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How to Harvest Coneflower Seeds

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Coneflowers are colorful members of the perennial family, producing dark purple flowers that will bloom all summer and into fall, while attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Most of us know the coneflower by its medicinal name, echinacea, a popular herbal remedy. If you have healthy coneflowers, it's easy to harvest seeds that can be planted the following spring.

Harvest coneflower seeds in later summer, while the weather is still warm and dry. Select a healthy plant with large blooms and stop watering that plant when the blooms begin to droop and fade.

Use garden shears or scissors to clip a few blooms off the coneflower plant when the bloom is dead. Pull off the petals, leaves and stems, leaving the bloom head, which will look like a large, prickly cone.

Rub the cone between your fingers to remove the seeds. Wear gloves, because the seeds can be sharp. The seeds will be thin, white tubes, and they will be connected to a green floret, which is a tiny bloom.

Put the coneflower seeds in a paper bag and put the bag in a dry, well-ventilated spot. Leave the seeds in the bag until they dry and separate from the green florets, then store the seeds in a sealed container or a zip-top bag until spring.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden shears or scissors
  • Garden gloves
  • Paper sack
  • Zip-top plastic bag

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.