Consider growing Echinacea in the flower beds for a hardy drought tolerant flower. .
Echinacea also know as “purple coneflower” requires little attention once established in the garden.
Echinacea has been over harvested in the wild because of its medicinal properties but now it can be grown in the garden.
The new hybrids are colorful and attract bees and butterflies which are beneficial to all your herbs and vegetable plants.
I like to put Echinacea in the drier spots in the landscape because I don’t have to worry so much about them wilting.
We all have those areas of the garden that are drier than other areas. It is nice to have flowers there that can withstand little neglect.
The mature Echinacea will reseed germinate the next spring resulting in new plants. These new plants can be transplanted through out the garden.
Echinacea can be started from seed or plants bought at your local nursery. Online nurseries sell plants if your local stores do not carry them. I find that my local nursery dose not always carry a variety of colors.
For this reason purchasing seeds online is the best way to acquire different colors.
Seeds need 4 to 6 weeks of cool moist conditions so you can sow them out side in the garden in the fall for spring germination. Once the plants are established they will spread and provide you with plenty of plants.
Echinacea has been used for fighting colds and is use for boosting the immune system. It has anti anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects that may be effective in reducing the length of a cold.
Parts used are the dried root and dried leaves. The root has a higher amount of the medicinal properties than the leaves. Roots can be dup up in the fall before the ground freezes.
Wash the roots and place in a warm place until the roots are completely dry. Dry roots can be tinctured or make into a tea to be used on skin rashes, burns, insect bites, acne and eczema.
The leaves can be dried and used to make an herbal tea which can be drunk along with vitamin C to help ward off a cold.