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Easy-to-grow natives that bloom heavily from summer to fall. Drought tolerant and long-lasting, with magnificent displays of large daisies with coned centers.

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Native Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are highly-adaptable wildflowers that can jump from one weather extreme to the next without flinching (Seeds). Tolerating harsh winters, drought, humidity and extreme heat, as well as a variety of soils, you can rely on the Coneflowers in your landscape to bloom again the following season regardless of what's thrown at them.

Plant Echinacea Seeds: Sow echinacea seed in cell packs or flats, press into soil and cover lightly. Kept at 70°F., germination averages 10-21 days. Can direct sow echinacea seeds into prepared seed beds, ⅛ in. deep in groups of 3-4 seeds, spaced 18-24 in. apart. Thin to the strongest seedling.

Move your echinacea plants outdoors when natural day length has reached 13+ hours (early to mid April). If plants that bloom quickly are your priority, provide 9 hours of light per day for the first two weeks after germination, and then 14 hours per day thereafter. Grow Echinacea: Full sun.

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Purple coneflowers attract bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Blooms are long lasting when cut. Plants are deer resistant. Our favorite echinaceas to grow in containers are Cheyenne Spirit, the PowWows—Wild Berry and White, and the Prairie Splendors—Deep Rose, Rose Compact, and White Compact.

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150,000 Perennial 3 - 9 24 - 36 inches Summer Lavender Full sun Loam, clay, or rocky material, pH 6.1 - 7.8 Yes 70 - 75F 15 - 30 days No 1/8 inch 4 ounces per 1,000 square feet or 12 pounds per acre Keep seeds moist until germination 12 - 18 inches - Echinacea, (pronounced Ek-i-nay-see-a), commonly known as purple coneflower, is a herbaceous perennial plant with four species and six varieties all indigenous to North America, of which three, E.

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pallida var angustifolia, and E. purpurea, are grown commercially. Used in perennial borders for over 200 years, the species E. purpurea in particular is widely known, and it grows readily from Purple Coneflower seeds. Today, a move back to more natural tonics and medicines and our eclectic approach to health are contributing to a resurfacing of traditional uses of medical herbs such as echinacea.

The traditional use of the Echinacea herb plant was considered helpful for the common cold, toothache, burns and external sores, sore throat, psoriasis, rheumatism, stomach cramps and to counter the effects of poison ivy and snakebite. It has more recently claimed to be a blood purifier, an anti-infection agent (viral and bacterial), an immune system strengthener, and snakebite antidote.

The species E. pallida var. angustifolia makes its way up to South-eastern Saskatchewan and Southern Manitoba. This is quite tolerant of drought, though grows better in cultivation with adequate watering, and can tolerate fairly diverse soil types. The species E. purpurea enjoys moist areas and is often found along creeks and in seepage areas.

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Selection of good sites will be important for this wildflower seed crop since it is a root crop and a deep well drained loam to sandy loam soil will be best for growing and harvesting. The extreme tolerances of physical and chemical soil characteristics are not known. Purple coneflower generally has a deep fibrous root system and is harvested at three or four years old.

The coarse, generally hairy stems are mostly erect, either single or branched and from 24 - 36 inches tall. The basal leaves are generally slender with a long petiole (leaf stalk), to small leaves with no petiole at the top of the stem. It is important that you properly identify the purple coneflower wild flower seed species you grow and keep them separate as different parts are used from different species and they will cross pollinate.

A soil mix of 1:1:1, peat, sand and soil by volume is suggested. Literature also suggests that surface or very shallow wildflower seeding gives better results as light has some influence on germination. If sowing Coneflower herb seeds outdoors, wait in the spring until the daytime temperature consistently reaches 70F.

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Mulch over the wild flower seed is considered essential for outdoor seeding and a depth of 1/2 inch of clean straw should be effective. There are about 150,000 purple coneflower seeds per pound in E. purpurea. Purple coneflower wildflower seed will keep in sealed containers in a freezer or in a cool dry room for several years.

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The straw mulch suggested for outdoor wildflower seeding will not reduce weed occurrence to any extent, while weed infested straw may increase it. Insects, diseases, slugs, snails, nematodes, etc., are not mentioned to any extent in any available literature. As with weeds above, no chemicals are registered for these pests on purple coneflower wildflower and if the industry wishes to use organic products, (such as BT, pyrethrum, rotenone, etc.) these will have to be registered and receive a PCP No.

