Echinacea Plant

Coneflowers are quintessential prairie plants. Native to eastern North America, they’re hardy, drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and cultivated in an ever-widening range of colours . It’s hard to seek out a garden without a minimum of one sort of the bloom. Best planted in early spring (after the ultimate frost), coneflowers will germinate in about three to four weeks and produce leaves in three months but can take up to 2 years to truly produce blooms.

Purple coneflower, or Echinacea purpurea, is far and away the foremost popular sort of coneflower. it’s a fibrous rootage instead of the long taproot and woody crown found in other native species, making it more adaptable to garden conditions, and more forgiving of dividing and transplanting.

Coneflower’s daisy-like booms are literally made from several small flowers, with petals that are sterile to lure insects toward the various fertile flowers within the central disk or cone. These flowers are rich in nectar and really fashionable both bees and butterflies. Hummingbirds also enjoy coneflowers, and birds like finches eat (and spread) the seeds.

closeup of purple coneflower
Botanical NameEchinacea purpurea
Common NamePurple coneflower
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial
Mature Size2–5 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun, partial shade
Soil TypeWell-drained
Soil pHNeutral to acidic 
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorPurple, pink
Hardiness Zones3-8 (USDA)
Native AreaNorth America
pest on a purple coneflower

Purple Coneflower Care

Purple coneflowers grow well almost anywhere in USDA hardiness zones three through nine, but in colder climates, you’ll want to offer them a touch winter protection in their first year. However, once established, coneflowers are rugged and hardy.

Coneflowers grow well from seed and may be divided to form new plants. they will even be grown from stem cuttings, but often with less success. They’re easily found in garden centers and may even be purchased via order . Coneflowers start blooming in early summer and can repeat-bloom throughout the primary frost. they’ll take an opportunity after their initial bloom period, but they’re going to quickly set more flower buds.


To get the foremost blooms (and the sturdiest plants), plant your purple coneflowers during a spot that gets a minimum of six to eight hours of full sunlight every day. The plants will tolerate partial shade, but may eventually flop over, and therefore the blooms won’t be as prolific.


Coneflowers grow best during a garden that boasts a neutral soil pH of about 6.5 to 7.0. they will thrive during a sort of soil type, including sandy, rocky, and clay soils. However, they are doing not like wet or mucky soil. For best results, add a touch of compost to your mixture when planting to offer your coneflowers a successful and honest start.


Coneflowers are often listed as drought-tolerant plants, but they’re going to actually do far better with fairly regular watering. Water them daily just after planting, then transition to an in. of water per week for the remainder of the plant’s first year of life. Second-year and older plants may only need watering during droughts.

Temperature and Humidity

As a native prairie plant, purple coneflower thrives in hot, dry climates but can handle a variety of temperature and humidity fluctuations. However, they are doing not do also in very humid climates, or in rainy areas where the soil stays wet.


Although coneflowers thrive best during a soil high in organic matter, an excessive amount of supplemental fertilizer can cause them to become leggy. Adding compost each spring usually gives them the nutrition they have for healthy foliage and blooms.

Pruning Purple Coneflower

Pruning purple coneflower is useful, but not imperative. you’ll leave the plants standing throughout the winter months to feed the birds, and shearing them back within the spring will end in bushier plants that bloom longer into the season.

That being said, deadheading is that the primary maintenance for coneflowers. they’re prolific bloomers, and deadheading (removing the dead flowers from living plants) will keep them in bloom all summer.

Flowers start blooming from the highest of the stem, and every flower remains in bloom for several weeks. because the initial flower fades, more side shoots and buds will form along the stem. Keep the plants deadheaded, and you’ll keep getting more flowers. the method also will help prevent an overabundance of self-seeding from the plant.

How to Grow Purple Coneflower From Seed

Purple coneflowers are relatively easy to grow from seed. If you’d wish to save the seed, wait until the cone has fully dried—it should be darker in color and stiff to the touch. The seeds are attached to the sharp spines, so you’ll want to wear gloves, and separate the seeds from the cone. Spread them on a plate or screen to dry thoroughly before storing.

The seeds germinate best with some cold stratification. the simplest method is to sow them outdoors within the fall, either within the ground or winter sowing them in milk jugs. If you’re getting to start seed indoors, simulate the chilling period by planting seeds during a damp seed starting mixture and placing the sealed container within the refrigerator for eight to 10 weeks. Then, take them out and plant them as you normally would. The seeds need darkness to germinate, so plant them about half an in. deep and canopy them with soil. they ought to germinate within 10 to 14 days. Place the seeds under grow lights that are about an in. or two above the plant once the seedlings emerge.

Common Pests/Diseases

For the foremost part, coneflowers have only a few problems. As long because the plants are given many room permanently air circulation, they ought to not be bothered by fungal diseases. If you see mildew or spots on the leaves, simply cut them back and allow them to fill in on their own. a couple of pests enjoy coneflowers, so keep an eye fixed out for Japanese beetles, vine weevils, and leafhoppers.

Also keep an eye fixed out for aster yellows, a systemic disease that causes growth deformities within the flowers. It can affect many different flowers, not just those within the Compositae there’s no known cure and it’s spread by sap-sucking insects like leafhoppers, so affected plants should be removed and destroyed as soon as possible so as to guard other nearby plants.

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