Echinacea seeds are relatively easy to grow, but there are a few things gardeners should do to help these seeds grow into strong, healthy plants. First of all, seeds should be planted after there is no further chance of frost. These seeds also need to get plenty of sun, water, and nutrients while they are growing.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when planting Echinacea seeds is that they need to be planted in the spring or summer in those places where it freezes in the winter. Though adult Echinacea plants are hardy against the cold, seeds and young plants can die if they become too cold. They should be planted after the temperature in the soil is consistently above about 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius).
The type of soil used to grow Echinacea seeds is not particularly important. They can grow in sandy, wet, dry, and even soil with relatively few nutrients. Echinacea seeds do, however, prefer soil that has either an acidic or close to neutral pH.
Like other members of the daisy family, Echinacea grows from small seeds. These seeds need to be kept near the surface of the soil so that they can easily turn themselves in the correct direction in order to find the sunlight. Seeds can simply be placed on top of the soil and then sprinkled with a thin layer of soil about an eighth of an inch (a third of a centimeter) thick.
Once the Echinacea seeds have been planted, they need to be watered. They need enough water to remain moist without becoming waterlogged while they are still growing. Once the plants are larger and stronger, they are resistant to both overwatering and draught.
Echinacea plants prefer areas that get plenty of sunlight. Adult plants can handle shade but seeds and young plants need full or at least partial sun in order to grow properly. In areas that get particularly hot in the summer, Echinacea seeds should be planted where they will get plenty of morning sun and partial shade in the afternoon.
In order for Echinacea seeds to grow into healthy plants, the soil around the seeds needs to be kept clear of weeds as the weeds will quickly absorb the nutrients and water that the Echinacea plants need to thrive. Keeping weeds away from Echinacea seeds and plants helps the Echinacea plants to develop strong roots, stems, and leaves.