One of the colorful new plants I saw this last summer was at the Meramec Community College gardens call Echinacea – Cheyenne Spirit. They are a AAS Winners and so should do well in most gardens. They come in numerous colors – I’d like to know how they do that.
I bought some seeds this winter from Johnnyseeds.com. They are expensive – I received 28 seeds for $8. Compared to other sites, this was the cheapest source I found.
The plants cost $15 each on ParkSeed.com, so I am theoretically saving over $400!
The directions said both to plant the seeds on top of the soil and also that you could cover the seeds. I did both and will record my results below. With the not-covered seeds, I did make a slight depression to try and keep them moist, but did not cover them with potting soil. The AAS site says that you need to start these by Jan 25th to get blooming the first year.
I normally think of Echinacea as needing cold-stratification, but the results below seem to indicate otherwise.
The picture above is not Cheyenne Spirit, but is the closest I had from my garden.
I’ll will post more notes as these plants grow and mature.
Feb 11th – 24 of 28 seeds have germinated.
Starting seeds on top of the soil, but in slight depressions, does give better results. Seeds that I covered initially, I uncovered and they have now germinated. Cold stratification seems unnecessary with these seeds.