How to Prune Pinnate Prairie Coneflower


Pinnate prairie coneflower is a perennial wildflower that grows to 1.5 feet tall. It is known for its bright yellow drooping petals. The upper part of the stem is leafless, with the leaves being concentrated at ground level, and its seeds attract songbirds. This wildflower can be found growing in fields and the sunny borders of woodlands. It is also grown in urban and country wildflower and butterfly gardens. Pruning not only makes plants more attractive but also keeps them healthy. The reasons to prune perennials are to promote new blossoms by deadheading (removing the spent flowers) and additional plant growth, to reduce the height and width of a plant and to prepare perennials for the winter season. Note: If you let the spent flowers dry, the plant will drop its seeds and reseed itself.

Step 1

Locate spent blooms and deadhead the spent flower by either pinching it off or using your hand pruning shears. In some instances you might want to prune the spent flower and part of the stem. Check for any other existing buds or flowers on the stem and cut above that bud or flower. This will encourage new blossoms and more vigorous plant growth.

Step 2

Cut stems at the base of the plant to keep the plant within its allotted space in your garden bed. The prairie coneflower reseeds itself and can overcrowd the other plants if it is not pruned or divided.

Step 3

Cut back the plants to 2 to 4 inches from the ground after the first hard frost. You can also leave the plants standing through the winter season. Not only will they add interest to your winter landscape but also the birds will enjoy their seeds. (You will need to cut them back in early spring.)

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruning shears
  • Mulch


  • The Master Gardeners
  • USGS -- Science for a changing world
  • Easy Wildflowers
Keywords: pinnate prairie coneflower, wildflower prune deadhead, wildflowers butterflies songbirds seeds

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.