Coneflower, also known as Echinacea, is a North American perennial herb that grows 2 to 4 feet tall. The daisy-like blooms with prickly centers appear in mid-summer to early fall and can be used for floral arrangements. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the cone center with its drooping petals, though some varieties of coneflower have flat petals. In the fall, the maturing seeds in the cone become a treat for many birds. Coneflower reseeds very easily.
Choose whether to use potted plants, divisions from an existing plant or seeds. Potted plants and divisions from existing plants can be planted in the spring or fall. Seeds are scattered in the fall.
Select a well-drained location with full sun to plant your coneflowers.
Work the soil down at least 12 inches. Coneflowers can tolerate most soil conditions, but if you have clay soil, work in topsoil or organic compost to make it easier for the plant to root. Dig the hole twice as wide as the pot or division taken from another coneflower. If planting seeds, still work the soil down to 12 inches, then level it off.
Place the potted plant or division into the hole so the top of the rootball is level with the top of the ground. Firm the soil with your hands as you fill the hole, then water thoroughly. If planting more than one, space them at least 2 feet apart. With seeds, lightly moisten the tilled surface and then scatter the seeds. Press the seeds gently into the soil, but do not cover the seeds with dirt.
Fertilize using an all-purpose fertilizer or organic fertilizer if desired. Coneflower will grow and bloom well, however, with no fertilizer.
Add about 2 inches of mulch to help control weeds.
Water every other day for the first week. Then water weekly only if there was no rainfall. Coneflowers are very drought tolerant.