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Hi - I was just wondering if anyone knows whether Echinaceas are biennial or perennial in the UK? I have read that they are both, and an internet search seems to imply that it depends on where you are. I am in Lincolnshire. I planted some last year and cut out all of the flowering stems before they had a chance to develop in the hope that that would make them stronger for the future. Then I found out that they only lived two years and I wished I had let them flower! I am planting some more this year, but if they are only biennial, I may well let these ones flower in the first year. Thanks for your help.
Mine come up year after year-they have been for 5 years or more and flower with no problems.
I live on the South Coast but we still have winters-in my opinion the cold is not the problem with a lot of plants it is the cold and wet that does the damage,
With any perennial it takes a year or two to reach full flowering potential-I don't think I'd remove any flowering stems just dead-head.
Species Echinacea are perennial (comes back every year) and the common Echinacea purpurea are longer lived than some of the other cultivars although they can have a tendency to just drop dead in the winter although I'm not sure if this is due to cold or wet. But its not all bad. Seeds are easy to sow July-September and over winter them in a frost free enviroment, and once established in your garden they will freely self seed in happy places.
A biennial plant is one that grows the first year and flowers the following year before dying on purpose. Foxgloves being a prime example.
The expensive brightly coloured ones die every winter here. The blue ones self seed nicely and seem very perennial.
Thanks for the advice - I appreciate it. I have got well-drained, sandy soil so fingers crossed mine might be a bit longer lived too - they are the species ones, although I also have a couple of white ones which seem a lot less vigorous (like a lot of my white versions of plants). I'll just deadhead the new ones for this year and see what next year brings me