The attractiveness of garden perennial echinacea for flower growers is that its seeds can be sown in the ground as early as April without prior hardening (stratification). In addition, by cutting flowers for bouquets, you prolong the life of the plant – after that, the bush develops more actively, more and more buds form on it, which, when blooming, bloom for up to two months.
Description of the flower Echinacea purpurea (with photo)
Echinacea is a highly decorative, resistant and durable perennial. In nature, there are five types of herbaceous plants under this name. In floriculture, the most common flowers are Echinacea purpurea, a rhizomatous perennial with basal leaves and an upright green stem up to 1.2 m high, with crimson or purple spots. Inflorescence -basket up to 10 cm in diameter with a convex hollow receptacle.
According to the description, the echinacea plant is most similar to yellow rudbeckia – this is not surprising, because they are close relatives. In the garden, this flower is a must, as it attracts many butterflies. True, this plant does not live as long as the perennial rudbeckia: four years later, its flowering weakens and gradually it disappears completely.
Now in specialized stores you can buy seeds not only for purple echinacea, but also for its variety “White Swan” with amazing creamy white flowers.
Varietal echinacea blooms just as profusely and for a long time from mid-summer until frost. Its flowers are good in autumn bouquets, they remain fresh in water for up to two weeks.
How to grow perennial echinacea?
Echinacea grows well in the central regions of European Russia, blooms well in the southern region, but only on a lower peduncle. It is planted in flower beds, large specimens look good against the backdrop of green shrubs, in groups on the lawn. In addition, this is a wonderful cut crop, in which high decorativeness is combined with long flowering (1.5-2 months).
How to grow echinacea in the middle lane? This flower is bred with seeds that germinate easily without requiring stratification.
Echinacea can also be propagated vegetatively by dividing the rhizome into parts that have renewal buds. At the same time, the varietal characteristics of the original plant are preserved, but the multiplication factor is low.
When growing an echinacea flower, keep in mind that this plant is photophilous, loves moist fertile soil and shows high winter hardiness. If you grow from seeds, you can sow directly into the ground in April to a depth of 2-3 cm; through seedlings – planting in early May with a distance between plants of 40-50 cm. Echinacea blooms in the second year and subsequently blooms profusely every year.
The life of echinacea can be extended if every four years in the spring you divide the bushes and plant the delenki. The plant will live longer if you regularly cut a few stems to put them in a vase.