Coneflowers

PrintPrintEmailEmail
Your rating: None Average: 3.7 of 5 (43 votes)

Botanical name: Echinacea

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Flower color: Red, Pink, Purple, White

Bloom time: Summer, Fall

Coneflowers are bright perennials, some of which are used in herbal remedies. These flowers are easy to care for, relatively drought-tolerant, and are good for cut flowers. Coneflowers are daisy-like with raised centers. The seeds found in the dried flower head also attract songbirds to your garden.

Planting

  • Loosen the soil in your garden using a garden fork or tiller to 12 to 15 inches deep, then mix in a 2– to 4–inch layer of compost.
  • Plant the seeds in the spring in humus-rich, well-drained soil about 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the type, in full sun. Coneflowers can tolerate some shade.
  • If you are moving a potted plant outside from inside, dig a hole about twice the pot's diameter and carefully place the plant in the soil. Bury the plant to the top of the root ball, but make sure the root ball is level with the soil surface. Water it thoroughly.

Care

  • In the spring, put a thin layer of compost around the plants, then a 2–inch layer of mulch to help keep the plants moist and prevent weeds.
  • If you receive less than an inch of rain a week, water your plants regularly during the summer.
  • If your plants are floppy, cut them to the ground after they flower.
  • Remember to cut off the dead/faded flowers to prolong to blooming season and prevent excessive self-seeding. To attract birds, keep the late-season flowers on the plants to mature.
  • Divide your plants into clumps every 3 to 4 years in spring or autumn, although coneflowers do not like excessive disturbance.

Pests

Recommended Varieties

  • Robert Bloom (Echinacea purpurea), which has prominent, dark orange centers with bright crimson flower petals.
  • Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis), which has greenish-pink centers with dark mauve flower petals.
  • Finale White (Echinacea purpurea), which has creamy white flower heads with greenish-brown centers.

 

E-Cards

Send a free e-card of this color coneflower.

Click here to see other images of coneflowers in our e-card gallery.

Special Features

  • Attracts Butterflies

Comments

The woodchucks and rabbits

By MAC C on August 13

The woodchucks and rabbits have devestated my echinacea plants this season,both those in the ground and those in pots that were to be planted. WIll they come back next year after having been denuded?They came back this year but not as strong as first year and they were partially eaten last season. I fear not enough sugars were produced for the root stock to survive the winter!?

The plants will come back

By Almanac Staff on August 14

The plants will come back next year but maybe not as big and strong as in past years. We suggest that you come up with a plan to protect them so that critters will not be able  to eat them next season. Maybe a fence or move them to a different area of your garden.

My cone flowers have always

By robeft pierce on August 12

My cone flowers have always done well, but this year lots of them had extra little shoots come up on the centerpart of bloom and they never had any color. What do you suggest I do?

I planted Echinacea with the

By erikaruiz on August 7

I planted Echinacea with the intention of.harvesting it for.its cough suppressing properties..only problem is..I dont know when to harvest..and how would I go about using it? Do I just boil and seep or let it set and how does it even work? My apologies if this is the wrong place for these questions. Thank you

First time for me with

By Roena on August 1

First time for me with coneflowers. Some are doing great others seem to turn black over night. I cut off the black flower. Some of the plants just turn black and gray and die

Hi Roena, Too much water can

By Almanac Staff on August 4

Hi Roena,

Too much water can cause cone flowers to turn brown or black and wither. They grow best in dry to slightly moist soil.

i recently purchased a white

By annebennett on August 1

i recently purchased a white cone flower today all the flowers have been taken off I have purple cone flowers which remain fine and ive had for years. what can i put around or on the white cone flower to deter whatever is eating it. we do have a rabbit that comes around once in awhile and daily squirrels.

I bought 5 WHITE coneflower

By Marla Moore on August 1

I bought 5 WHITE coneflower plants from Lowe's. They were already all blooming. They all had PURE WHITE petals and a golden yellow colored center. Recently, ALL of my 5 plants' petals are looking a greenish color - all the way through the petal, not white. The centers have turned from a golden yellow to a chartreuse color. What is going on?

I recently bought several

By Hoosier1 on July 23

I recently bought several coneflower plants and just planted them in crocks for my daughters wedding in 3 weeks. What do I need to do for them tomlook their best for her wedding? They look great right now.

