Echinacea is a plant genus comprising about nine species of flowering plants that are native to eastern regions of North America. One species that is particularly popular among gardeners and landscapers is Echinacea purpurea. This perennial plant is commonly known as the coneflower because of its cone shaped flower arrangement that features purple petals hanging upside down from a brown center. The oval shaped leaves are attached to a narrow stem that grows between 1 and 3 feet in height. It is an ideal plant for flower beds or borders.
There are several things to consider when planting and growing the coneflower. The condition of the soil, the climate, and certain pests or diseases can affect the health of Echinacea purpurea.
It is recommended to grow E. purpurea in hardiness zones 3 to 9. Full sunlight is best, and it can thrive in windy, open prairies.
The natural habitat of this plant includes rocky plains, open woods, thickets, and prairies featuring well-drained limestone, sand, clay, and loam. A similar soil composition that is rich in humus and is well-draining is ideal for the coneflower. Avoid soil that is high in calcium carbonate.
Watering and Fertilizers
This plant doesn’t need an abundant amount of water. The soil can dry out without affecting the health of the plant. In fact, the coneflower can become invasive and spread rather easily. For this reason, it is best to avoid using fertilizers.
The best way to propagate this plant is by sowing seeds. This can be done in the fall or spring. Another option is to divide the roots in early spring.
Pests and Diseases
There aren’t any pests or diseases which are common to this plant species. The purple flowers do attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Echinacea purpurea (Coneflower) – Shoot Gardening
Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) – Wild Flower Center
Wildflower by Hardiness Zone – Wild Flower Information