I absolutely love daisies. :))) It's probably my favorite flower. Echinacea has pretty pastel flowers that look a lot like daisies. It's an herb I'm going to try to grow this year. :))) It has a light fragrance to it that makes it perfect for the garden. Echinacea is suppose to be very easy to care for. It can withstand very hot and humid weather. They do prefer soil that is treated with compost and rock phosphate in the spring. When planting Echinacea in the garden you want to plant them about a foot to two feet apart. When the flower heads are dried you can snip them off to care for the plant. You want to keep the soil moderately most. If you are in an area with cold winters like I am, you probably want to cover echinacea in the winter with hay to ensure it comes up the next year. This is being extra careful though. More often then not Echinacea is an herb that tends to take care of itself and be very hardy.
This is a great herb for healing a variety of problems. Native Americans discovered that it's roots were most effective in healing. The roots of echinacea contain a substance that acts as a "blood purifier". It also is a very effective antibiotic. It can be effective on many things from snakebites, to tumors, exzema, infections, strep throat and so many more. It really is an amazing herb to keep on hand. If you go to any drug store you are likely to see echinacea used quite frequently, most often in the cold and flu products. If you feel a cold or the flu coming on, if you take this right at the beginning of it, it can cut down the length of the cold and the symptoms of it. The roots and the entire plant can be very useful in treating many skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, sors, and burns. With skin conditions not only does it work as a wonderful antibiotic but it actually helps to regenerate skin.
If you are wanting to store the roots it's best to wait until the plant has gone through several frosts and it begins to die. You can then take the root, clean it and dry it for storage. You can replant the crown of echinacea to start a new plant in the spring. This plant will not be as strong as the first plant though. You are better off splitting them up and planting them in different areas if you wish to use the roots each year. The best time to split the plant is after it has flowered. If you are using the flowers it is best to pick them first thing in the morning. If you are harvesting the entire plant cut it in full blom in the morning. Process it as quickly as you can. You can dry the plant traditionally but to keep maximum medicinal effect you will want to use it immediately or dry it very quickly.
Love and Blessings,