14 Jul SUMMER FLOWER TIPS: GROWING CONEFLOWERS
Who doesn’t love coneflowers? Regardless of USDA Hardiness Zone, so many gardeners love and grow coneflowers. These tough native flowers have that charming daisy-like look about them, draw in pollinators, and bloom profusely, making them low-maintenance divas in the garden.
Here are some handy growing tips, along with some of our favorite varieties to try in your garden.
Coneflower, or Echinacea spp, grow upright to about 2-4’ tall with dark green leaves on somewhat prickly stems. The “prickly” part is mostly on the lower stem, so don’t worry that you need to use tongs or rose gloves when handling coneflowers. The blooms have the characteristic cone-shaped center with daisy-like petals that droop downward.
Colors of the different bloom parts are numerous, with center cones ranging from dark orange to golden green, greenish brown, and greenish pink. Petal shades include the standard pinkish purple to white, orange, bright crimson, soft yellow, and mauve.
These lovely flowers are quite drought-tolerant once they are established, fairly deer resistant, and reseed on their own.
How to Grow Coneflowers
- Sun: Full sun to partial shade
- Soil: Coneflowers grow easily in a range of soils, but flower best in in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.
- Water: Water immediately after planting, and regularly until established, after which coneflower is amazingly drought tolerant. Never overwater or allow to sit in standing water.
- USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
- Fertilizer: No fertilizer necessary if grown in soil enriched with organic matter
- Bloom time: May into the fall, up to the first freeze
- Started from seed or transplant? Either one, but coneflower started from seed typically takes up to 2 years to flower.
- Divide: large clumps of coneflowers in the spring or the fall.
- Deadhead: spent flowers to encourage more bloom, or leave flower heads to attract birds and to promote self-seeding.
Great Coneflower Varieties to Try
- ‘Cheyenne Spirit’: Can’t quite decide on what color coneflower you want to grow? Try ‘Cheyenne Spirit,’ with petals in shades of orange, yellow, white, and magenta. It grows 24” tall and wide with a strong bloom season in Zones 4-9.
- ‘PowWow White’: ‘PowWow White’ is an excellent cut flower with long, strong stems that reach up to 30” tall. And the pure white petals surrounding the greenish yellow center truly pop in Zones 3-8.
- ‘Baja Burgundy’: Looking for a darker coneflower color? Try ‘Baja Burgundy’ with its nearly nonstop blooms of dark red-purple in Zones 4-9. Growing up to 24” tall and wide, it’s a dependable performer in the summer garden.
4. ‘Sombrero Hot Coral’: I love a good, strong coral shade — nothing says “summer” more than this pink-tinged orange. Vigorous blooms are butterfly magnets, and grow 24” tall and wide in Zones 4-8.
5.‘Prairie Splendor’: This variety has a larger orange center with magenta pink petals, growing to 24” tall and wide. ‘Prairie Splendor’ blooms from late spring through late summer in Zones 3-8.
6.‘Green Envy’: If you’re on the hunt for a more unusual coneflower, ‘Green Envy’ checks all the boxes. It sports flat green petals with magenta veining radiating out from green cones that mature to a purple-brown. This one grows up to 36” tall in Zones 4-9.
See Also: ZINNIAS – TYPES & GROWING TIPS