Growing Coneflowers / Echinacea plants
Growing coneflowers, which is the common name for the
perennial Echinacea, is extremely easy. Coneflower plants add beautiful color to any
landscape or garden and will grow in a wide range of conditions. Plants are hardy in very
cold regions of the US, they tolerate poor soil conditions and withstand drought.
The only thing that coneflower plants do not like is wet, soggy soils.
There are nine species of Echinacea but the one gardeners
are most familiar with is the species
'purpurea'. It is from this wild form of coneflower that most of the new hybrids
originated. By crossing Echinacea purpurea with other native strains such as 'paradoxa' breeders have developed some very exciting new
Coneflowers will tolerate some shade but for best results
plant them in an area that receives full sun. Many of the new hybrids need the UV rays of
bright sunshine to produce their vivid colors. As mentioned before a well drained soil is
an absolute must. Echinacea plants will fail almost immediately if planted in soggy soil.
The plants are not finicky about soil but will do much better if planted in a soil that
has been amended with plenty of organic matter. Watering the plants is usually not
required as they are very drought tolerant but they will need some help with water after
being transplanted. Water newly planted coneflowers just enough to keep the soil moist for
at least two weeks after you plant them. Keep an eye on through out the first year and
water during extended dry spells. After the first year they should have developed a strong
enough root system to make it on their own.
As your coneflowers grow over the years and develop into
good size plants you may want to divide the clumps. If you live in the North where your
growing season is short and winters are cold you should divide coneflower plants in late
summer or spring. If you live in a warmer climate division should be done in fall. To
divide plants just follow these instructions:
- Start by trimming back most of the foliage. Loosen the soil
around the plants roots - dig wide enough so that you are causing as little damage to the
clump as possible. Insert your shovel or spade under the plant and lift it out of the
ground. Pick the plant up and shake it to remove some of the excess soil.
- To divide the clump start by pulling and if the roots are
very entangled you can cut them apart with a sharp knife. Make sure that each division has
it's own root system and stems growing out of it.
- Plant the new divisions and water in well. If you do not
have the space or the time to plant the new divisions you can pot them up... just make
sure not to over water the pots.
Great video about Echinacea coneflower from