The Echinacea is a very attractive plant for its colorful daisy-shaped flowers. Although it is native to the plains of North America, it has spread throughout all regions with warm climates due to its resistance to the hot environment and some tolerance to drought. It is highly appreciated, not only for its beauty and its ability to attract butterflies but also for its medicinal value.
That said, today I want to show you a new Echinacea that I have incorporated into the garden. According to the label, this is Echinacea “Summer Colors”, with vibrant yellow flowers and very warm.
The Echinacea is a vivacious plant that is mainly used to create flower beds and flower beds. It blooms better with sunny exposures, but it can tolerate some shade and requires moderate watering throughout the year that should be increased during the flowering period: from June to September.
Talking about irrigation, in general, is somewhat complicated. The amount of water the plant needs always depends on the weather and location. In full sun, in a dry climate like mine and in summer, I need to water them daily. But in humid climates, the frequency will be very different.
This species likes uniformly moist and well-drained soil and will tolerate drought once established. It grows best in soils rich in organic matter and adapts to any type of pH. What does not tolerate are saline soils.
This beautiful herbaceous plant is also very rustic. In some texts, it is indicated that it can withstand temperatures up to -30ºC. With the cold, you will lose the entire aerial part, which will resurface to the next warm season. The height of the branches can reach 80 cm. The flowers are not fragrant, but very striking.
Among the special characteristics of this plant, its ability to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies stands out. It also has analgesic and antibiotic compounds that are used in the production of some medications.
Where does your name come from
This plant takes its name from the Greek word “echino”, which means spiny or hedgehog, due to the shape of its floral head.
Echinacea is part of the Asteraceae family and is common to all of them inflorescences with central disc and ligules around them. In the case of this plant, the center is cone-shaped and the outer ligules open downward.
There are many natural species of echinacea, of very varied colors, but “Summer colors” is a man-grown variety. One of the many that can be found with different colors and slightly different shapes.
Echinacea can be obtained from seeds. The seeds are sown at a shallow depth (covering them a little is enough) in spring. Germination occurs after 3 or 4 weeks.
Some people prefer to sow in the fall, to allow cold stratification. This is a process by which the seed freezes and defrosts repeatedly, softening the seed cover and stimulating embryonic growth. This increases the probability of success to achieve vigorous and healthy plants in spring.
As I understand it, sowing multiplication is a fairly simple task, although it can also be done by killing division.
If you want to divide an echinacea plant, choose a beautiful spring or autumn day. You have to carefully extract the bush from the ground, to damage the roots as little as possible, and cut the root ball into portions of at least 15 cm in diameter.
Echinacea is a low maintenance plant, but some care must be taken to make the plant look pretty and make many flowers.
To promote flowering it is convenient to remove flowers that are already withered. You can also cut them when they are fresh to form bouquets and arrangements. Remove dried leaves and dead stems.
Although they do not require much food, it is convenient to add organic fertilizer when the first leaves and branches begin to form. This new supply of nutrients will help them grow healthy and vigorous.
Echinacea is not plants prone to disease or attack by insects. I have cultivated two different varieties and have never had problems. I have read somewhere that they can take some powder, but it is easy to remove it by spraying it with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 of liquid soap in 2 liters of water. But know that I have never had to try it with mine.