided with the right conditions. Echinacea are important sources of nectar for butterflies and many birds (particularly goldfinches), who flock to the plants to devour the seed. Echinacea are, in this way, “two for one” plants. You get to enjoy the gorgeous flowers, as well as the colorful wildlife they attract.Echinacea is often promoted as a natural cure for colds, respiratory infections, and sinusitis. But does sun exposure provide better results?
Spacing: Coneflowers are clumping plants. One plant will tend to get larger, but it will not spread and overtake the garden via roots or rhizomes. The eventual size of the plant clump depends on the cultivar, so check the mature size listed in the plant description to help you decide on spacing. If a plant is estimated to grow to 18 inches wide, leave 18 inches between plants. Because Echinacea establish deep taproots, you need to plant them where you want them. They do not like to be moved once established. Planting: Plant Echinacea plants in the spring or the fall, in well-drained soil in full to part sun. Echinacea is easy to grow from seed, as well, but requires a cold, moist period—called stratification—in order to germinate. Sow seeds thickly in the fall (after hard-frost in the north and before winter rains elsewhere), covering lightly to discourage birds from eating them. Seeds will germinate in the spring. Most plants will bloom during the second year—one reason it’s advantageous to start with transplants.
Watering: Echinacea is a low-water plant; however, you’ll need to water young plants to help them establish new roots. That is usually a sequence of every day or every other day right after planting, moving to a couple of times per week, to once per week, to every other week, to watering only when your area is experiencing extreme drought. The second year after planting and beyond you should not have to water Echinacea at all unless you’ve gone eight weeks or more without rain. They are that drought-tolerant.'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea) (Source:www.americanmeadows.com)