Echinacea plants Description
The genus Echinacea consists of 9 species and belongs to the family Asteraceae. These decorative flowers also called rudbeckia (Latin Rudbeckia). Echinacea is native to northern and midwestern United States, where it grows in light and dry slopes. It brought to Europe in the 17th century as an ornamental plant. It is currently used, and as a medicinal plant. Plant shoots with stiff raised, depending on the species, it grows to a height of 150 cm. They are stable and do not need to tie up.
Dark green leaf blade echinacea up to 10 cm, usually solitary, ovate-lanceolate, some species stems and leaves with hairs. Rudbeckia bloom the second year after planting, and constantly in bloom from July to September. The inflorescence is a large basket with narrow petals bright colors: white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple. Spiky centers of the small tubular flowers are green, yellow, orange, red, purple, cone-shaped, reminiscent of the prickly hedgehog, thanks to which they are likely to get their name.
Echinacea plant in rural and modern urban gardens and blooms for a long time, from June to September, but the plant is short-lived (3-4 effective season).
How to grow echinacea in the garden
Echinacea purpurea – one of undemanding plants. She needs a sunny place in the garden. ªhin do not make excessive demands on the soil, but grows best on moist, fertile soil.
Echinacea is easy to tolerate heat and drought, but can not tolerate constant moisture. plant roots rot, and echinacea are killed in a constantly humid substrate. At the same time the soil at the landing site should not be dry for a longer period at a suitable place for her, she will appear year after year.
As for fertilizer, it is sufficient that each year in early spring plants, compost soil. Regular fertilizer is required.
Flowering profusely when growing on soils with a high content of calcium. So that the soil has always been a light and airy regularly it is necessary to loosen around the plant. Older plants tolerate a prolonged drought is much better than the young, so after planting seedlings is important to regularly watered it, so that they will create a strong root system.
Before landing in the garden should mix the soil with compost. Add fertilizer to grow richer flower.
As for fertilizer, it is sufficient that each year in early spring plants, compost soil. In the spring and early summer, the plants should be several times to feed fertilizer for flowering plants. Regular fertilizer is required.
Faded flowers should be removed permanently.
The cultivation, breeding Echinacea
Echinacea growing from seed
Many native species quickly and easily multiply the sowing of seeds. Echinacea seeds sown in March in the homes of sowing boxes. Two months after sowing the plants are suitable for transplantation. Transplant them into flower in late May.
Not everyone has the patience to propagate them from seed. Dividing the rhizome can be easily propagated perennial. perennial Echinacea purpurea in a few years needs rejuvenation. All parts are transplanted, they quickly grow and grow.
This is best done in the spring, in March. To do this, take out the bush out of the ground, and with the help of a shovel divide the rhizome into several pieces so that each had a healthy shoots and roots.
You can play with the help of the spring root cuttings. If you do not cut the faded blossoms, leaving the seeds for the winter young plants sprout around the mother plant in the spring. Echinacea, through self-seeding can spread to other places. They can be left in place, go to transplant to another location.
Additional information!Qualitative seedlings of perennial gardening or acquire from specialized manufacturers engaged in perennial plants.
The most famous representative of 9 species of this group is Echinacea purpurea. She’s really beautiful, adorn any garden. Ornamental garden plants suitable for group plantings, as well as for single plants. The flowers are well-suited for cutting in bunches.
In a mixed flower bed can be combined echinacea with other perennials that bloom in summer: Agastya, phlox, Monarda, Veronica. Due to the fact that the flowers of this perennial popular and bees, they also can be grown in the apiary.
More compact and lower grades echinacea grown in large pots, but the loose soil on a bed fit much more.
NoteThe best time for planting of perennial – spring, but you can put it to the root clod at any time during the summer
Echinacea varieties differ not only in plant height, but also the size and color of flowers. The most popular purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) was the most famous and the only representative for many years. In recent years, echinacea have been intensively bred and every year new varieties offer growers more attractive coloring – white, pink, orange, yellow, red. Already, there are about 100 new varieties,
Although the varieties with more vivid colors are very attractive, but they need to take care of. This is often short-lived perennial plants are more susceptible to certain diseases and more sensitive to lower temperatures and humidity. Nonetheless continue to gradually improve the characteristics of these newly bred varieties.
- pallido Echinacea (Echinacea pallida) with narrow petals hanging light lilac. flowers, up to 90 cm tall, with not branched shoots.
- Echinacea angustifolia (Echinacea angustifolia) is similar to the purple echinacea, but narrower leaves, which grows up to 45 cm, with reddish or sometimes white inflorescences.
Flowering mainly medium height varieties used in the flowerbeds.
Diseases and pests
The plant is not too suffer from diseases and pests. Spring in very dense stands may be damaged snails. The emergence of disease is mainly supported by increased soil moisture.
Echinacea winters on a bed without any problems. To reduce the risk of freezing in winter, it is necessary to cover the new varieties of Echinacea Echinacea dry leaves or pine branches. In spring time it is important to clean the dry leaves of Echinacea.
The healing properties
Echinacea extracts strengthen our immune system and have anti-inflammatory action. Currently, it is one of the most popular and commonly used herbs. Grass and flowers are used for medicines.
It has been known for its medicinal properties 200 years ago. As her medication used for the treatment of the Indians of the teeth and sore throat inflammation. Echinacea is suitable for strengthening the immune system, treats inflammatory diseases in the body. It can help in the treatment of allergies, eczema, psoriasis, and so on. D. Its popularity is still growing.
Note!was collected and dried leaves and flowers of Echinacea in the second year of life plants. The leaves are harvested in the early flowering plants. The root is harvested over 3-4 years.
Echinacea enliven any garden. For taking care of it will reward a beautiful flowers,that bloom for a long time, from June to October.