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Planting purple coneflower wildflower seed too dense may increase the incidence of fungal problems, especially if plantings are protected causing poor air circulation. Diseases such as fusarium, sclerotinia, pythium, phytophthora, and verticillium have been found on purple coneflower. The disease aster yellows is a problem on this wildflower and is spread by leafhoppers.

If you are interested in more information on diseases, Alberta Agriculture has a good factsheet on this disease. See and click on special crops, then search for echinacea. Nutrient requirements are another area where little information is available for Echinacea Purpurea wildflower seed. A soil in the pH range of 6-7 is suggested as best.

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A general nutrient balance for root crops should be sufficient. Literature suggests that lower nitrogen levels give higher essential oil production, so this would be one element to pay attention to. It is also suggested that nitrogen be applied in three applications, not all at one time. A soil analysis done before applying any nutrients or soil amendments is necessary, and will at least show major deficiencies.

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A daisy-family member with showy heads featuring distinctive spiny disks. Johnny’s offers several varieties of echinacea seeds for sale, in a wide range of colors, from the familiar purple to scarlet, orange, and cream. Select from easy-to-grow varieties and first-year flowering perennials for stunning bouquets and landscapes. More.

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Coneflowers, also known as , are tough little native flowers that draw butterflies, bees, and birds to the garden! Here’s how to grow this American native—and important tips on plant care, from deadheading to cutting back in June. Bright upright plants, coneflowers are a North American perennial in the Daisy family (Asteraceae).

They grow 2 to 4 feet in height with dark green foliage. They are fast growers and self-sow their seed profusely. These midsummer bloomers can flower from midsummer through fall frost! Their genus name Echinacea comes from the Latin name for hedgehog, echinus, referring to the often prickly lower stem of the plant.

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Leave the seed heads after bloom and you’ll also attract songbirds! Trouble-free, coneflowers are drought-tolerant, once established. Seeds. They can take the heat! As native plants with prickly stems, they are more deer-resistant than most flowering plants. The most common species available to gardeners is Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower. If purple doesn’t pair well with your garden’s color palette, don’t fret: coneflowers can be found in a range of bright or subdued colors.

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Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a popular perennial in Zones 3-9. Coneflowers are popular perennials with good reason. They are heat and drought resistant, easy to grow, bloom for months, make great cut flowers, and attract birds and pollinators.They come in glorious shades of pink, orange, yellow, red, and chartreuse, as well as a range of flower forms—standard shuttlecock to horizontal ruffs to doubles with a powder-puff center.

: Varieties 2 to 5 feet tall and 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide. Varies by species and zone, but typically thrive in full sun. Some may tolerate partial shade, and in hotter southern climates, some light afternoon shade can prevent burning. Varies by species and cultivar, but bloom times usually range from June to August or later.

While the purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, is most familiar to gardeners, there are other varieties including E. paradoxa, E. pallida, and E. tennesseensis. All are native to the U.S., found in areas across the Midwest and South. Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida are commonly used in herbal remedies.

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Their spiny centers and strong aroma deter deer. However, if deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost anything. Other animals that may take a taste include rabbits, squirrels and woodchucks. If you want to enjoy butterflies and songbirds in your garden plant coneflowers. For weeks, even months, during the summer and fall the blooms and seed heads will attract a multitude of winged beauties.

Other pollinators, such as honeybees and hummingbirds will visit Echinacea too. Varies by zone; sow seeds in spring or fall. Echinacea should be planted in an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day, as too much shade can result in floppy stems and foliage susceptible to powdery mildew.

Add compost to the top 2-4 inches of soil. Seeds take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to germinate, and you should see true leaves at about 12 weeks. If transplanting, dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and deep enough so that the rootball will be level with the top of the soil.

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Though deadheading is a common garden practice to encourage repeat blooming, many varieties these days are flower machines and will keep producing without snipping off spent blooms. That way you can leave them be, guaranteeing food for another beloved category of wildlife—birds, particularly small songbirds like goldfinches, which are crazy about the seeds.

Or, if you prefer to leave the dried seed heads, it can be cut down in early spring. Average, well-drained soil. Work a bit of compost in around the plants if flowers are small or poorly developed. Be careful, over-feeding can lead to an abundance of foliage and a lack of flowers.

