Start seeds indoors in late winter and set out seedlings, or start with purchased plants. Echinacea often does not bloom reliably until its second year in the garden. Echinacea is a hardy perennial that survives very cold winters. Plants become dormant in winter and re-emerge in spring.
Plants bloom heavily from July through September and are popular with both bees and butterflies. This sturdy, eye-catching perennial stands about 3-4 feet tall.
One problem worth noting is “aster yellows,” which is a virus-like disease caused by a phytoplasma. It causes deformed flowers and yellow leaves with green veins. The organism is spread leafhoppers and can also be spread on pruners during deadheading. There’s no cure, so if you notice a plant is infected, throw it away immediately. Other problems to watch out for are leaf miners, powdery mildew, bacterial spots, gray mold, vine weevils, and Japanese beetles.