How to Propagate Coneflower Plants

Overview

Purple coneflower is a hardy perennial grown in flower gardens across the U.S. Its characteristic daisy-like petals fold backward, exposing a deep orange center. Many gardeners are surprised to learn that coneflowers are available in a range of colors, including shades of orange and yellow. Reaching heights of 3 feet or more, coneflower blooms from midsummer to frost. Propagating coneflower from seed often produces pale or insignificant blooms. But there is a method to produce new plants identical to the parent.

Step 1

Propagate coneflowers from root divisions in spring once new growth appears. Dig around the base of the plant, 6 to 8 inches from the stalk. Use care not to damage roots.

Step 2

Slide the blade of the spade beneath the clump of coneflowers and lift it free of the soil. Shake gently to remove loose soil.

Step 3

Pull the roots into three to five sections. Each section should have at least two shoots of foliage. If roots resist your efforts, cut apart with a sharp knife.

Step 4

Prepare a planting site in with similar lighting and soil as the original plant. Till to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Amend with 2 to 3 inches of peat moss or well-rotted manure. Mix in well with the existing soil.

Step 5

Dig a hole in the prepared bed twice the size of the root ball. Place the plant to its original planting depth and fill in around the roots with soil. Firm down with your hands to secure the plant.

Step 6

Water thoroughly to moisten soil to the root level. Keep the soil moist until new growth appears. Reduce water to once a week. Resume normal care.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade/fork
  • Sharp knife
  • Garden tiller (optional)
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Compost
  • Bucket (optional)
  • Newspapers (optional)

References

  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Production of Purple Coneflower
  • USDA NRCS: Eastern Purple Coneflower

Who Can Help

  • The Houston Chronicle: Gregarious Coneflowers Are a Varied Bunch
Keywords: propagate coneflower, start purple coneflower, divide coneflower plants, propagate coneflower plants

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.