Water regularly, but let soil dry out in between. Coneflowers need at least an inch of water weekly. Divide clumps when crowded, about every 4 years. If spent flowers are left intact, they will reseed with little effort on your part. Deadheading can help to control this if they are getting out of hand.

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One problem worth noting in Echinacea is “aster yellows,” a virus-like disease caused by a phytoplasma. Symptoms are deformed flowers, sometimes with weird tufts in the cones, and yellow leaves with green veins. The organism is spread by sap-sucking insects like leafhoppers (and can also be spread on pruners during deadheading).

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Photo by: Proven Winners. — Buy now from Proven Winners 4-8 18 to 24 inches tall, 16 to 20 inches wide Full sun to partial shade Mid to late summer Yellow The rich yellow flowers fade to creamy yellow as they age. Photo by: Rob Cardillo. 3-8 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall, 1 to 1-1/2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade May to August Light green rays with dark green cone With large fragrant flowers that are 4 to 5 inches across, ‘Green Jewel’ grows to form a compact clump.

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Photo by: Rob Cardillo. 3-8 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 1-1/2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade June to August Russet orange rays with dark brown cone Large flowers that are 4 to 5 inches across have a rose-like fragrance. Part of the Big Sky series developed by Richard Saul of Itsaul Plants.

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4-9 2 to 3 feet tall and wide Full sun to partial shade June to August Yellow rays with brown cone A combination of yellow-flowered E. paradoxa with white flowered E. purpurea ‘Alba’. Part of the Meadowbright series bred by Jim Ault. Photo courtesy: Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. 3-8 2 to 3 feet tall, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade June to August Yellow rays with orange cone Part of the Prairie Pillars collection, with long sturdy stems perfect for cut flowers, its bright yellow rays mellow as they age.

Photo by: Rob Cardillo. 3-8 2 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade June to August White rays with copper cone Somewhat shorter than the pink versions with a honey fragrance and reflexed white petals. Another white coneflower is ‘Fragrant Angel’. Photo courtesy: Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

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Flowers are 3 to 4-inches across with tall strong stems well-suited for cut-flowers. Photo by: GWI/Floramedia. 3-8 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall and wide Full sun to partial shade June to August Orange rays with dark brown cone Part of the Dream series from Terra Nova Nurseries in 2009, this coneflower holds its color for an exceptionally long time.

Others in the series are ‘Glowing Dream’ (watermelon-coral), ‘Amazing Dream’ (deep-pink) and midsize ‘Daydream’ (yellow). Photo by: Richard Bloom (Read more). 4-9 2 to 3 feet tall, 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade July to September Pale green rays that change color to magenta from the center On first viewing a photo of this plant found by avid gardener Mark Veeder, Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery thought it was Photoshopped.

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Unusual cones are deep green with hints of brown, lime green and purple. Photo by: Rob Cardillo. 3-9 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide Full sun to partial shade June to August Rose pink A circlet of short pink petals is topped with a puff of darker pink, reminiscent of anemone dahlias.

Mix early- and late-blooming varieties to enjoy colorful flowers up to 5 months. Early-bloomers like ‘Green Jewel’ and ‘Merlot’ start flowering in May, while cultivars such as ‘Fatal Attraction’, ‘Pica Bella’, and ‘Springbrook’s Crimson Star’ continue into September. Russian sage, black-eyed Susan, Shasta daisy, phlox and liatris make complimentary garden companions.

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Add color and height to a mixed container planting. Plant in masses in borders, meadows, native plant and wildflower gardens. Love perennials? Learn more, along with timely planting advice, garden design inspiration, tips and more in our weekly newsletter. Last updated: July 6, 2018 .

Coneflower (Echinacea) is an attractive plant indigenous to the North American plains that is well-loved not only for its beauty and its , but also for its medicinal value. Numerous Plains tribes, such as the Cheyenne and Sioux, used echinacea as an antiseptic and painkiller. They also used it to treat insect and snake bites.

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Even if you’re not interested in its purported medicinal properties, the upright, herbaceous perennial sprouts masses of 3- to 4-inch flowers and is a lovely addition to many garden settings. Let’s learn more! This plant takes its common name from the cone-shaped mound of tiny flowers at the center of its larger flowerhead.

