How to Care for Cone Flowers

Overview

Coneflower, also known as Echinacea or purple coneflower, is an herbaceous perennial flower native to North America. It typically grows to about 4 feet in height and produces cone-shaped, purple flowers. Cone flowers bloom from late spring to late summer, and can produce many flowers if cared for properly. These drought-tolerant plants require only basic care to thrive in most regions throughout North America.

Step 1

Plant cone flowers during spring in a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Spread 1 inch of clean sand over the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil to increase drainage. Allow about 12 inches of space between each cone flower planting.

Step 2

Water cone flowers once per week during the first year of growth. Water only during weeks that have received less than 2 inches of rainfall for the remainder of the plant's life. Saturate the soil surrounding the plants during each watering to provide plenty of water for the entire root system.

Step 3

Feed cone flowers twice per year, once in early spring and again in late summer, using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Water the plant both before and after applying to prevent root burn. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper application and dosage.

Step 4

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding cone flowers to increase moisture retention and to suppress the growth of weeds. Begin the layer at least 3 inches from the base of the plant to allow air circulation and room for growth. Replenish the mulch as necessary to keep it 3 inches deep.

Step 5

Remove dead and faded cone flower blossoms as soon as possible to encourage the plant to form more flowers instead of seed. Pinch off the flowers as close to the point of origin as possible with your fingers to minimize damage to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Garden tiller
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch

References

  • University of Tennessee: July Plant of the Month - Purple Coneflower
  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Echinacea Production and Consumer Care
  • "Georgia Gardener's Guide;" Erica Glasener, Walter Reeves; 2004
Keywords: cone flowers, conflower, purple coneflower

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.