How to Prune Coneflowers

A purple coneflower bed. image by Jordon Meeter/


Coneflower, also called echinacea, has long stems with lavender flowers. The petals pull down from the red-orange, cone shaped center. This attractive perennial is striking in borders and beds. Pruning throughout the growing season helps encourage healthy blooming. Pruning early in the season before they have a chance to bloom gives you shorter plants that bloom a little later in the spring. Because coneflowers have long stems, an early prune ensures they fit into your borders and beds without blocking the flowers behind them.

Step 1

Cut coneflower stems down to 6 inches in height once the first flower buds begin forming in spring. This is only necessary if you prefer shorter flowers for your beds.

Step 2

Inspect coneflowers weekly once they begin to bloom for areas that need to be pruned.

Step 3

Remove withered flowers before seeds form. Snip off the flower head a quarter inch above the nearest flower bud on the stem. This encourages further blooms because the flower strives to produce more seeds.

Step 4

Look for seed heads that have already formed. Remove them from the plant by cutting them off above the nearest bud.

Step 5

Remove stems entirely once all blooms have blossomed and withered. Cut off the stem even with the soil surface.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cut back the plant entirely once buds have opened. Use sharp tools to prune. Dull tools damage plant stems and increase your chance of injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears


  • Frederick County Master Gardeners
  • University of Minnesota Extension
Keywords: purple coneflower, echinacea trimming, pruning coneflowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. 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.

Photo by: Jordon Meeter/