The plant grows in an upright form and can become as tall as four feet. The most widely known variety, the purple coneflower, grows to about 18 inches tall, and sprouts a clump of flowers about two feet wide. The plant’s flowers are daisy-like, with attractively drooping petals in a wide range of colors.

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In addition to purple coneflower, nine other have been identified: Narrow-leaf coneflower (E - angustifolia) Narrow-leaved purple coneflower (E. serotina) Pale purple coneflower (E. pallida) Sanguine purple coneflower (E. sanguinea) Smooth coneflower (E. laevigata) Tennessee coneflower (E. tennesseensis) Topeka purple coneflower (E. atrorubens) Wavyleaf purple coneflower (E. simulata) Yellow coneflower (E.

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If you’re planting seeds, sow them at a depth of ⅛ inch in 70° to 75°F soil and expect a 15- to 30-day germination period. Some gardeners have better luck sowing the seeds in the fall, to allow for cold stratification. This is a process by which the seed freezes and thaws repeatedly, softening the seed coat and stimulating embryonic growth.

Choose a sunny spot, loosen the soil in a 10-inch-diameter circle around the planting site, and dig a hole the depth of the root ball. Lower the plant into the hole, backfill with removed dirt, and gently tamp down. Water generously. , choose a nice spring or fall day, and cut into the soil with your shovel in a circle about 6 inches out from the clump.

Use your shovel blade to cut the plant into 8-inch-diameter sections. Replace your neighbor’s portions, plant your sections in your garden, and water everything well. to encourage more blooming. You can also cut blooms in their prime to . Remove dead foliage and stems as needed. Coneflowers aren’t heavy feeders.

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During dry periods, give these colorful beauties one inch of water once a week. No supplemental water is required during the rainy season. While there are a few nasties to look out for, none pose a serious risk to plants of this type. Powdery mildew can plague echinacea. To curb this fungal disease, mix together 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap, and 1 gallon of water.

, beetles, and mites can also be a problem for these plants. Use insecticidal soaps to rid plants of these pests (Read more). Ready to add a slice of Americana to your garden? With dozens of varieties to choose from and blooms that , easy-care echinacea is certainly a worthy addition to many landscapes.

If you were to plant coneflower, would you choose a native variety or one of the new hybrids? Tell us, below in the comments section! Product photos via Holland Bulb Farms, Nature Hills Nursery, and Wayside Gardens. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure.

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Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them.

And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.

America’s grasslands are home to a brilliant array of flowers, and echinacea, or the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), is one of the best. These hardy perennials, with their large daisy-like flowers, make a lovely, water-wise choice for borders, native-grass lawns and xeric gardens.A cottage garden favorite, growing echinacea creates an impressive display of color, especially when planted among shorter perennials where the showy, purple, pink and white flowers stand above other foliage.

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This sturdy, eye-catching perennial stands about 3-4 feet tall. Echinacea is used medicinally to boost the immune system and is popular for the treatment of flu and colds (Seeds). — the ones that Grandma used to grow — add charm and beauty to your gardens. Planting instructions are included with each seed packet and shipping is FREE!​Easy-care, low-water plants produce strong pink bloomsPlant in full sun; prefers rich soil, but is very adaptableGrow from direct-seeding, nursery stock or divisionAttracts bees and butterfliesBlooms from midsummer to fall; tolerates light frost Full sun to partial shade 90-120 days from seed to flower 36 to 48 inches 12 to 24 inches apart in all directionsPurple coneflowers are not fussy and will endure most conditions.

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Generous amounts of organic compost or aged animal manure mixed into the ground prior to planting will vastly improve the health of plants (watch Flower Gardening from the Ground Up – video). Coneflowers will tolerate heat and drought.Echinacea is easy to grow from nursery stock, seed or division. Sow outdoors 1/2 inch deep when a light frost is still possible.

Flowers reliably bloom the first year from seed if sown early (see Summer Flowers for Color).Pinch off spent flowers on a regular basis — or use them as cuttings in flower arrangements — to extend the blooming period. Apply a quality flower fertilizer several times during the gardening season to promote big, beautiful blossoms.

