Seeds require a “cold stratification” or cold treatment before they will germinate. To start seeds inside, mix the seeds into ½ cup of moist sand (or paper towel) and place in a sealed plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 6 weeks before planting. Then start seeds inside 4/1-6/1, 1/16" deep. Days to germination: 14-21. Transplant outside May-July 12-18" apart.
Alternatively, sow seeds outside in late summer, fall or early spring (before March 1st) so they are naturally exposed to the cold. Plant in full sun location. Prepare area by removing weeds and loosen soil surface with a rake. Hand broadcast (sow) seeds evenly over area. Water seeds with a light sprinkle after sowing. From seed, these plants can take 1-3 years to become established and large enough to flower. We also recommend sowing annual plant seeds to fill in the area until the native plants get established. Try Blanket Flower, Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, Dyer’s Coreopsis, Calendula, or Cosmos.
For cut flowers: harvest young (newly opened) flowers. Petals are edible and make a nice display on salads. Roots can be dug and made into Echinacea tea.
It is easy to save seeds from Purple Coneflower. Hand collect seeds from mature flower heads before the birds get them.