All Things Gardening forum: Hybrid Echinacea, NOT for me!

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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

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frankrichards16
Oct 13, 2013 8:26 PM CST
In 2008 I became very interested in the new hybrid Echinaceas. I ended up buying many: All that Jazz, Harvest Moon, Summer Sky, Sunrise, Tiki Torch, Doubledecker, Sundown, Twilight, After Midnight, Kims Knee High, Kims Mop Head, Pink Double Delight and Lilliput. There may have been some others, but you get the idea.

Prior to this fetish with the hybrids, I had started Common Echinacea, Magnus and Swan White from seed. These plants were all doing quite well (for many years) in my garden beds. So, as I purchased these new hybrid plants, I planted them along side of the old standards (in several different beds).

Bottom line is that most of these new hybrids died within a year or two. Some lasted slightly longer, but this year (2013) the only Echinacea I have are the old standards.

Hybrid Coneflowers may come in many colors and shapes, but they are apparently NOT for me:)
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Oct 13, 2013 8:46 PM CST
My experience is pretty much the same. The same thing happens here with Rudbeckias.....
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Oct 13, 2013 8:56 PM CST
Yep, I'm with you. I still have some of the hybrids but not going to buy more. There are some other nice new seed varieties out there. Pow Wow Berry and White and Cheyenne Sprit.

http://cubits.org/echinaceas/ You might like to read what others are saying about these as well.
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[Last edited by springcolor - Oct 13, 2013 9:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 14, 2013 7:35 AM CST
I agree, the hybrids don't last but a couple of years. With the cost per over $10 a pop, I'll stick to the seed varieties even though some of the hybrid blooms are beautiful.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
Oct 14, 2013 8:10 AM CST
I've had the same experience as the rest of you. Pretty disappointing.
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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

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frankrichards16
Oct 14, 2013 12:12 PM CST
I have detailed records of what I purchased and the cost. It would be too depressing to total:(
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Oct 14, 2013 12:42 PM CST
Same here. I got lots of the fancy new colors and within two years they were all dead.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Oct 14, 2013 3:57 PM CST
Same here. Echinacea 'Harvest Moon', 'Sundown', and 'Sunrise' flowered for about 3 years, then disappeared. Echinacea paradoxa failed after only 1 year. Maybe that's the "bad parent"? Meanwhile, 'White Swan' and 'Ruby Star' are going strong and have seeded themselves abundantly.
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Oct 15, 2013 2:57 AM CST
I am glad I found this thread. I have admired them for some time but only tried growing Double Delight but it only lasted a of yrs. Thanks for saving me a lot of cash.

Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 15, 2013 8:18 AM CST
Now I'm wondering if these were divided in the fall if they could be kept going? I have a few I may try that with. BTW, Harvest moon has been around about five years for me.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Oct 15, 2013 9:50 AM CST
Fall may not be the best time to divided as I think they do much better if the plants are well established before winter.
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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

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frankrichards16
Oct 15, 2013 12:49 PM CST
Most of the marketing hype on these hybrids mention "vigorous" and "easy to grow." No mention of "easy to die."

Oh yes, if I remember correctly, most of the patent applications for these hybrids also use "vigorous" in the description:)

This appears to be a new meaning of the word, but I am all for it. Specifically, I am 70 years old & "vigorous!"

Makes me feel good:)
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 15, 2013 12:54 PM CST
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Thing is, YOU probably are vigorous!

I planted all my new Echinaceas last fall and didn't lose any of them, but I am in central Georgia.
Name: Maria
Victoria, BC (Zone 7b)
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Pwinget
Oct 15, 2013 1:42 PM CST
I'll look for White Swan next year. I had originally bought a bunch of echinaceas, but returned them as soon as I read that they died or reverted after a year or two. I then bought echinacea seed. I was wary of buying anything other than the standard purple, but if White Swan is good, I'll go for that one as well.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 15, 2013 4:07 PM CST
The seed varieties have all been good for me.
Name: Evelyn
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 25, 2013 9:49 PM CST
I, also, purchased a few of the "named varieties", which did not even come back after the first winter. I won't be wasting my money again! I agree
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Oct 27, 2013 4:40 AM CST
I just got here.
Altho my echinacea collection is small I bought #2 Hot Summers and a few Secret Joy to add to Summer Sky in 2012.
The first 2 never got taller than 6 inches the second season so instead of seeing plants increase they just never did much.
There was a article on Aster Yellows and I assumed that was the problem. I dug all the new plants and kept the unaffected older ones and chalked it up to a bad experience.
No more echies for me.The Ruby Giant,Purple cone that was here when we moved in and Summer Sky are all the echies I ever intend to have.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Oct 28, 2013 9:21 PM CST
I also used to have a lot of problems with them. From what I see some series are much better then others. Frank most of the ones you mentioned are from the Big Sky series which were one of the first with a big color selections. Other then Solar Flare I have never had any luck with these. Terra Nova introductions seem to be improving over the last few years .AB cultivars have done very well for me. For the singles go with Pow Wow and Cheyenne Spirit both can be grown from seed and do very well and come in almost all colors.

For your soil all I can say is drainage , I add lots of sand to the mix.
Only feed with a handful of Bonemeal they do not like much food.
Do not let first year tissue culture plants to flower the first season, I know this one is hard so I let them flower once just to see what the flower looks like.
Plant in a raised area where water can not puddle or freeze over them, Causes them to rot.
When cutting down in the Fall leave around 8 inches to protect the crown.
Do not mulch close to the crown to avoid rot.
And I do not plant after July , they need a longer time then most for root development.

http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/home-and-garden/articles/a...
[Last edited by NJBob - Jul 8, 2014 6:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Oct 29, 2013 3:40 AM CST
Much the same experience here with the newer tissue culture echinaceas. Pink Double Delight lasted pretty long but bit the dust last year along with many other echs. 2012 was a hot dry summer, and a bad bug year. I lost a lot of my coneflowers to leafhoppers and aster yellows.

This year I started some from seed (read that "cheap")- Cheyenne Spirit, Pow Wow Berry, and Warm Summer. I got pretty reds, oranges, bright pink, and yellows. I hope they survive winter despite my recent neglect.

Karen
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Nov 11, 2013 7:45 PM CST
I just dug some black eyed susan up from the road side where I live and they came back every year by the gobs! I bought a purple cone flower from the nursery but I don't remember the name of it. It lived for 5 or 6 years and was still going when I moved away. The strange thing is, it made seeds, (I seen the finches eat them) but none of them ever came up. It was very unusual for me to find a sprout. Most of them didn't do anything. When I was in OK there were blanket flowers, really pretty on the side of the roads. I seen some at Lowes potted, but was disappointed that they didn't have nearly the same vibrant coloring to them. I wonder if the wild ones would perform better than the purchased kinds? Does anyone have experience with blanket flowers coming back year after year?

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