Coneflower is a popular plant among herbalists. Medical studies have shown that Coneflower can be used to enhance and strengthen the immune system and in the treatment of a number of diseases.
The medicinal qualities are not the only reason for growing Coneflower plants. It looks very beautiful in a flower bed or border - it is a perennial, and can survive in a severe climate.
Coneflower prefers a reasonably dry environment, and dislikes marshy wet conditions.
There are a number of varieties of Coneflower, but the most popular are purple Coneflower, and a white species called 'Swan'. These plants love a fertile soil, and can make heights of up to four feet in good conditions.
Coneflower plant can be an amazing six inches across! In almost all varieties, the flower petals form a cone in which the petals droop towards the outermost section.
They have long and strong stems, so they will be perfect if you like cut flowers from your garden to put in tall vases. You can also use them as a backdrop for smaller plants and bushes.
Coneflower plant prefer the sun, and of course a very fertile soil. If you have problems with infertile soil, simply mix in a lot of compost and your Coneflowers will grow beautifully.
Remember to keep the soil well drained, because this plant will not tolerate excess moisture. If moisture gets to be a problem, you may have to prepare a raised flower bed for these plants.
As a matter of fact, these plants generally only need to be watered until they are established, growing after that on the natural moisture provided by the occasional rainstorm, of course except in very dry regions.
Coneflower plant is very good at self-seeding, but you must be careful to leave a few flowers to dry naturally. And be sure that you don't pull up the little seedlings when you weed your garden in the Spring.
You'll probably want to move the little plants to the exact location that you want. Alternatively, you can actually harvest seeds to plant yourself.
All you have to do is choose a few matured flowers and cut them, leaving them with a reasonably long stem. Then just enclose these in paper bags and hang them upside down.
The coneflower seeds will collect in the bag, and all you have to do is remove the organic debris, dry the seeds out properly (this can take about ten days) and then store them in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
One thing you must remember is that you need to ensure that all the flowers that you choose are mature, or else your seeds will not be viable.
These plants can also be propagated by division. When you do this tends to depend on what sort of climate you inhabit.
For example in colder regions, you should probably divide the plants late in spring or summer, when the weather and the soil have both warmed sufficiently.
If you live in a warmer climate on the other hand, you can carry out the division of the plants in spring or fall / autumn.
Remember to divide only older and well established coneflower plants.
You begin the process by loosening the soil all around the root system of the plant, then thrust the spade under the plant and life it gently.
Shake it lightly to remove extra soil that may be clinging to it.
Now cut the clump of roots in half with a knife, making sure that each half has all the necessary systems of the root.
Plant each half in a location of your choice, first enriching the spot with a mix of compost and balanced fertilizer.
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Here are a few varieties to search for, all of which are suitable for zones 3 - 9 and like partial shade to full sun.
Coneflower blooms midsummer to Fall and reaches a height of 2 to 4 feet tall. The cone flower is excellent as a cut flower.
Remove spent flowers to prolong the bloom time. However leave the last flower on the plant to have the full benefit of the seeds for the songbirds.
The plant reproduces itself readily and can be divided in early summer. It tolerates dry soil and is deer resistant.
Locate the plants in full sun to light shade.