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Why do my echinacea look like this ☹️

I bought echinacea seeds and sowed them according to the packet instructions in a seed tray about 2 months ago and this is it!!! Pretty poor results! I’ve put them in a pot as I needed to free up the seed tray. Should I give up on them or leave them to see what happens? Next time what should I do differently?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Apart from the mollusc damage, those look pretty normal to me.  They only start really growing properly from the 2nd year onwards.  I would have potted each seedling individually into 4" pots, moving them to 6" pots when the roots start coming out of the bottom, then overwintering them in a coldframe etc.  Like most hardy perennials, they are extremely susceptible to slugs and snails for the first year or two so you have to molly-coddle them, especially in the spring when growth starts again.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    edited August 2019
    One of those looks like Borage  :/

    Once you get them going they will self seed regularly. I have some that self seeded this year and despite the dry are doing well. 

    Are yours getting enough sun I wonder? 

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,996
    The one with the crinkly leaf is definitely a borage plant.
    I would put about 4 grains of slug pellet in there as they’re in a pot.
    they may have been better if you’d potted them in small individual pots. 3” would be ideal. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Oh ok don’t feel so bad now! Yep terrible problem with slugs here the garden slopes away to a stream and a ditch not in my garden & a shady bramble filled area of trees and ivy so I would think slug heaven 😡 I grew loads of cosmos too I thought I’d have enough but the damn slugs got half of them too .

    yes probably borage as I decided to sow seeds to help attract bees! I’m learning all the time and hopefully this years little plants will survive to be nice ones next year!

    im reluctant to use slug pellets as there’s loads of birds around here.
  • I started using wool pellets against slugs instead of the blue ones (since I found out that we have hedgehogs in the neighbourhood) - they do the job just as well. I put a handful around the particularly vulnerable plants, like delphiniums or young plugs. 
    Not sure what helps more, the wool pellets or the fact that I stopped putting hedgehogs in danger of poisoning and they are eating more of the slugs now, but the slugs seem under control at the moment. 
  • Thanks for the info big blue sky I’ll look for wool next time I go to the garden centre!
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,996
    If you want to grow borage just throw the seeds on the earth and walk away, they’re not keen on being transplanted but will grow into lovely big plants if left to nature. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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