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When the blooms dry out, cut them off and hang upside down in bundles. The seeds are contained in the heads between the spikes. Once the heads are dry and crisp they can be lightly hand-crushed, with gloves on for protection, and the seed winnowed from the chaff. Read our article on saving heirloom flower seeds here..

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. These plants are sturdy and rarely require staking.

You can stake plants using a single stake and connecting individual stalks to the stake with soft twine. 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 -

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They are that drought-tolerant. 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.

You can prolong the already- long bloom period of Echinacea plants by deadheading them - Click here. 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.

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. Let plants stand until they are fully dormant and dry.

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Cut back in mid winter when you’re tidying up the garden. 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.

As low as $19.95 Per 1/4 Pound 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.

100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds are guaranteed to grow. 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.

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Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) attract bees and butterflies to the perennial garden, while also withstanding drought, hot temperatures and some neglect. Although the plant's native range is the southeastern United States, coneflowers thrive as cultivated plants in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. These low-maintenance flowers grow readily from properly collected seeds, so you can expand your bed at minimal cost.

Purple coneflowers are quintessential prairie plants. They are hardy, drought-tolerant, and long-blooming, and they are being cultivated in an ever-widening range of colors. It's hard to find a garden without at least one variety. Coneflowers are a type of echinacea, a native eastern North American genus with about 10 species.

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It has a fibrous root system, rather than the long tap root and woody crown found in other native species, and it is more adaptable to garden conditions and more forgiving of dividing and transplanting. Coneflower's daisy-like flower is actually made up of several small flowers. The petals are sterile and are there to lure insects toward the many fertile flowers in the central disk or cone.

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Coneflowers grow well from seed and can be divided to make new plants. They can also be grown from stem cuttings but with less success. They're easily found for sale in garden centers and mail order. The plants start blooming in early summer to midsummer and repeat-bloom through frost. They may take a break after their initial bloom period, but they will quickly set more flower buds.

They will tolerate partial shade, but plants may flop and blooms won't be as prolific. Coneflowers grown in gardens prefer a neutral soil pH of about 6.5 to 7.0. They can thrive in a variety of soil types, including sandy, rocky, and clay soils. However, they do not like wet or mucky soil.

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Coneflowers are often listed as drought-tolerant, but they will do much better with regular watering. Water them daily just after planting, then transition to an inch of water per week. Second-year and older plants may only need watering during droughts. As a native prairie plant, echinacea thrives in hot, dry climates but can handle a range of temperature and humidity fluctuations (

Although coneflowers thrive best in a soil high in organic matter, too much supplemental fertilizer can cause them to become leggy. Adding compost each spring usually gives them the nutrition they need for healthy foliage and blooms. You can leave the plants standing through winter to feed the birds. Shearing them back in the spring will result in bushier plants that bloom longer into the season.

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They are prolific bloomers, and deadheading (removing the dead flowers from living plants) will keep them in bloom all summer. Each flower remains in bloom for several weeks. Flowers start blooming from the top of the stem. As the initial flower fades, more side shoots and buds will form along the stem.

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Deadheading also helps prevent an overabundance of self-seeding from the plant. Purple coneflowers are relatively easy to grow from seed. If you'd like to save the seed, wait until the cone has fully dried. It will be darker in color and stiff to the touch. The seeds are attached to the sharp spines.

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Spread them on a paper plate or screen to dry thoroughly before storing. The seeds germinate best with some cold stratification. The easiest method is to sow them outdoors in the fall, either in the ground or winter sowing them in milk jugs. If you are going to start seed indoors, simulate the chilling period by planting seeds in damp seed starting mix and placing the sealed container in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 weeks.

A few pests enjoy coneflowers, so keep an eye out for Japanese beetles, vine weevils, and leafhoppers. Keep an eye out for aster yellows, a systemic plant disease that causes growth deformities in the flowers. It can affect hundreds of different flowers, not just those in the aster family. There is no known cure and it is spread by sap-sucking insects like leafhoppers, so affected plants should be removed and destroyed as soon as possible, to protect other nearby plants.

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Ellie Brown / EyeEm/getty Echinacea, commonly referred to as coneflowers, are beloved by cottage gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts alike. The large daisy-like flowers with mounded heads and showy rose or pink rays (petals) are usually borne singly on stout stems, well above the foliage. They're erect perennials with coarse lanceolate to ovate, often toothed leaves.Plants grow from thick taproots that are quite deep on mature plants.

