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

Plants that will grow under a magnolia tree.
April 14, 2010 - We live in California near San Diego and have a Magnolia Tree. We have tried to plant many types of flowers around the tree only to have them die. Is there a particular type of plant that we should ...
view the full question and answer

Collecting seeds for Texas Bluebell from Clifton TX
June 13, 2011 - How and when should I try and collect seeds from the Texas Bluebell?
view the full question and answer

Germination of Passiflora suberosa in Monterrey Mexico
October 26, 2009 - Hello, I need recommendation on how to germinate Passiflora seeds. I have a Passiflora suberosa plant, not on your database but native, and have fresh fuits of it. They look very much like a blueber...
view the full question and answer

Will my Lisianthus survive the winter in Minnesota for another growing season?
March 09, 2009 - Do you know if Lisianthus plants planted one year, will come back the next year? We bought 6 gorgeous healthy plants last summer from a MN grower. We enjoyed them all last Summer and are wondering if ...
view the full question and answer

How to propagate Texas red buckeye (Aesculus sp.) from seeds
May 01, 2007 - I have a Texas Red Buckeye that is doing very well. How do I propagate from the seeds that come off of that tree? Thanks,
view the full question and answer

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