Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflower plants are popular to use in herbal remedies. Medical studies have shown that the Coneflower can be used to stimulate and strengthen the immune system. This plant has properties that help to shorten the duration of colds and flue symptoms, ther are anti-inflammatory benefits, it can be used in pain relief and healing of wounds, and in treatment of urinary infections and burns among many other medicinal uses.

Coneflower (Echinacea)
Coneflower Plant Flowers (Echinacea)

The medicinal qualities are not the only reason for growing Coneflower plants (Echinacea). It looks very beautiful in a flower bed or border - it is a perennial and can survive in a severe climate.

Coneflower plants prefer a reasonably dry environment, and dislikes marshy wet conditions.

There are a number of varieties of Coneflowers, 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.

Growing Coneflower Plants

Coneflower plants prefer the sun and a very fertile soil. If you have problems with infertile soil, simply mix in some compost.

Remember to keep the soil well drained because the Coneflower will not tolerate excess moisture. If too much moisture gets to be a problem, you may have to prepare a raised flower bed.

These plants generally only need to be watered until they are established, growing after that on the natural moisture provided by the occasional rainstorm, except in very dry regions where some watering may be required.

Propagation

Coneflower plant is very good at self-seeding, but you must leave a few flowers to dry naturally so it can self seed. Be sure you don't pull up the little seedlings when you weed your garden in the Spring.

You can move the young new plants to the exact location that you want, or alternatively harvest seeds to plant yourself.

Coneflower for Collecting Seeds
Coneflower Flowers for collecting seeds to propagate (Echinacea)

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 and the Coneflower seeds will collect in the bag..

Remove any organic debris to help 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, otherwise your seeds will not be viable.

Coneflower plants can also be propagated by division. When you do this success tends to depend on what sort of climate you inhabit.

For example, in colder regions you should 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 you can carry out the division of Conflower plants in spring or fall / autumn.

Remember to divide only older and well established plants.

Begin the division process by loosening the soil all around the root system of the plant, then thrust the spade under the plant and lift 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.

Buy Coneflowers

This section is currently in the process of being updated...

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 - Coconut Lime Echinacea 'coconut lime'
  • Coneflower - Double Decker Echinacea 'double decker'
  • Coneflower - Pink Double Delight Echinacea 'pink double delight'
  • Coneflower - Mixed Colors Echinacea 'Mixed'
  • Coneflower - After Midnight Echinacea 'after midnight'

For more plants to choose from see...

Shade Garden Plants

Full Sun Perennials

Summary

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 flowers to have the full benefit of the seeds to self propagate, to harvest, or for birds to eat in the colder months.

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.