How to Grow Echinacea Throughout the Season
Growth Habit: Echinacea are clump-forming perennials that grow to a mature size of between 12-36 inches wide and up to four feet tall. The size depends on the variety. Plants have an upright habit with large flowers with cone-shaped centers borne on tall, straight stalks.
Staking: These plants are sturdy and rarely require staking. Occasionally, plants growing in partial shade will become tall and floppy. You can stake plants using a single stake and connecting individual stalks to the stake with soft twine.
Watering: Echinacea is a low-water plant; however, you’ll need to water young plants to help them establish new roots. That is usually a sequence of every day or every other day right after planting, moving to a couple of times per week, to once per week, to every other week, to watering only when your area is experiencing extreme drought. The second year after planting and beyond you should not have to water Echinacea at all unless you’ve gone eight weeks or more without rain. They are that drought-tolerant.
Fertilizing: Most perennials like to live lean, and don’t need seasonal fertilizer applications. Mulching Echinacea plants in the spring with compost should be enough unless your garden has specific nutrient deficiencies. If your plants are growing lots of leaves but no flowers, or the leaves are strangely colored (purple or yellow) get a soil test to determine which nutrients plants are missing and fertilize accordingly.
Mulching: Do not bury the plant stem, but mulch in the spring with compost to improve soil fertility around the plant.
Trimming & Pruning: You can prolong the already- long bloom period of Echinacea plants by deadheading them. Cut dead flowers back to a leaf where you can see a bud ready to swell and break. Toward the end of the bloom, leave some flowers on the plant to dry and go to seed. Birds love to snack on the seeds, which is enough of a reason to keep them, but the plants will also self-sow, allowing you to end up with some freebies during the next growing season.
Control size and delay blooming of the entire plant by cutting plants back in June to 30 inches tall. If you prune some of your plants, but not all of them, you’ll have a nice, long, staggered coneflower bloom season.
Echinacea: End of Season Care
Let plants stand until they are fully dormant and dry. Seeds are an important wildlife food source. Cut back in mid winter when you’re tidying up the garden.
Dividing & Transplanting: Echinacea plants do not like to be divided or transplanted. Because they establish taproots, it’s difficult to fully remove the plant from the ground, and once re-planted they have a difficult time re-establishing. If you must transplant, do so in the spring, and dig as large of a root ball around the plant as you can manage. Replant immediately.
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Purple Coneflower, also called Echinacea, is famous across the country for its stunning purple flowers and golden center cones. A perennial butterfly and bee magnet, this native wildflower is extremely easy to grow and looks equally at home in the garden, meadow, or vase. Leave your Purple Coneflower planting in place over the winter to attract goldfinches and other songbirds. 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds are guaranteed to grow.Learn More
Echinacea: Extra Info
Echinacea has been used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including infections and wounds. It is still a popular herbal supplement. In addition to this use, Echinacea is almost unmatched in its garden utility. It is equally at home in the formal garden setting or a wildflower meadow. Pair it with salvias, catmint, and other cottage garden plants for the former, and with Gaillardia, Asclepias, Goldenrod, and Rudbeckia in the latter.