A selection of our most popular native North American wildflower with larger, more vibrantly coloured flowers than the species. From a central brown cone the rose-pink petals are held flat, rather than drooping like the species. Coneflowers bloom in summer and fall , forming a showy, upright clump which is a favorite feeding station for many butterflies. Seed heads are useful in dried arrangements. Plants may be easily divided in early spring. Self-sown plants can also be moved at that time. Excellent for cutting. Selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 1998.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Deadhead spent flowers to extend flower period, but leave late-season flowers on the plants to mature; the seedheads will attract birds. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps.
Lamb’s-ears – Fuzzy gray lamb’s ears makes a great partner for coneflower in sunny dry sites. Pink or purple forms coordinate especially well with the magenta blooms of lamb’s ears.
Globe thistle – Steely blue globe thistle teams well with purple coneflower. Both have long-lasting blooms through the summer.
Russian sage – The purple spires of Russian sage make an excellent backdrop for coneflower. Its airy silvery stems with purple blooms contrast nicely with the large daisy flowers of coneflower.