Echinacea flowers, resembling huge daisies, will decorate any garden. This plant is very unpretentious in the care, besides a perennial, so it can grow even the most inexperienced gardeners. Bright flowers attract butterflies and bees, as they are honey-bearing. In addition, echinacea is often grown not only as an ornamental, but also as a medicinal plant. From its roots, it is possible to prepare means that strengthen the immune system and help with diseases of the liver and stomach.
Echinacea purpurea: growing from seed
Purple Echinacea is the most popular variety in our country. Probably everyone knows her large pink or crimson "daisies".
Perhaps the only thing for which Echinacea feeds weakness is light. It is frost-resistant, it can grow on soils of almost any composition (for example, in the United States this plant has got acclimatized well on railway embankments, propagating by self-seeding). Echinacea can be propagated by dividing the bush and seeds.
Seeds are sown either immediately in open ground (at the end of April - beginning of May), or in seedling boxes or greenhouses. You can take any soil, but it is better sandy, or add tree ash to garden soil. This is done in order to avoid stagnation of water, causing the plant can "pick up" the fungus.
It is important to take care of the quality of the seeds - if they are over a year old, the germination rate will be very small. Seeds are pressed into the soil, and sprinkled with sand on top. A seed box needs to be put on the window - Echinacea loves the light. The first shoots appear after 2-3 weeks. When they grow in height by 10-15 cm, they can be transplanted to a permanent place.
In the open ground, Echinacea behaves in approximately the same way - growing and maintaining in the garden is not much different from growing in a greenhouse or seedling box. The only difference is that when sowing in open ground it is desirable to fertilize the soil with leaf humus with wood ash. In the case of propagation by seedlings, the ground is fertilized immediately before planting the seedlings to a permanent place in the garden.
Echinacea: landing and care behind the plant
- Since echinacea - a strong and unpretentious plant, you can not worry about the composition of the soil. However, the introduction of mineral dressing at the time of the first buds will not interfere. Echinacea is not afraid of wind or rain, but it doesn’t tolerate a shadow - therefore, the place for it needs to be picked up by a well-lit, in extreme cases, partial shade.
- Echinacea is drought tolerant. Watering it is necessary as needed, try not to flood the plant, as possible fungal diseases of the roots. Make sure that weeds do not grow around the echinacea. They, as a rule, are carriers of insect parasites.
- If you have grown echinacea from seeds, do not be surprised at its slow growth - the plant will begin to bloom only in the second year. At the same time flowering will continue throughout the summer, if you cut the flowers in time, not allowing the seeds to ripen. By the way, Echinacea flowers are long in the water, keeping a fresh look.
- By the winter, Echinacea, growing from seeds of which does not cause much trouble, will nevertheless require care from the owner. In the fall, the entire above-ground part of the plants should be cut off at the root, the soil should be well ground with compost or a mixture of humus with garden soil. The roots are covered with dry foliage or spruce branches for the winter, especially if you grow it in cold regions of our country.
Echinacea grows well, and once in 3-4 years it will have to thin out. At all other times, this is one of the most unpretentious and beautiful ornamental cultures that blend beautifully with other colors and bring joy to their masters.