Some of the internet sites claim that echinacea seed should be placed at a small depth of 1/4 inch into soil, but not covered at that time, the reason being that they need light to germinate. And just after they germinate, they should be covered with 1/4 inch layer of soil. (This suggestion seems to be valid for both growing from small containers and directly outdoors)

Is this true? Is that crucial? Does someone have some related experience?


The content of a bag I bought from a local seed shop: 0.5 gr, it should be around 90 seeds

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All seeds are 2mm-3mm long.

The exact species is Echinacea angustifolia. The seed shop says the germination rate is 60%, but I doubt it, it is unusually high, but we'll see.

Update - Match 8 - day 0

Three seeds are placed in each cell, on the surface of the soil, and lightly patted. So there were around 130 seeds in the bag. I found that seeds just 'glued' to my wet finger, so I used just my finger to spread seeds, cell by cell, three at the time. The soil was wet, but I also sprinkled water over each cell afterwards.

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I have more seed bags for starting them in the garden directly, but I am going to do it in mid-spring.

Update - March 9 - day 1

I covered the tray with a transparent nylon cover:

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The tray is not 100% sealed, but I gather this is enough to keep the soil moist.

The cover is actually a cover for shirts and other clothes that dry cleaning shops regularly use.

I intend to keep the cover for a week. I am going to open it every few days for 10 min, to refresh the air.

Update - March 4th - day 4

I wanted just to refresh air around seeds today (by removing the cover for 10 min), however, unexpectedly, I discovered that some seed already sprouted! I removed the cover permanently.

Update - April 6th - day 29

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2 Answers 2


I just scatter seed on the soil surface and lightly pat them down. Echinacea grows easily from seed sown this way but faster with a root cutting. Usually surface sown seed, besides needing sunshine to sprout, benefit from rain, snow and abrasion. This naturally scarifies the hard seed coat which has evolved to endure these effects and remain viable years later.


Self seeding flowers have seeds that either need light to germinate, or are indifferent to light. Whereas some other plant seeds are inhibited by light.

Since Echinacea readily self seeds, and germinates after cold stratification, at at time of low light levels, I suspect it does not need light to germinate.

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