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- Botanical Latin Name: Echinacea Common Name: Coneflower Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade Hardiness Zones: Three to Nine Mature Height: Two to four feet Spread: Two feet Spacing: Two feet Growth Rate: Fast Flowering Time: Summer
Botanical Latin Name: Echinacea
Common Name: Coneflower
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Hardiness Zones: Three to Nine
Mature Height: Two to four feet
Spread: Two feet
Spacing: Two feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Flowering Time: Summer
How Long It Flowers: Three months
Flower Color: Purple, pink, white, orange, yellow, red
Soil Requirements: Well-drained loam
Pruning: Self-sown seedlings should be transplanted, and flowers should be deadheaded to extend the blooming period.
Flower Form: Echinacea, or coneflower, is notorious for being a medicinal plant, but it’s a winner in the garden as well. This plant has drooping petals that surround a dark, usually purplish-brown cone-shaped center. The flowers last for a long time, are fragrant and make beautiful arrangements whether fresh or dried. The leaves are toothed, alternate and lance-shaped. Echinacea is excellent as a tall border plant and is very drought tolerant. It's also attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies. People collect the root of the plant for healing purposes during the fall of the plant's third or fourth year, but not after the fourth year. Plant Echinacea plants in the spring or the fall, in well-drained soil in full to part sun. Echinacea is easy to grow from seed, as well, but requires a cold, moist period—called stratification—in order to germinate. Sow seeds thickly in the fall (after hard-frost in the north and before winter rains elsewhere), covering lightly to discourage birds from eating them. Seeds will germinate in the spring. Most plants will bloom during the second year—one reason it’s advantageous to start with transplants.Coneflowers are clumping plants. One plant will tend to get larger, but it will not spread and overtake the garden via roots or rhizomes. The eventual size of the plant clump depends on the cultivar, so check the mature size listed in the plant description to help you decide on spacing. If a plant is estimated to grow to 18 inches wide, leave 18 inches between plants. Because Echinacea establish deep taproots, you need to plant them where you want them. They do not like to be moved once establishedEchinacea is a low-water plant; however, you’ll need to water young plants to help them establish new roots. That is usually a sequence of every day or every other day right after planting, moving to a couple of times per week, to once per week, to every other week, to watering only when your area is experiencing extreme drought. The second year after planting and beyond you should not have to water Echinacea at all unless you’ve gone eight weeks or more without rain. They are that drought-tolerant.