Hi, Hoosier1: 1. Read and

By Almanac Staff on July 24

Hi, Hoosier1: 1. Read and follow the care tips above. 2. Watch for pests. 3. Make sure they don't get too hot. They can definitely take full sun, but feel free to move them temporarily into partial shade or to where there's a breeze on a scorcher. 4. Take this off your list, chill, and have a great wedding. Congratulations to your daughter from The OFA -- and you can quote us!

My mother planted the roots

By Gina D.

My mother planted the roots of coneflowers this past spring. There is no sign of any growth. Will growth happen next year?

That's one prediction that we

By Almanac Staff

That's one prediction that we can not make with certainty, Gina.
We can tell you that the best results of dividing, or planting the roots of, coneflowers (aka echinacea) are achieved by taking a "good-size" clump of a thriving plant—not small pieces in hopes of setting more plants. Ideally, the soil should be broken up a bit (not compact) so the roots have room to roam. And the soil should be kept moist but not wet.
If division is done when the plant is dormant, too much water could cause root rot. March to September are the most propitious times for dividing this plant.

I live in the city, and the

By Renee B.

I live in the city, and the wildlife we get are raccoons, possums, squirrels and a variety of birds. Something is coming into my garden and eating the tops off my purple coneflowers. By the tops, I mean the flowers themselves. Do any of the animals I've mentioned eat the tops off coneflowers? And if so, what can I do to stop them, short of putting out poison or anything else that is lethal and dangerous?

If you have woodchucks

By Almanac Staff

If you have woodchucks (groundhogs) or rabbits around, they particularly like coneflower. If it is just the petals missing, it may be earwigs.

Does soil acidity affect cone

By David Bartley

Does soil acidity affect cone flower color, as with hydrangeas?

No, the same is not true of

By Almanac Staff

No, the same is not true of coneflower.

*Columbine

By Beth J

*Columbine

I am adding 3 New colors of

By Beth J

I am adding 3 New colors of coneflowers to my yard, do I need to plant them away from each other? Will they mix colors ? This seemed to happen with my colombine. Thanks.

I was praying for bugs in

By tammyd1

I was praying for bugs in weeds with bug and weed killer on my cauliflower and now they are all hungover and sad what should I do? should I cut them off?

It's the power of sprayer!

By David Bartley

It's the power of sprayer!

I planted coneflowers for the

By MaryJH

I planted coneflowers for the first time this year and something is eating the petals of the flowers. I have looked and don't see anything. Any suggestions?

If you have finches in your

By Art T.

If you have finches in your area it could be them. For whatever reason, finches love to eat my coneflower leaves.

My 4 year old coneflowers

By marcia j. w.

My 4 year old coneflowers here in Maine have started budding and I would like to pinch them back to prevent flopping over. Does this mean I will have to nip a few buds off or do I look for stalks without buds and only pinch those? Now mid-June.

Hi Marcia, It's recommended

By Almanac Staff

Hi Marcia,
It's recommended to pinch coneflowers back before they start budding. You can cut some of the stalks without buds back and then after the blossoms fade cut those stem shorter than you usually do when deadheading.

My well-established purple

By Ann Roll

My well-established purple coneflower has been looking good this spring. However, this week I noticed the top 3" or so of two stems, with buds, drooping over. On one stem I noticed a black spot which could indicate a boring pest. Am curious to know what, if anything I can do about it. The rest of the plant looks healthy. I'm anxious for some blooms!

My coneflowers usually grow

By Kat Mc

My coneflowers usually grow like gangbusters. Lately they have black spots on the leaves?? What is it and how do I treat it??
Thanks.
Kathleen

Hi Kathleen, It sounds like

By Almanac Staff

Hi Kathleen,
It sounds like you have Alternaria leaf spot or Bacterial leaf spot. Keep moisture off the leaves and stems when you water. Try using an organic copper spray.

Planted cone flowers for the

By nm

Planted cone flowers for the first time and rabbits ate them, will the growth return this year?

A couple of years ago my

By Juli Harman

A couple of years ago my coneflower plant disappeared entirely, like something underground grabbed it and pulled it under. The ground was virtually undisturbed and there was no sign that I even had the plant in the ground. Would rabbits demolish a plant that thoroughly? Could it really have been pulled underground?

The same thing happened to

By Isabelle

The same thing happened to all my Echinacea. It' the voles (not moles but voles). They love the roots and will eat anything from below. I learned the hard way for about 5 years. Every year I bought and replanted new coneflowers and they were eaten by the voles. I have since then researched everything and tried all possible ways to get rid of the little critters. To no avail. I dug up what was left and planted all my coneflowers in wire baskets with less than 1/4" holes into the ground and that has solved the problem although any roots that grow through the holes still get eaten.
Hope this helps!

