How to Plant a Purple Coneflower


The purple coneflower, also known by its scientific name Echinacea purpurea, is a North American perennial native. The plant can reach a height of 4 to 5 feet and a width of 3 feet. The plant grows well in zones 3 to 8. The plant is known by various nicknames across its growing zones such as scurvy root, hedge hog, snake root, Indian head, and comb flower.

Step 1

Plan to plant your purple coneflower in the spring. Wait until all threats of frost have passed in your growing region.

Step 2

Locate a planting site for your purple coneflower. This plant can grow in a sunny spot, but it will grow taller and have brighter blooms if it is planted in an area that receives partial shade. The purple coneflower does not grow well in clay soil or soil that stays wet consistently. Opt for a growing spot that has well-draining soil.

Step 3

Dig a hole for your purple coneflower. Dig the hole 4 inches wider and deeper than the growing container that houses the plant. If you are planting more than one plant, space your holes 15 to 20 inches apart.

Step 4

Sprinkle a handful of compost or peat moss into the hole. This addition will give the soil a boost of nutrients and it will also help the soil retain moisture.

Step 5

Remove your purple coneflower from its growing container. Place it into the hole and backfill the hole with dirt. To help remove any air pockets which remain, gently press down on the soil with your palms.

Step 6

Add water to the plant. This plant is very drought tolerant and generally only requires hand-watering once every seven to 10 days. If your region is going through an excessive dry spell, water weekly.

Step 7

Divide your purple coneflower every two to three years. Doing so will keep your plant full of blooms.

Tips and Warnings

  • This plant requires no more than a yearly application of a liquid plant fertilizer. If you fertilizer more often, the plant will grow spindly and tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Small trowel
  • Peat moss or compost
  • Water


  • Planet Natural: Growing Echinacea
  • In the Garden: Purple Coneflower

Who Can Help

  • Natural Science Center, Edgewood: How to Grow Echinacea
Keywords: growing echinacea, planting purple coneflowers, planting echinacea coneflowers

About this Author

Joyce Maxwell is a writer and editor for print and online markets. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English with a psychology minor at a southern university. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, as well as being picked up by health and education groups. Maxwell is a writer and title flagger for Demand Studios.