Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 23, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Cold moist stratification of Echinacea purpurea
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was looking at your info on Purple Coneflowers and it says: "Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification for two months improves germination." What is Cold-moist stratification? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is a wonderful, easily grown native plant, occurring in many parts of the United States. Besides being a beautiful, tall flower, it attracts butterflies, and if the blooms are not dead-headed too quickly, the seeds in the large cone-shaped center will invite birds to dine.

To raise the percentage of success when you are trying to propagate the coneflower, cold moist stratification is sometimes advised. Let me refer you to a previous article by Mr. Smarty Plants on the process of cold moist stratification. Cold stratification involves mixing seeds with an equal amount of a moist medium (like sand) in a closed container and storing in a refrigerator at about 40 deg. Check from time to time to make sure the medium is moist but not wet. However, you should note that this type of dormancy may be satisfied naturally if seeds are sown outdoors in the fall. In other words, let Nature take its course.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

More Propagation Questions

Transplanting and grafting pecan in Granbury TX
May 18, 2010 - I found several native pecans on my property this spring. Apparently they grew from nuts buried by squirrels. I put small protective fences around them and plan to dig and move them (bare root) next...
view the full question and answer

How to plant a gooseberry bush
November 22, 2008 - Please, if somebody can help, I need to know how to plant the gooseberry bush. Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Growing native trees from seeds
March 25, 2011 - I'm trying to let large empty sections of my property revert back to woods by means of natural seeding. I have existing White Oaks, Water Oaks, Yaupon Hollies, Sweet Gums, Loblolly Pines, American E...
view the full question and answer

Trimming prairie coneflower for lower height when blooming in Hampshire IL
August 16, 2009 - Can the prairie coneflower, Ratibida Columnifera, be cut by half or some amount before setting flower buds to force the plant to bloom at a shorter height? If not, when is the best time to dig and tra...
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.