En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 a young lilac
November 05, 2012 - This past spring I planted a hybrid lilac in the ground. The weather here has started to get cold, and much more so at night. Also, the temperatures go from warm to cold and back again as if unsure wh...
view the full question and answer

Time to mulch without inhibiting seeds in Hitchcock, TX
March 17, 2010 - When would be the best time of year to put down mulch, if I want my native plants to re-seed? I don't want to bury the seed under mulch layers or new dirt. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Gathering seeds of Indian Blanket from Duncanville TX
June 09, 2012 - We have a field full of Indian Blanket that are blooming now and would like to share some seeds with our friends! Where is the seed on them and I take it we wait till they are done blooming to get the...
view the full question and answer

Controlling size of red yucca in Austin
March 13, 2009 - I have planted red yucca in my backyard, which produces many flowering stalks for the past few years. These red yucca are becoming too large for the area that are planted in. What recommendations do...
view the full question and answer

Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
June 07, 2013 - A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center