How to Grow Purple Coneflower

Overview

Purple coneflowers, a member of the Echinacea family, are perennial bloomers in the flower garden. Coneflowers offer long-lasting color, blooming from early summer until fall. They can reach up to 4 feet tall, though 2 feet is a more common height. Coneflowers tolerate most soil conditions, require minimal maintenance and are resistant to many pests. They also attract butterflies to the garden, making them a suitable addition to butterfly gardens. Start coneflower seeds directly in the garden in spring once frost danger is past.

Step 1

Apply 1 inch of compost to a garden bed that receives full sun. Use the hoe to work the compost into the top 6 inches of soil in the bed.

Step 2

Sprinkle coneflower seeds onto the soil surface. Sow thinly, placing approximately one seed per each 6-inch square of bed.

Step 3

Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil once they sprout. Mist the bed lightly with water to moisten it.

Step 4

Thin the seedlings once they are 4 inches tall. Pluck out the extra seedlings so that the coneflowers are spaced approximately 18 inches apart in all directions.

Step 5

Water purple coneflowers once a week. Moisten the soil to a 6-inch depth at each irrigation. Apply 2 inches of mulch over the bed to help preserve the moisture in the soil.

Step 6

Fertilize coneflowers each spring when they begin growing again. Apply 1 lb. of 12-6-6, slow-release fertilizer per every 100 square feet of bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Coneflowers are susceptible to aster yellows. Symptoms include malformed flower buds and discolored petals. There is no cure for this virus, so remove infected plants to prevent spread.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Hoe
  • Seeds
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Clemson University Extension: Echinacea
  • Edgewood College: How to Grow Echinacea
Keywords: growing purple coneflower, planting echinacea flowers, perennial flower gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.