How to propigate Cone flowers and turtle heads

Asked August 31, 2015, 9:13 AM EDT

Good Morning, Will you please tell me how I can propigate Cone Flowers, Butterfly weed and turtle heads? We have all three of these natives growing well in our garden and would like to divide or propigate them to use in other places. What are the methods that are most successful and what time of year is best. Also, is there a general resource (book, reference) you recommend that tells about how to propigate plants native to Maryland? Thank you

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Cone flower: by seed. Collect from dried seed heads. Seed germinates when temps change to 70 degrees after 90 days of moist, cold stratification at 40 degrees (or, simply, in spring after sitting in soil over the winter).

Butterfly weed: by seed. Collect pods when they yellow and split. Seed is ripe when brown. Should germinate easily when sown on the surface of the soil (probably fall) and given a "cold period" (winter). Seedlings grow well and should flower the first or second summer, but mark the plants as they emerge late in spring.

Turtlehead: by seed or (better) cuttings. Collect brown papery seed by shaking them from pointy capsules when capsules turn brown in late fall. Plant seed as for cone flower, above. Germination spotty. Seems to require light to germinate. Cuttings are more reliable and easier. Take stem cutting with two nodes in late spring.

The book we would recommend is "The New England Wild flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada" by William Cullina.