I don't know about

By Richard E Hart

I don't know about coneflowers but gophers did the same thing to my garlic plants. They disappeared one by one till they were all gone

Our only thought is that some

By Almanac Staff

Our only thought is that some of the hybrid coneflowers have not survived winters well and get root rot. Stick to the pure coneflowers. Also, try leaving the stalks through the winter. And make sure they are in a place that gets FULL Sun.

This is my first time having

By Alondra

This is my first time having cone flowers (Echinacea) I was wondering if we put it in a pot how wide and tall dose the pot need to be. I know after a couple of days u need to move it to the ground.

Hi, I live on east coast. We

By Rafia

Hi, I live on east coast. We moved into our new house last summer and the already there coneflowers were beautiful and blooming. Then in winter they withered and became dried bushes. Now it's early spring again but we never cut the bushes or did anything to it. please let me know if there is something i need to do or are they going to come alive and bloom on their own?? Thanks for you help in advance!

Just remove dead foliage and

By Almanac Staff

Just remove dead foliage and stems in the fall, winter or early spring. We tend to wait until after the winter as the seed heads are great for the winter birds. You can cut coneflowers down to 3 inches from the base. They are perennials and will return.

I am looking to buy some cox

By Brandybeebe

I am looking to buy some cox cones or even the seeds do you know where I can find them?

I think you mean cockscomb or

By debzee

I think you mean cockscomb or celosia. I would think any nursery would have seeds. You can also purchase the plants at most any nursery in the spring.

This page is for

By Almanac Staff

This page is for "coneflowers" and not cockscomb. Baker Creek is a good source: http://www.rareseeds.com/store/flowers/cockscomb-and-celosia/

Can I plants seeds in pots?

By patnurseaide

Can I plants seeds in pots? And will they return year after year?

Yes, you can sow the seeds of

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can sow the seeds of coneflowers (Echinacia) in pots indoors with an air temperature of 65 to 70 °F. Cover very lightly with potting soil and keep the pots misted until germination occurs (10 to 20 days). Transplant in the ground 20 to 28 days after sowing in the spring or summer, up to 2 months before frost. Keep in mind that Echinacea started from seed can take 2 or more years to develop into a sizable plant.
As stated above, coneflowers are perennials--which means that they come back year after year.
Note that all perennials require a period of dormancy or a cold treatment to bloom so it's not advisable to keep the plant in the pot unless you can find a way to winterize it.

In the fall when the

By Catmandoo

In the fall when the temperatures go down and the coneflower seed heads turn black, can I just sprinkle the seeds on the ground for more flowers the next year. Do I cover the seeds with more soil or just leave them sprinkled on the top and if so how much soil?
(Zone 5).

Fall is a perfect time to sow

By Almanac Staff

Fall is a perfect time to sow coneflower seeds. Just sprinkle the dried seeds on the soil. They need light to germinate in the spring.

Thanks (re the light) I

By Catmandoo

Thanks (re the light) I didn't know that..I've been dead heading and poking the whole seed head in the ground, with hopes that it will give me flowers next year? I didn't realize that all I had to do was sprinkle the seeds on top!

I bought a corn flower this

By Lauren H

I bought a corn flower this spring and it was in a pot I live in the okanagan in bc Canada and I just relized it's not an annual what do I do with it is it too late to put it in the ground ?? It's quite established and huge I don't want it to die should I bring it inside or leave it pot or stick it in the ground it's ranging from 8-12 degres during the day and has gotten as low as -2 any ideas thanks

Hi Lauren, Cone flowers are

By Almanac Staff

Hi Lauren,
Cone flowers are resilient. Plant it in the ground and put some mulch around it. Spring and fall are the best times to transplant. Good luck!

I just dead headed some

By alf

I just dead headed some coneflowers from my neighbor and picked the seeds. Now someone wrote that I have to put them in the freezer until next April? This just doesn't make sense to me. I live in CT. Please explain...

Seeds may be sown outside in

By Almanac Staff

Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or stored and sown in the spring. Collect mature seedheads in the fall and break them open to extract seeds. Coneflowers, unlike some plants, need cold-moist stratification for two months improves germination. Place the seeds in the refrigerator for two weeks prior to starting. When you do plant, expose the seeds to light first on the soil surface before you pat them into the ground.

Can I plant the seed heads in

By Joanne Newnam

Can I plant the seed heads in the Fall from wild coneflowers and expect growth in the following Spring?

