Purple Coneflower Growing Guide
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Purple Coneflower Growing Guide

What is Purple Coneflower ?

Purple Coneflower is by far the most popular variety of coneflower. With beautiful purple blooms, this variety is great for pollinators and medicinal uses alike. Native to North America, these plants are hardy, drought-tolerant, and long blooming. The flowers have daisy-like features made up of several small petals. Having a fibrous root system makes it more adaptable to most any garden conditions. The genus name is derived from the Greek word ἐχῖνος (echino), meaning “sea urchin,” due to the spiny central disk. Coneflower is aids immune function, antifungal and antibacterial properties, particularly helful with respiratory and oral infections.

How to Start Growing Coneflower

It may need shade in very hot weather, but otherwise loves warmth and sun. It can stand drought but also does well in wetter soil. If sowing in containers, sow seeds thinly in a lightweight soil mix. Press the seeds firmly into the soil and water. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. As seedlings appear, gradually expose them to direct light. When large enough to handle, transplant the flowers to pots, gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions. After spring frosts pass, transplant to the garden. Seeds can be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. If directly sowing, after spring frosts past, sow in rows, then very lightly cover with soil. Press firmly into the soil and water. Thin to 8-20 inches apart.

Did You Know?

Echinacea was the main ingredient in Meyer’s Blood Purifier, a patented herbal medicine for a variety of problems, from snakebites to typhoid fever.

Our Favorite Coneflower to Grow

Coneflower Plant Spacing

In-Ground Planting

Row Spacing - 12 to 18 inches

Plant Spacing - 12 to 18 inches

Planting Depth - 1/8 inch

Raised Bed Planting

Row Spacing - 12 to 18 inches

Plant Spacing - 12 to 18 inches

Planting Depth - 1/8 inch

Coneflower Soil, Irrigation, & Fertilizer

Soil Requirements to Grow Coneflower

  • Loose, well-draining soil
  • pH between 6.5 and 7.0
  • Rich in organic materials
  • Good quality compost added to the soil

Coneflower Irrigation Requirements

Coneflower plants need at least 1 inch of water per week. Using drip irrigation is always recommended to be sure that your coneflower plants are getting moisture directly to their root system. If you’re using conventional overhead watering techniques, try and use something like the Dramm Watering Can and water and fertilize at the base of the plant to keep moisture off the leaves.

Raised Bed Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.5 - 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

¼ cup Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

In-Ground Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.5 - 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

¼ cup Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

Coneflower Pest & Disease Protection

Insects

Organic Controls

Horticulture Oil
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Thrips

Bug Buster-O
Aphids, Flea Beetles, Whiteflies, Moths, Armyworms

Monterey BT
Caterpillars, Cabbage Loppers

Take Down Garden Spray
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Moths

Diatomaceous Earth
Cutworms, Ants, Slugs

Sluggo Plus
Slugs

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Common Diseases

Organic Controls

Complete Disease Control
Gray Mold, Leaf Spots, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Harvesting, Preserving, and Storing Coneflower

When & How To Harvest Coneflower

To harvest Echinacea, using a shovel or a garden fork, lift the roots out of the ground around the Echinacea plant. I use a large shovel and basically dig up the whole root ball of the plant. Now you can take pieces of the root from the root ball to harvest or you can remove the whole plant to harvest the roots. Removing the whole plant can allow you to thin out your Echinacea patch. If you choose to just harvest parts of the root ball, you can place the remaining roots back in the ground to replant. Harvest echinacea flowers while they are in full bloom. Harvesting the roots takes a little more effort. You will need to dig up the plants to remove the entire root system. You can then cut the root back by about half and replant it. Clean the cut roots very well and cut them into smaller pieces. Let them dry completely, which can take a few weeks, and then store in an airtight container.

Storing & Keeping Coneflower

Dry coneflower under a screen in a cool, dark, and dry place. To preserve your leaves and buds simply take the dried parts and store them in a dark area in an airtight container. Coneflower can be stored with the whole head or just petals by picking them off the heads once dry.

Come See Our Coneflower!

Chamomile Growing Tips & Tricks

"Deadheading"

Deadheading your flowers involves harvesting your blooms often so they do not turn to seed and continue to form new blooms. Once your plant matures, deadhead all but a few blooms as they will eventually seed.

Moisturize

Keeping your coneflower plants moist is critical to their health. Spread thin layers of compost, then mulch, on the soil surface to help keep coneflower plants moist and prevent weeds.

Cold Stratification

In areas where there is not a period of cold winter, cold stratification should be used. It is the process artificially creating a winter climate for the seeds that is required for the seeds to germinate. Seeds are sown one-quarter inch deep in containers of moist potting soil and covered with plastic to retain moisture at temperatures from 34 to 59 degrees for two weeks up to a month.

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