Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Wednesday - August 03, 2011

From: Powthan , VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Reproducing Echinacea 'Sunbeam' from Powthan VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to reproduce a flowering plant- Sundown echinacea. I have a plant now. Can you give me info on how to do it? thanks so much.

ANSWER:

From Fine Gardening Echinaceae 'Sunbeam'-this gives the most complete information that we found on the culture of the plant, and the fact that it is a hybrid between North American natives Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) and Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow coneflower). It also has the information that propagation is by division, every 3 or 4 years.

More information and pictures from Paghat's Garden Orange Coneflower 'Sunbeam'.

From our webpage on Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower):

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or stored, stratified and sown in the spring. Plants can be multiplied by making root divisions in early spring however division seems to stimulate the development of too many stems and too few flowers.
Seed Collection: Collect mature seedheads in the fall and break them open to extract seeds.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification for two months improves germination."

The problem there is that this plant is a hybrid, and the seeds of a hybrid will either revert to one or the other of the parents, or be sterile, and not germinate at all. If you do get seeds, birds will help you with them; finches love the seeds.

From West Coast Seeds:

"A hybrid is created by crossing two unique parents. Crossing involves taking the pollen from the male and transferring it to the female. The first generation of offspring from this cross all look and act the same. They also show what's known as hybrid vigour: these plants come out stronger than their parents. But you can't plant their seed in order to raise these plants the following year. The seed collected from a hybrid plant will either resemble one of the parents, or be sterile."

So, in order to reproduce your one plant, you will first need to wait until it is 3 or 4 years old, assuming it is vigorous and has spread into a clump, and divide the clump into several individual plants. From Auburn University Horticulture, here are instructions on Division, which includes instructions and illustrations.

We don't know if you are in a hurry to get more plants; if you are, purchasing some more bedding plants to grow more clumps is about the only "fast" way to do it. As they, along with the plant you already have, get old enough to be divided, then you can divide again for more plants. By then, you may be tired of the whole thing, but you did ask. Division is ordinarily best done in late Fall or early Spring.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Yellow coneflower
Echinacea paradoxa

More Propagation Questions

Choosing the right Coreopsis species for Tennessee
November 28, 2015 - I live in Bristol Tennessee and have replaced most of my lawn with native plants. I have been trying to learn more about the Coreopsis genus. In TN, we have C. auriculata, grandiflora, lanceolata, m...
view the full question and answer

Twist-leaf Yucca flowering in Burnet County, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I recently moved to Burnet County and our property is full of twist leaf yuccas which are now blooming, but not all are blooming. Why do some twist leaf yuccas bloom and others don't? Are they m...
view the full question and answer

Germination of bluebonnets from seed
December 16, 2007 - I am having problems getting my bluebonnet (Alamo Fire and regular bluebonnets to germinate from seed). Usually I soak them in lukewarm water overnight then plant in a potting mix. I am only getting...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Emory Oak acorns
May 08, 2005 - Dear Wildflower Experts, By any chance do you know how we could obtain some Emory Oak acorns to plant on our farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland? I know itís not a given that the trees would grow...
view the full question and answer

Care and propagation of American Beautyberry
July 20, 2007 - We have an American Beautyberry growing on our lot. Before we fenced the backyard it was browsed by deer, and survived by wedging itself between the fence and a juniper tree. How can we: 1. encou...
view the full question and answer

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