The hybrid coneflowers are making such an amazing show in the garden now, we just had to share. Here is Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’...part of a stunning 3′ tall, five year old clump. They key to growing echinaceas is to plant them in well-drained soil, and do so before September. It’s also very important to cut the flowers off before they bloom and until they get well established.
What do you mean when you say ‘It’s also very important to cut the flowers off before they bloom and until they get well established’? Cutting flowers before they bloom seems counter intuitive. Do you mean on YOUNG PLANTS only (e.g. not well established plants)?
For some reasons, flowering on young echinacea plants comes at the expense of good root development. Many folks have found that young echinaceas tend to flower themselves to death and consequently don’t overwinter the first season. By removing the early flowers before the open until a substantial basal rosette develops dramatically increases establishment and overwintering.
OK. That makes sense. Thx!
So how do we tell that the plant is well established?
Great question, although it’s not easy to describe. The key is to get plenty of well-sized basal leaf growth, so when the basal leaves seem like they are sizing up well and the plant is developing multiple crowns, then I would consider the plant to be well established.
I am certainly going to put this into practice but it won’t be easy. Love all your helpful info Tony.