Echinacea does well with transplanting, as long as you follow a few basic steps. If your echinacea is wilting after transplant, it should be fine with a little care.
Read the rest of this article to learn all about transplanting echinacea safely and the problems that you may encounter.
- Echinacea Basics
- Why Transplant Echinacea
- When to Transplant Echinacea
- How to Transplant Echinacea
- Why is My Echinacea Wilting After Transplanting?
- What to Do if Echinacea is Wilting After Transplanting?
- Final Thoughts on Echinacea Wilting After Transplant
Echinacea does well in zones 3 through 9. They can grow to 2 to 5 feet, depending on the variety. Most prefer full sun, but partial shade can be ideal during hot summer months.
Echinacea blooms for months during the summer and fall. It attracts a wide variety of birds and pollinators. These include hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
Spent seed heads will spread seeds, allowing your echinacea to propagate on its own. If you want to control the spread of the flowers, you can deadhead them in the fall.
Some gardeners choose to collect the seeds and plant them in selected areas.
Why Transplant Echinacea
Echinacea actually requires dividing and transplanting about every 4 years. This keeps it from getting too crowded. You can also transplant echinacea if you want to move them to a new area.
Perhaps you want to enjoy the beautiful flowers in another area of your yard, or they need better soil or light conditions.
When to Transplant Echinacea
It’s important to transplant echinacea at the right time. During the summer months, the flower focuses all its resources on producing those blooms you enjoy so much.
The heat of summer also puts stress on the plant, which affects the odds of a successful transplant.
If you transplant during the summer, there’s a good chance your echinacea will not survive.
Spring and Fall Transplanting
You’ll want to transplant your Echinacea in the spring or summer. Spring is often considered the best time for transplanting. The temperatures are mild, and the plant hasn’t begun to bloom yet.
This allows it to devote energy to root growth after transplanting.
Fall is also a good time to transplant. If you transplant during the fall, wait until the flowers have stopped blooming. Your echinacea will have time to secure its root system before winter sets in.
How to Transplant Echinacea
Transplanting your echinacea is fairly easy. You’ll just need to follow these steps for a successful transplant.
Select a Location
First, you’ll need to select a location for your transplant. The area should be full or mostly sunny. Echinacea needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. You’ll also want to space your plants between 1 and 3 feet apart. You’ll need to keep this in mind, particularly if you are dividing your Echinacea plant.
You’ll need to water your plant well the day before transplanting. You can also wait for a day when it rains, and perform the transplant the next day.
Digging the Hole
Echinacea plants have a taproot system. The taproot can grow as deep as 5 feet into the ground. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go 5 feet down. However, you should go at least 1 foot to get plenty of taproots.
You’ll need to dig the hole at least 6 inches wider than the parent plant to keep the roots intact as well.
Now you are ready to remove the echinacea from the ground. Lever it up using a shovel. If the plant is large, you may need someone to help you get it out of the hole.
Now you are ready to divide your echinacea. When dividing, the sections should be about 8 inches in diameter. Remove any unhealthy or dead roots during the process.
Echinacea Purpurea can be divided because it has a fibrous root system. Dividing other types of echinacea is not recommended, because it’s difficult to divide a plant with a taproot.
Replant your echinacea. You may need extra topsoil. Compost is also beneficial when replanting. Once they are replanted, water them well.
Why is My Echinacea Wilting After Transplanting?
Generally, Echinacea wilts after transplanting because its roots are struggling to take in water.
It’s possible that you transplanted them at the wrong time. It’s also possible that the roots were damaged during the transplanting process.
Sometimes, it’s just the nature of echinacea. They can wilt and look close to death after transplanting, but bounce back and be just fine after a few weeks.
What to Do if Echinacea is Wilting After Transplanting?
Depending on why your echinacea is wilting, you may be able to save the plant.
If you transplanted your echinacea during the summer, it’s possible to save it. You’ll need to provide it with shade. If the area isn’t shady, an umbrella can work well for this purpose. You may also need to remove the flowers from the plant, to allow it to focus on root growth.
Many plants will survive damaged roots with a little extra care. First, it’s best to plant it in fresh compost. If you’ve already replanted, add some compost to the topsoil.
Provide your Echinacea with shade. Use an umbrella if needed.
Use a root growth hormone to help stimulate root growth.
Prune the plant, or at least remove any flowers. This will allow the Echinacea to focus on the task of growing roots, with less demand placed on keeping the plant healthy.
Water carefully. It’s best to water lightly and frequently until the plant recovers. Too much water can drown the roots, preventing them from taking in water and nutrients- something that can happen other plants like Oleander. Too little can stress the plant due to dehydration.
Don’t worry about adding fertilizer. The plant’s roots will not be able to take in extra nutrients at this time, and too much fertilizer can cause root damage.
If you are sure that you didn’t damage the echinacea’s roots, and you transplanted it at the right time of year, the plant may just need an adjustment period.
Many gardeners say that their Echinacea will look poor after transplanting but bounce back just fine. Some even say they’ve come to expect it anytime they perform a transplant.
Final Thoughts on Echinacea Wilting After Transplant
If your Echinacea is wilting after transplanting, odds are it will be just fine. It may require some extra tlc, including soft soil or compost, root growth hormone, or shade while it recovers.
It’s normal for the plant to be stressed and require an adjustment period after transplanting, so it may look wilted, only to liven back up within a week or two.