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Echinacea Flowers: Everything You Need To Know

Echinacea Flowers: Everything You Need To Know

Everything You Need To Know About Echinacea Flowers (Coneflower)

Echinacea, also known as “coneflowers” and part of the daisy family, is a popular perennial for midsummer blooms. Do you want to grow echinacea flowers yourself? Learn how to plant them the right way and get more caring tips in this blog post.

Quick guide:

  • Planting season: Spring
  • Place: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil
  • Water: Drought tolerant, but new plants need water occasionally. Lightly water when the top three inches of potted coneflowers are dry
  • Fertiliser: Fertiliser is rarely needed. Use a water-soluble 10-10-10 element for potted coneflowers
  • Mulch: Thin layers of compost, then mulch on top of the soil surface
  • After blooming: Cut back stems to soil level once they wither or after the first frost

What is Echinacea?

The echinacea plant is a popular wildflower native to the eastern and central United States. The plants are widely cultivated for their beautiful daisy-like flowers, each in a stunning flower colour such as pink, yellow, white, and even multicoloured. Echinacea is resilient, tolerating various soil conditions and requiring minimal maintenance. The flowers are also great for beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees. These benefits make them a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Did you know that the pale purple coneflower (echinacea purpurea) with its narrow petals is the most common and readily available variety of this striking plant?

Our Best Tips For Growing Echinacea

1. Planting Echinacea

Echinacea prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The flowers are drought-tolerant and can grow in poor soil, but the results may vary. With the following steps, you will plant coneflowers successfully for good health and vibrant blooms:

  1. Dig a hole and set the plant so that its root ball is level with the soil surface.
  2. Fill with soil into the top of the root ball, space plants one to three feet apart depending on size at maturity, and water thoroughly.
  3. Spread thin layers of compost, then mulch on top of the soil surface to help keep plants moist, establish roots, and prevent weeds.

2. Growing Echinacea

Echinacea is drought tolerant, but new plants need water occasionally and more often if spring is especially dry, especially in the first season. The flowers seldom need fertiliser. To delay blooming until (early) autumn and promote compact growth, you can cut back the stems by about a foot when the plants start blooming. For staggered bloom heights and times, cut only a few stems.

3. Echinacea Care After Blooming

In colder areas, spread some light mulch during late autumn to help protect the roots from winter damage. Cut back stems to soil level once they wither or after the first frost. This will help promote healthy new growth in spring. If you wish to divide or transplant coneflowers, you can do so in (early) spring or autumn.

Learn more: How to Grow Echinacea?

Growing An Echinacea Plant In A Pot

A coneflower is often planted in the ground as a hardy perennial. However, they can be grown in containers as long as the pot is large enough to accommodate their taproot. Good to know: DutchGrown does not sell potted plants. The following steps will help you plant Echinacea in pots:

  1. Use containers of 2–3 gallons or larger size with drainage holes. Line the bottom of the pots with broken stones for drainage.
  2. Securely fill the container halfway with potting soil and tamp it down.
  3. Plant the root system an inch beneath the edge of the holder, spreading out its roots.
  4. Add in dirt slowly until flush with the top layer of the root ball, then compress slightly.
  5. Douse copiously at ground level when the soil is dry to the touch.

Echinacea Care For Plants In Pots

After you have successfully planted the roots in pots, it is important to take care of your echinacea plants. Even after they have finished flowering to encourage new flowering in the next growing season. Use the following tips:

  • Fertilise every few weeks using a water-soluble 10-10-10 element.
  • For sustained blooming, cut off flowers nearer to their base. When plant development eases off in fall weather, trim plants down to the soil level to endure wintertime.
  • Transfer to a chilly region, between 4–10°C (40º–50ºF), that has nominal light to partial shade.
  • Inspect the soil each couple of weeks and lightly water when the top three inches are dry.
  • As new growth appears in the spring, move it to a brighter, warmer area between 15–21°C (60º–70ºF), as this will help prepare it for outdoor living during the spring and summer seasons.
  • Avoid irrigating foliage from above as it can induce fungal growth on leaves. Instead, try drenching at soil plane level.
  • Utilise an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution spray if any aphids or bugs turn up.
  • Every 3 to 4 years in spring, once new growth commences, segment and rehome echinacea crops.

Choose Your Favourite Echinacea Bare-Roots at DutchGrown

At DutchGrown, you will find several varieties of Echinacea bare roots that sprout beautiful flowers in vibrant colours. From pink to yellow, multicoloured or a mix. Our bare roots come from Holland, and we ship them all over the UK. Browse our collection of Echinacea bare-roots and choose your favourites for your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions About Echinacea Plants

Is Deadheading Echinacea Necessary?

Deadheading coneflowers are a matter of preference. If you deadhead right after the flower fades, you ensure long-lasting flowers and prevent reseeding. However, if you can wait until late winter, your bird visitors, especially goldfinch, will enjoy those seed heads. Echinacea is well known for self-seeding, so if you keep them welcoming to pollinators, you'll have them blooming in multiple places in the garden, attracting more bees and butterflies.

Does Echinacea Spread?

Echinacea is not an aggressive plant, but it will naturally self-seed and spread, which you can encourage if you wait to cut back until late winter. If you prefer to prevent this, simply deadhead the flowers right after they fade. Keep in mind that hybrid varieties will not self-sow as most are sterile, which means they do not produce viable seeds.

Echinacea Flowers: Everything You Need To Know
Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist
Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist

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