Echinacea growing in India
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Carolyn Martinez
Posted on: July 5, 2002

I need to know what sort of Echinacea seeds we can grow in India. Weather is as follows: July - Sept is rainy, like Georgia, USA in summer. Then winter follows, Sept - Dec. Spring is Feb and March; April - July it can reach 110F(47C) with little rain.

Georgia, USA spans zones 7 to 9. Therfore the only species you may not be able to grow is yellow echinacea, since it only tolerates the heat found in zone 8. You do not say what your winters are like and it is there that there may be a problem. The seeds of all echinaceas need cold treatment for one to three months to germinate. You could of course supply this cold period in the fridge, but I don’t know whether the absence of of winter cold will interfere with re-emergence in the spring. Our own greenhouses are kept very cool during the winter and are therefore only too warm for plants that need actual freezing such as chives and French tarragon. All the echinaceas re-emerge well from winter dormancy if kept at around 5 degrees Celsius for about 3 months.

We want to try 2 acres; a doctor, who is my boss’ friend, wants to grow his own so it can be processed on-site as required.

Which Echinacea varieties can we grow, when should we plant and how much will we need for 2 acres?

Probably all varieties can be grown by you. As mentioned above, only the yellow species may not be able to take your summer heat. You did not mention what your soil is like. They like well-drained, fertile soil with lime and clay. The pH should be 6 to 8. Echinacea purpurea is the least fussy species. All need light for the seed to germinate.

You need about 15 kg per ha (6 kg per acre) for direct seeding of most echinaceas and half a kg per hectare (200 grams per acre) for growing in a seedbed and transplanting the following spring.

For the larger seeded Echinacea pallida use 18 kg per hectare for direct seeding or 8 kg per acre.

Please consult our web-site at www.richters.com under News &Info -Q&A as well as Pro-growers Info under Commercial for lots of further information on echinacea culture. Search the Q&A section with "echinacea"

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