Echinacea is a flower native to North America.The flowers can be used as herbal medicine for the common cold and other minor infections.Every part of the plant can be used the same way.You can either harvest the flowers, stems, and leaves or the entire plant.Store your echinacea so that it will be ready to use when you need it.
Step 1: The flowers will bloom when you wait.
It can take a couple of years for the flowers to bloom.It’s important that you don’t harvest anything from your plant until after the flowers have bloomed at least 1 time, and then wait for them to bloom again to harvest them.Ensuring that the plant is tough enough to survive harvesting and has an established root system will be helped by this.Before the flower fades, harvest it while it’s in bloom.Even before you harvest it, echinacea is a valuable garden addition.It repels deer from your garden and attracts butterflies.
Step 2: To harvest a small amount of echinacea, cut above a node.
You can cut as much of the stem as you want, just make sure to cut above a node.The leaves on the echinacea are small.Use a pair of garden shears or scissors to cut the stem of your echinacea.When you want to collect a single stem or a few stems, this method is ideal.For each stem you want to harvest, repeat this.
Step 3: To harvest the whole plant, cut above the crown.
The crown is at the base of the plant.Use a pair of garden shears or sharp scissors to cut a third of the stems above the crown.For each plant you want to harvest, do this.The plant will grow again the following year.
Step 4: The plants should not be run over.
Pruning is important because Echinacea doesn’t like to be disturbed.If you want to clip the oldest or largest clumps, cut a few stems from them.The younger stems should be left alone to grow.When the plant is in bloom, check back once a week to see if there are any older stems that could be used.
Step 5: Wait until the plant is at least 3 years old.
Harvesting the roots means digging out an entire plant.It is best to wait until the plant is mature so that the roots are large.This will give enough time for crowns to develop from the original plant.It is a good idea to divide the clumps once every 3 or 4 years.When the weather is cool, time your root harvests.You can get clumps from smaller plants or larger ones.
Step 6: You can dig up the roots with a garden spade.
The echinacea has a base of 1.5 to 2 feet (0.46 to 0.61 m) in the ground.Use your foot to press down on the spade and lift the plant out of the ground.This will make sure that you don’t dig into the roots.You can loosen the plant by digging a trench.Don’t dig too close to it, it will damage the roots.There are deep and wide roots of Echinacea.
Step 7: Pull apart clumps of roots with your fingers.
A crown is where the stems of a plant come together.As you pull the roots apart, be careful not to break them off.Divide the older and younger clumps into piles.If you can’t break apart a clump with your fingers, use a pair of garden shears.To make it easier to see the individual crowns, you may want to shake away the excess dirt.
Step 8: Remove the crowns from the older ones.
After dividing the clumps, plant the young ones back in the ground.Each clump should be placed in its own hole about 30 to 38 cm deep and 1 to 3 feet away from each other.You can harvest the roots from these plants in 1 to 2 years.If you want to plant the echinacea in a pot that will drain well, make sure you plant it in an area of the ground.Avoid soils that are tightly packed.Place potted echinacea in a sunny window in an area with full sun.Water the plant after it is replanted.
Step 9: The flowers, stems, leaves, and roots should be washed.
Make sure to rinse the echinacea before using it.The roots will be caked with dirt if you don’t rinse them well.Cool or warm water can be used to rinse the plants.If your plant’s roots have a lot of dirt on them, you should shake them off first.Don’t rinse your drains because it will likely cause problems.
Step 10: Lay the plants flat to dry and hang them upside down.
You can wrap a rubber band around a bundle of echinacea stems and hang them upside down from a hook on your wall or ceiling to dry them.The dried petals should be caught in a paper bag.It may only take a couple of days for the plants to dry out, or it may take about a week.Another option is to spread out the flowers on a well aerated flat surface, such as a screen that you have taken off the window, and place them outside to dry.Dry plants should be produced in 1 to 2 days.Some people have been able to dry their echinacea on a baking sheet inside of their car.Plants may be dry in as little as a day.
Step 11: Use a knife or scissors to cut the dried flowers.
Remove the flower buds from the stems, cut them into small pieces, and chop the roots into 4 in (0.64 cm) chunks.You can mix the plant parts together or divide them.
Step 12: The dried echinacea can be kept in jars.
The jars should have screw tops to keep out air and humidity.Since all of the parts can be used in the same way, you can store them in a single jar.If you want, you can place the parts into their own jars.The entire plant can be used to make a variety of products.In a dark place, such as a kitchen cupboard or pantry, place the jars of echinacea.