Echinacea is also called coneflower and it is usually found as a flower native to the North Americans. In this post, I’ll show you how to harvest Echinacea plants.
The Echinacea flowers are attractive and, at the same time, have health benefits as they can be used to cure the common cold and other infections.
You can use not only the flowers but also every part of the Echinacea plant for this purpose.
You can harvest the flowers, stems, or leaves, or even the entire Echinacea plant with the roots attached to it. Then, you can sundry it and store your dry Echinacea and use it whenever you want.
Here are listed ways on how you can harvest your Echinacea plant:
1. Wait for the flowers to sprout out
After the Echinacea seed has been buried, it may take a long time, probably years, for it to bloom or sprout out.
Wait till the flower blooms for the first time, then wait till the second bloom before you begin to harvest them.
It is very important as this ensures that the plant is strong enough to withstand harvesting. And by then, it would develop strong and established roots.
- · Keep in mind to harvest the Echinacea flowers during its bloom, not after it begins to fade away
- · Remember that the Echinacea is of great value to your garden. It helps to draw in butterflies, it provides seeds for birds to eat, and also, chase away predators like deer from your garden.
2. To harvest some Echinacea, just make a cut above the node
The nodes are protruded places where plants grow. So when you want to cut as many Echinacea stems as you like, make sure to cut them just above the node.
You can use your pair of garden shears or a pair of scissors to make this cut, right above the node.
This method of harvesting is good especially when you just need a single or few stems.
- You can use this method for each and every stem you want to harvest
3. To harvest the whole Echinacea plant, make a cut just above the crown
The crown can be found above the root, directly at the base of the plant.
So to harvest the entire Echinacea plant, cut up to one-third of the stems, just above the crown with a garden shear or a pair of sharp scissors.
- Repeat this for each whole plant you would like to harvest
- The plant will grow to its full state the year that follows.
4. Do not over prune the plant
An Echinacea plant does not like disturbance, so it is very sensitive to pruning. When you want to prune it, prune it sparingly.
From each clump, you can cut only a few ones and you can also clip the old ones. Do not touch the younger stems; allow them to keep growing.
- Check regularly, probably once a week, to see whether there are old stems to be harvested before they fade. Only do this when you see that the plant is in bloom.
5. To harvest the roots, allow the plants to grow, for at least, three years
The roots of the Echinacea plant are very good for tinctures and teas. It is best to wait till the Echinacea is mature to harvest the root because the roots will be big by then.
Also, by then, some crowns of the Echinacea would have developed from the original plant.
- Every three to four years, it is good to dig up the Echinacea plant by its root and also, divide the clumps. You should harvest the roots in seasons like spring or fall when the weather is cool
- Keep in mind that you may get smaller clumps from your small plants and big ones from your big plants.
6. Make use of a garden spade to dig up the root
From the base of the Echinacea plant, put a garden spade in the ground, about one and a half or two feet.
Then, push down your spade with your foot and then lift the plant out by lifting its root. This will ensure that you don’t cut out the roots.
- To loosen the plant up, you can dig up a trench around the plant. Avoid digging the trench close to it, so it does not damage the roots
- Remember that the roots of the Echinacea plant are very wide and deep
7. Use your fingers to pull the clumps of the roots apart into individual crowns
A crown is an area where the stem fuses together, right above the root. As you pull the clumps apart, avoid breaking off the stems or pieces of the root.
After you pull them apart, you can separate the older and larger clumps from the smaller and younger ones and then, divide them into piles.
- You can use a pair of garden shears to break the difficult clumps apart
- To see each crown easily, shake away excess dirt from the roots
8. Replace the young crowns attached to the older ones
After you have divided the clumps, plant the young ones back into the soil.
Dig up a hole about twelve to fifteen inches deep for each clump and give a spacing of one to three feet from each other. This will enable them to keep growing and after a year or two, you can harvest them again.
- To plant your Echinacea, plant it in an area of soil that is well-drained and loosely packed
- Choose a sunny area or window for your Echinacea plant
- After you have replanted, water your plant deeply.
9. Wash thoroughly the flowers, roots, stems, and leaves of the Echinacea plant
Before you use the roots of the Echinacea plant, do well to wash and rinse it thoroughly. Rinse it well using cold water so it will be free of the dirt it’s gathered in the soil.
- If you take note that the root still has a lot of dirt, shake it off first before rinsing. Trying to rinse off the dirt, without shaking them off, will clog your drains.
10. Hang the plant upside down or lay it flat in order to dry them
Use a rubber band or string to gather the Echinacea stems and hang them upside down from a hook of a wall or ceiling in order to dry them.
As the dried petal falls, use a paper bag to collect them together. It may take a week or even, days for the plant to dry depending on the size and environment of the plant.
- You can dry them by spreading them on a tray or you can place them outside when it is sunny
11. Use a knife or scissors to cut the dried flowers into separate places
You can cut the buds of the flower away from the stems. Then, you can cut the stems into pieces and other different parts of the flower.
12. Store in jars
Store the dried Echinacea plant in the jar with lids to keep away air and moisture.
You can keep the different flower parts together in a jar since it is used for the same purpose. You can also store these different parts in separate jars in a dry, cool, and dark location either in a cabinet or a pantry.
Then, you can use the Echinacea dried plant for whatever you like.
Things you will need are:
- Garden spade
- Garden shears or scissors
- Rubber band
- Paper bag
- Glass jar, etc.
When you properly follow these tips to harvest your Echinacea plant, you will have it to harvest in years to come. And you will not regret planting the Echinacea plant.
I hope you enjoy reading the articles if you have any questions about and if you have something to share please leave your message below and I’ll be happy to write back to you.