Coneflowers - a must for any garden
The exploding Coneflower craze means we are no longer limited to purple/pink flowers. Our palette of color has expanded thanks to world-wide breeders, who in addition to flowers, have given us new flower forms, habits, heights and even expanded bloom times. Coneflowers provide nectar for pollinators, and have the added benefit of producing seed for songbirds later in the season.
Echinacea or Coneflower is a perfect sun perennial for late summer color. Their striking, colorful blooms have a prominent central cone, and are held high on sturdy stems. Cutting the flowers promotes new buds, and new flowers for extended bloom time - plus they are delightful for cut flower bouquets. Because Coneflowers are native over a wide range of the country, they don't need as much water, or coddling if sited correctly.
Why Root Size Matters
The plants you buy from Great Garden Plants are for the most part, larger than other mail order companies. Our 1 qt pots hold a vigorous root structure, which means your plants will take off quickly & establish better in your garden. Don't worry if the plants do not have much top growth when you first receive them. Once the weather warms, and your plants have had a chance to settle into their new environment, they will start to really take off! You'll be amazed at how many blooms you'll have the first year!
How to Plant/Grow Echinacea
Coneflowers love the sunny garden, but also perform well in partial shade. They grow best in moderately fertile, humus rich soil with good drainage. The one thing they detest is poorly drained, or constantly damp soil.
Once established, they can tolerate drier areas of the garden. It does take a couple of years for the plants to develop their thick tap root which penetrates deep for moisture, making the Coneflower an ideal plant for a drought tolerant garden, or areas of water conservation.
Dig a hole about 12-18" inches deep in a sunny, or partially shaded location. Add peat moss to your planting area if needed. Remove plant from pot, place in hole, and fill in, keeping the plant's root ball at the same depth as it was planted in it's pot. Water well to settle the soil around the roots. Give your perennial bed about 1 inch of water a week, particularly in newly planted areas.
Lightly top dress in spring with a 12-12-12 fertilizer on a yearly basis.
Deadheading is beneficial for continual bloom. You can leave the seed heads on at the end of the season which provide winter interest, and are attractive to songbirds.
Rabbits love coneflowers more than one can imagine. Provide a cage (you can do this with chicken wire from a hardware store) As the plants grow, you'll not notice the wire.