Coneflowers botanically known as Echinacea purpurea, are perennial flowers with a shrub growing habit that throw purple petaled blooms with a distinct furry cone in the center of the flower that resembles a tiny hedgehog. Used for centuries by Native Americans as a medicine, it remains a popular homeopathic remedy for many ailments including colds and stomach ailments. Coneflower thrives in full sun and consistently moist but not wet soil and is very sensitive to drought conditions. Cornflower seeds can be sown in Fall or in Spring and mature rhizomes should be divided and replanted while dormant in Fall or early Winter.
Things You'll Need
- Coneflower seeds, seddlings or mature plants
- Hand trowel, hoe or shovel
- Organic matter for soil, if needed
- Clean sharp knife
Till and churn the soil to aerate and loosen it. Remove any weeds, old roots and stones. Add organic matter and some sand if soil is heavy in clay and mix in evenly. Water gently when finished so that the soil is moist but not soaking wet.
Sow Coneflower seed onto well tilled earth and cover over the seeds with a 1/4-inch of soil. If sowing in a larger wildflower meadow style or for a harvesting field, cast 4 to 7 pounds of seed for every half acre of ground. Water in gently but well.
Transplant seedlings or mature plants from pots into prepared ground by digging a hole as deep as the pot and approximately 2-inches wider. Slip the plant out of the pot and place in the hole, back-filling soil to surround the root ball while maintaining a consistent same soil level around the stem. Press down around the root ball with the palm of your hand to compact any air pockets and water in well.
Divide older Coneflower rhizomes to form new individual plants by digging up the dormant rhizome and cutting it into three or five smaller pieces each with a crown. Plant the rhizome pieces crown up, at least 2 inches under moist soil. Transplant to new outdoor location or winter over in pots in the greenhouse. Be sure not to let the rhizomes dry out after cutting as this will damage their odds of success.
Tips & Warnings
- Coneflower does not like competition in the garden so be sure to weed well and consistently around the plants to ensure peak performance and bloom.