Do the seed heads drop in the Fall and multiply the plant in the following Spring? Seems to be happening in a wild patch observed the past 5 years near my home in a rural housing development.

Yes, coneflowers self-seed.

By Almanac Staff

Yes, coneflowers self-seed. They drop their seed in the fall.  Or, you can harvest the seeds in late fall after they dry on the plant. Store in a dry place and replant in spring.

My coneflowers did extremely

By _Dawn_

My coneflowers did extremely well this year but now have a growth ive never seen before. On the seed head (we leave a few standing for the birds) some of them have green sprouts, almost like a new set of leaves sprouting out. Ive searched the internet but cannot find information on this. Any thoughts?

The only thing we can find is

By Almanac Staff

The only thing we can find is that "aster-yellows" will cause central cones to mutate and sprout leaves and green flowers. This is a disease that indicates a sick plant and they would need to be pulled out.  However, before jumping to any conclusions, we would bring a sample to your county cooperative extension of garden nursery.

It hard

By Danny1234

It hard

My cone flower plant is about

By Ann Stumpo

My cone flower plant is about 5 years old and always had plenty of purple flowers. This year..there are no purple petals on the plant. Just the centers. What to do?

I'm afraid that your

By Almanac Staff

I'm afraid that your coneflowers may have a disease called asters yellows. It comes from infected leafhoppers. Once infected, it is a lost cause since the disease is incurable. Bring a sample to your local cooperative extension or garden nursury to confirm diagnosis. If confirmed, you need to remove the plants and, for the foreseeable future, look for less susceptible plants such as verbena, salvia, nicotiana, geranium, cockscomb, and impatiens.

I planted my Coneflowers last

By Kenda

I planted my Coneflowers last year in a pot. This year I have a l large stem about 3' tall, that looks like a weed. I don't see any thing that looks like a bud & it's already mid July. Is this normal?

It's difficult to answer this

By Almanac Staff

It's difficult to answer this correctly without seeing the plant that you suspect might be a weed. Here's what we can tell you: First, nothing is guaranteed, so it's possible that the plant you put into a pot failed to thrive and that is indeed a weed. This plant likes sun, well-drained soil, not a lot of water, and not very fertile soil. If you think you have cared for it properly, you could consider taking it to a nursery or the like so that someone could see what you've got, that is, of course, if the pot is manageable.
 

Where do you cut the flower

By jean benne

Where do you cut the flower when deadheading?

Good question. It's

By Almanac Staff

Good question. It's preference. If there aren't more buds, you could just cut down the stalk or some people like to cut to the leaf. If you still have buds, cut above the new bud. When you're nearing the end of the season, you could just leave the seed heads on—and they will self-seed or attract feathered friends.

My coneflowers are 3-4 feet

By coneflower

My coneflowers are 3-4 feet tall and getting wide. Do I have to wait till fall to cut them?

Nope, cut your coneflowers

By Almanac Staff

Nope, cut your coneflowers when they're done blooming if you want to do so. If you want them to self-seed, leave the flower heads for the birds over the winter-and you may get new spouts next season! If you don't want your coneflowers to spread, cut them down.

I planted my beautiful funnel

By Enid

I planted my beautiful funnel shaped pink coneflower plant many years ago. It looked terrific for a few years and now the flowers are almost white and the shape of a daisy? Is there something I need to do to get the original flower shape & colour?

Coneflowers need to be

By Almanac Staff

Coneflowers need to be divided every 3 to 4 years to keep blooming well. In the spring, as new growth starts, lift the plants, divide them into clumps, and replant spaced apart.

I have a large patch of

By Sue Bruns

I have a large patch of coneflowers with NO BLOOMS , could this be my problem ???

do I cut coneflowers right

By Rolande

do I cut coneflowers right down in the fall? do they come back up from the ground? first time with them :)

Hi, Rolande, You can deadhead

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Rolande, You can deadhead coneflowers after the blooms get spent to encourage more blooming if you wish (though not required). Leave some seeds for the birds. Cut back half the plants in June for later flowing. Then, you can leave the coneflowers standing through winter if you wish. And, yes, you can cut all of them down to the ground after a hard frost. If you live in a cold area, add some light mulch. They are perennials and you'll see them again next season!

We planted our coneflowers we

By JK

We planted our coneflowers we got from the nursery in mid may. They are in full sun and have had plenty of rain. Unfortunately they are not growing. In fact, the flowers are turning black. What are we doing wrong?