Dorota Pytel / EyeEm/getty Coneflowers are plants of prairies and open woods. Give them average, loamy soil in full sun or light shade. Plants grow best with adequate moisture but are quite tolerant of extended drought.These tough plants have deep taproots that enable them to store some water for lean times.

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Division is seldom necessary and not recommended. Once divided, plants tend to become bushy with compromised flower production. Propagate by root cuttings in fall. Sow seed outdoors in fall or indoors in winter. Give seeds 4 to 6 weeks of cold, moist stratification to promote uniform germination. Marcel Mendez / EyeEm/getty Coneflowers are comfortable additions to formal and informal landscapes alike.

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They have thick, deep taproots that store moisture for lean times. Axel Fischer / EyeEm/getty Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. A compact coneflower with spare, lance-shaped basal leaves with stiff hairs and mostly leafless stems topped by 2-inch heads with short (1-inch) drooping rose-pink rays. USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 (possibly 2) to 8.

A sparsely branching plant with stout, nearly leafless stems topped with large heads of drooping pale rose rays. The basal leaves are lance-shaped and covered in stiff hairs. E. laevigata, smooth coneflower, is similar but has smooth leaves. Zones 4 to 8. Size: 2½ to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide.

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The plants grow in tight, multi-stemmed clumps with mostly basal leaves. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped. An important plant in current breeding programs. Zones 4 to 8. Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (rarely to 6 feet), 2 to 3 feet wide. A shrubby, well branched plant with leafy stems and dozens of flowers with flat or drooping rose-pink to red-violet rays.

Kim's Knee High is an excellent compact selection to 2½ feet with large heads of gracefully drooping rays. Kim's Mop Head is white. Magnus has huge, flat flower heads. Springbrook's Crimson Star has delicate, deep crimson flowers on sturdy 3-foot stems. One of the best. White Lustre has larger, brighter white flowers than Alba and White Swan.

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Size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide. The upswept rays of this species make it unique among coneflowers; the overall impression is of a rose-purple cup. This species has contributed its unique form to many new hybrids that will be released in the future. Zones 4 to 8.

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Make room in your garden for these cool varieties of our old-fashioned favorite purple coneflower and learn a few tips about how to grow them. If you think that basic means boring, think again! Coneflowers (Echinacea spp. and hybrids) truly are a garden basic. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook them.

They’ll withstand nearly anything that Mother Nature can throw at them, including bitter cold winters and hot, dry summers. The perky blooms last a long time and make nice cut bouquets - growfoodguide. Butterflies and bees flock to the flowers, and birds will come to your garden in fall and winter to eat the seedheads.

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As long as you put the plant in the ground right side up, it should be fine! Coneflowers like plenty of sun and average, well-drained soil. Like any perennial, you’ll want to water new plants the first summer, to get them safely established. After that, you’re off the hook! The yellow, orange and red ones can be a little tougher to get to survive for several years.

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Those gorgeous yellow, orange and red coneflowers certainly are standouts in the garden! But gardeners may be disappointed if they expect them to bloom year after year without a care in the world like the old-fashioned purple coneflowers. Why aren’t they as vigorous? Well, the plant breeding that created those vibrant colors included a species that’s a little pickier about its growing conditions than purple coneflower, the one most of us grow.

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But for the most success, try these tips from Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc., a company that’s developed some of these bright new flowers. While the plain old purple coneflowers (and their white siblings) will grow almost anywhere, the yellow, orange and red ones need full sun and rich, moist, well-drained soil.

This is no time to cut corners! Choose plants with multiple growing points, not just one cluster of leaves. Yes, that smarts, because you wanted that color right away! But the plant will establish healthier roots if it’s not putting energy into flowers the first year. Plants in quart- or gallon-size containers won’t need this if their root systems have had a chance to grow to fill the pot -

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If you garden where the ground repeatedly freezes and thaws during the winter, mulch over the plant with a 6-in. layer of chopped leaves to protect the crown. At the end of the season, some gardeners like to leave the seedheads standing — they provide subtle winter interest, and birds, especially finches, eat the seeds.

What started as a personal experience to improve my overall health by growing my own food has turned into a mission to share my experience and my own research. Growing your own food and eating healthier food is something that everyone has to try.

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