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Echinacea “Purple Coneflower”

The Echinacea “Purple Coneflower” is a beautiful perennial plant that blooms purple/violet flowers. It was once used as an ancient herbal remedy that some still use to this very day!

Echinacea "Purple Coneflower"

Common Names or AKA Names:Coneflower
Botanical Name:Echinacea purpurea
Family:Asteraceae
Hardiness Zones:Zones 3 through 8
Native Area:Eastern United States
Bloom/Harvest Time:Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout summer into autumn.

Simply Beautiful!

Learn More About This Plant!

Native to eastern North America, they are hardy, drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and cultivated in an ever-widening range of colors. It’s hard to find a garden without at least one variety of the bloom. Best planted in early spring (after the final frost), Purple Coneflowers will germinate in about 10 – 15 days and produce leaves in three months but can take up to 1- 2 years to actually produce blooms.

Coneflower’s daisy-like booms are actually made up of several small flowers, with petals that are sterile to lure insects toward the many fertile flowers in the central disk or cone. These flowers are rich in nectar and very popular with both bees and butterflies. Hummingbirds also enjoy Coneflowers, and birds like finches eat (and spread) the seeds.

Growing Purple Coneflower from seeds is easy enough for the beginning gardener, while long-time gardeners delight in the ease of how to care for Coneflowers.

Seeds: If you wish to collect seeds for next year’s crop of Purple Coneflower plants, do so before the birds have eaten all the seeds. Place a brown paper bag over the seed head, turn right side up, and let seeds drop into the bag. Professional growers believe stratification (aka chilling) of the seeds for a few weeks, after they are planted in moist soil, produces a more abundant bloom when growing Purple Coneflowers. Those in areas where temperatures remain warm year long may want to try this technique. Alternately, planting purple Coneflower seeds in Autumn, in areas with cold winters, allows the seeds to chill naturally.
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Division: Purple Coneflower plants may be started from root division in fall. Only plants that have been in the ground for three years or longer should be divided. Younger Coneflower plants may not have developed a root system that is extensive enough for division. Root division should be limited to every 3 – 4 years.
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How to Care for Coneflowers:

Once planted and established, learning how to care for Coneflowers is easy. In seasons with normal rainfall, additional watering is not necessary. Purple Coneflower plants are drought resistant and often thrive in dry summers. Coneflower care may include limited fertilization, but this is often not needed. If flowers are small or poorly developed, try working in a small amount of well composted material in the soil around the plants. When late summer blooms of the purple coneflower begin to look tired or ragged, cut the plant back by a third. This rejuvenates the plant and often produces a new display of beautiful blooms that last until frost. Coneflower care is as simple as that and the plants will reward you with abundant flowering each and every year thereafter.
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Pruning Purple Coneflower:

Pruning Purple Coneflower is helpful, but not imperative. You can leave the plants standing throughout the winter months to feed the birds, and shearing them back in the spring will result in bushier plants that bloom longer into the season.

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That being said, deadheading is the primary maintenance for Coneflowers. They are prolific bloomers, and deadheading (removing the dead flowers from living plants) will keep them in bloom all summer.

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Flowers start blooming from the top of the stem, and each flower remains in bloom for several weeks. As the initial flower fades, more side shoots and buds will form along the stem. Keep the plants deadheaded, and you’ll keep getting more flowers. The process will also help prevent an overabundance of self-seeding from the plant.

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