Unfortunately, "plenty of

By Almanac Staff

Unfortunately, "plenty of rain" may be the problem. Damp conditions that results from excess water/rain can result in a fungal disease that affects the root, or crown. Contact a nurseryman or county extension agent to get confirmation, either by describing or even uprooting and showing a plant. A fungicide might be recommended. Coneflower is drought tolerant; the opposite of that--wet--challenges them. Best wishes for more blooms!

My coneflowers are big &

By Janet C K

My coneflowers are big & bushy in mid June on TX but have not a bud or flower or even a hint. Is it yet to come or some problem. This is their first spring.

Had the same thing happen

By Mirands Writes

Had the same thing happen last year but this year also very bushy have 3 flowers so far. Shocked they are white! Ordered purple, sigh, have grown attached after the wait. Am in LA..

Cone flowers usually bloom

By Almanac Staff

Cone flowers usually bloom from mid-June until the first fall frost. If your plants are established and look healthy you should see buds soon. If this is the first year for the cone flowers in your garden they may not flower. They spend the first summer putting down a strong root system and next year you should see plenty of flowers!

Something's eating my

By Gardenbee

Something's eating my coneflowers??? My purple coneflowers were doing very well until 2 weeks ago. Something ate them down to about 1/4 their normal size. Plants are on north and west side of house and are about 4 years old. Don't see any bugs on what's left. Are any animals prone to eating coneflowers?

Rabbits like to eat

By Almanac Staff

Rabbits like to eat coneflower foliage. Hot pepper wax sprays make leaves less appealing to the rabbits. Birds also love to pluck the leaves. Aphids and Japanese beetles are common culprits. Another common insect pest is the eriophyid mite. They are microscopic in size --which is why you don't see them -- and live inside the flower buds where they suck nutrients from the flowers. Damage results in tufts of stunted and distorted flower parts sprouting from the coneflower. Plants that are affected by eriophyid mites should be cut back to the ground in the fall and all plant debris should be removed and destroyed.

my cone flowers are being

By s.summer

my cone flowers are being eaten, too! Supposedly they are deer resistant, we are thinking maybe groundhogs?

Coneflowers are indeed

By Almanac Staff

Coneflowers are indeed deer-resistent. We'd guess rabbits, birds, or bugs, depending on the symptoms.

When I came home from work

By Diane Rudnik

When I came home from work today, I discovered my coneflowers and the buds were completely gone. The plants are now half the size they were yesterday. I live in the city and the only animals that we've seen around are squirrels and rabbits. Are the rabbits eating the heads off the coneflowers? If so, what can be done to eliminate this problem?

my cone flowers lack color

By Anonymous

this past year all of my coneflowers in three different flower gardens have lost color and vigor. they grew spindly and with fewer stalks. What happened? How can I fix?

Add some compost to the soil

By Almanac Staff

Add some compost to the soil around the plants and put down some mulch to keep the soil moist and weed free. Divide the plants every 3 to 4 years.

Help my coneflowers

By Anonymous

My coneflowers look deformed. The flowers bloom with only half the petals or with petals rimmed in black. I don't know what to do because we seem to be doing everything we should. The only thing that might not be right is that I doubt that they get 6 hours of direct sun a day.

it is a disease that there is

By Anonymous

it is a disease that there is no known cure for. just cut of the heads, make sure you throw them in the garbage not the compost. and hope for the best next time they come up. We have had this happen on most of ours, as we have over 55 different ones.

If you have deformed

By Almanac Staff

If you have deformed coneflower flowers with scarce petals, this sounds as if you have a flower disease called Aster yellows. Unfortunately, the flowers have to be pulled. See more: http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/aster-yellows/

transplanting to new bed

By Anonymous

I moved about 3 of my prized coneflower plants 3 weeks ago to a new flowerbed, boy has it been a babysitting job1 I think one is going to succumb to over exposure to the sun, but the others are doing well, after I cut them back severly. I will never do this again!

"Stratify" means to expose

By Almanac Staff

"Stratify" means to expose seeds to low temperatures in order to get the seeds to germinate. Hope that helps!

Planting

By Sassy Pritchard

If planting from seed, must stratify the seeds first by planting in a germinating mix and putting in the refrigerator for 30-60 days. Once plants are established, birds will plant for you after they digest the seed. Apparently going through the bird's digestive tract stratifies the seeds.

coneflowers

By jackiestein2010

i am getting some seeds from the seed exchange and need to plant them what does stratisty mean? Can u help me? Thanks, Jackie

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.