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Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) produce daisy-shaped purple flowers with a large central cone. The plants blossom throughout summer and grow as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. Coneflowers propagate through the seeds that develop in the cones after the flowers begin to wilt. Collect seeds from the healthiest plants and sow them in spring. Alternatively, home gardeners can also divide the plants in the spring when they are 4 years old.
Sometimes called echinacea, coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower native to North America. It is widely grown within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9 for its bright green foliage and large, daisy-like flowers, which last from midsummer into autumn. Although the best way to propagate coneflowers is from seeds or divisions, coneflowers will also grow from root cuttings, according to Cornell University's Growing Guide. The echinacea cuttings will put down new roots in just a few weeks if kept under warm, bright conditions; however, they must be taken at the right time of year to ensure healthy, productive growth.It is not an exaggeration to say that purple coneflower (aka Echinacea purpurea) is the one of the finest native perennials in the U.S. Purple coneflower is easy to grow (as you will learn below) and tough as nails. Echinacea is a native plant that produces large, conspicuous flowers over a long period of time. Plus, purple coneflower is drought tolerant, attracts wildlife to the garden, and cold hardy in almost every state. In short, coneflower plants have a lot going for them.
What type of soil pH does Coneflower prefer? - Some wild species prefer alkaline and some prefer slightly acid soil. Most of the Echinacea hybrids do well in a wide range of soil pH levels. They prefer a pH between 6 and 7. The wild species Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida can tolerate more alkaline conditions while Echinacea paradoxa and Echinacea tennesseensis prefer a more acidic soil.are nine Echinacea species that are distributed across the eastern and midwestern US in rocky open woods, barrens, meadows, roadsides, clear cuts, dry limestone bluffs, power line rights of way and prairies from New Mexico east to Florida, and north to Saskatchewan and Ottawa, Canada. The area of greatest species richness is in the grasslands of Oklahoma and Missouri. In general, coneflower plants prefer sunny sites with low levels of competition, plus high levels of magnesium and calcium. Periodic disturbance (fire, grazing, etc.) is necessary for the maintenance of their preferred open conditions. Echinacea is very drought tolerant and survives in places that receive as little as 15" of rain per year. (Source: www.plantdelights.com)