Growing Echincaea from Seed: Forget About it!

Today I’m going to tell you of a special technique for growing Echinacea or coneflowers from seed. You may have heard of this technique before and perhaps you’ve even tried it. Whether you have or haven’t this technique is worth trying I call it: forgetting you planted the seeds.
Here’s how forgetting you planted the seeds works step by step. 
  • The gardener plants the seeds in a container, in my case a long planter container. 
  • They water and watch the seedlings for a brief period of time. 
  • Nothing happens with the seeds, no growth, no sprouting and the gardener gives up or forgets about the seeds. 
  • Time passes. 
  • Then the gardener comes back one day 3-4 months later to find multiple seedlings emerging from the same soil!
Why does this technique work so well? Often seeds have a built in dormancy period.  Either they need animals to nibble out the outer coating or the elements to wear it away so that the seed may germinate. Sometimes seeds need a period of winter cold to stratify and break their dormancy which is why fall or winter sowing of perennials works so well. Not everything needs a period of dormancy but if you have trouble germinating seeds check to see if the plant does need a dormant period. Or better yet, check that before you start!

11 thoughts on “Growing Echincaea from Seed: Forget About it!

  1. Dave

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks for all the comments, I've been out of town for the last couple days on a family vacation and am catching up on things.

    Usually I sprinkle the echincacea seeds wherever but I was trying a targeted approach! I had hoped to cultivate them and transplant them where I wanted them. It looks like I'll get to do that but just a little later than I originally planned!

  2. Frances

    That's great, Dave. We too have the very best luck with this method, not just for echinceas either. We call it part of the Semi school of gardening, doing nothing after initial plantings. 🙂

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