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These plants have been grown organically at KoruKai Herb Farm, Banks Peninsula. Free from synthetic fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides. 

Highly photogenic herb, a truly stunning flower in the middle of summer. Plant echinacea where you can see it!

Image above: Echinacea purpurea grown amongs other herbs at KoruKai Herb Farm, Banks Peninsula

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

Growing Conditions: Echinacea grows well in full sun and well-drained loamy soil. It needs to grow 2-3 years before a root harvest, therefore good bed preparation is essential. As with many perennial crops, echinacea responds well to ample fertility and can benefit from top dressing of compost twice a year. A consistent water supply increases growth, but well established echinacea plants can tolerate long dry spells. It is suited to our New Zealand climate well with our dry summers and frosty winters. We have been grown it successfully on our farm on Banks Peninsula for 8 years now.


Planting: Plant seedlings into your prepared garden bed with lots of compost and well-rotted manure. Space plants 45cm apart and mulch around the seedlings. Make sure the growing tips are above the soil level and free of mulch to prevent rotting. Water well at planting time and then only in dry conditions.


Medicinal uses: Echinacea is a highly effective and safe immune herb that helps to jump-start the immune response in the body. It has been used successfully for hundreds of years to treat colds and flus and works well against both viral and bacterial infections.


Harvesting: The roots are easily harvested in autumn of the third year of growing it. Echinacea roots are easy to harvest by hand with a garden fork or spade. Gently loosen up the soil around the plant before lifting the whole root ball out. Shake off any soil and trim off the dried plant material from the tops. Harvest the roots leaving enough for the plants to regrow and be careful not to damage the growing tips that are already in place ready for spring.


Processing and Drying: Soil can get compacted in the central crown of the echinacea where the roots make a bit of a mat. It is helpful to quarter the roots before washing. The roots are soft and can be chopped easily. Wash roots thoroughly before drying. They dry with good airflow at 32 – 43 degrees Celsius in 3-4 days, longer if temperature is lower. Aim to get them dry within one week to prevent mould. Once fully dry (roots should snap when you break them and not bend) store in a paper bag in a dry place until needed. Can be stored for 2 years under optimum conditions (dry and cool) or turned into a tincture, which keeps for many years. Mill them in a food processor before using.


Herbal preparation: Internal use. Can be used as a tea (decoction) or turned into a tincture, powdered and capsuled or made into mouthwashes and throat sprays. It is safe to use for children and adults.


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live plant material to plant into your garden

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