FutureStarr

Coneflowers Onlineor

Coneflowers Onlineor

Coneflowers Online

If you enjoy watching pollinators buzzing and flitting around beautiful, hassle-free flowers that bloom for a long time, coneflowers are a must-grow. While purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are the most common, you’ll also find lots of new varieties of coneflowers in an array of happy colors, like pink, yellow, orange, red, and white. They don’t just delight for a season, either, as these are perennial flowers that will come back year after year.Coneflowers are named for the “cone” that begins to stick up in the center of the circle of petals as each flower matures. This is actually a cluster of seed heads that, when left to dry on the plant, acts as Mother Nature’s bird feeder, attracting lots of cardinals, goldfinches, and other birds looking for a feast.

Coneflower

Plant coneflowers where they’ll get at least 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. In warmer regions (zones 8 and higher), though, a little bit of afternoon shade is actually a good thing, as it will help keep the flowers from fading. These plants naturally grow in clumps, so they won’t spread as far as some other perennials. Many of the older varieties will self-seed if you leave blooms in place — an easy way to get more plants!To create an ideal environment for coneflower roots to grow strong, improve your native in-ground soil by mixing 3 inches of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers in with the top 6 inches of existing soil. This rich, nutrient-filled garden soil has Moisture Control® technology, which helps protect plants during those times when they accidentally get too much—or too little—water. Plus, when you use Miracle-Gro® soil and plant food (and follow all the directions), you’ll get up to triple the flowers over the growing season (vs. unfed)—so be sure to check out the "How to Feed Coneflowers" section below. Just planting one coneflower? Dig a hole and blend garden soil with the soil you just dug up in a 50:50 ratio.

Coneflowers have strong stems to go along with their big flowerheads, so they rarely need to be staked. If you do find yourself with floppy plants, though, push a sturdy stake into the soil near the center of the plant (but not through the plant), then loop twine loosely around both the stake and the individual stems. Or, you can purchase a circular stake intended for clumping flowers. Either way, you want the end result to look natural, not like there’s a belt cinched tight around the plant’s middlePurple Coneflower blooms profusely for up to two months in mid to late summer and sometimes re-blooms in the fall. Perfect for both small gardens and large prairie meadows, the showy flowers are a favorite nectar source for butterflies, bees and myriad pollinators, including hummingbirds. In late summer the large seed heads attract Goldfinches and other birds. Easy to grow, Echinacea purpurea prefers full to partial sun and medium soil conditions. Growth is best in fertile loam, but it will tolerate clay or dryer conditions. It is somewhat drought resistant, but the entire plant may wilt if the soil becomes too dry in strong sunlight. Uncommon in the wild, it is readily available commercially, and the seed is often used in land restoration. Echinacea species were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes and are still used today in herbal medicine and tea. (Source: www.prairienursery.com)

 

 

Related Articles