Coneflowers are a beautiful and hardy perennial. These plants are a great addition to any garden. Not only are they attractive, birds and insects love the flowers. Since this plant is native to North America, birds recognize coneflowers as a food source. Coneflowers can be trimmed in the fall or spring and the plant will do just fine. If you want to help out your local bird population, let the plants stand through winter. This will give them a natural food source and help them survive through the winter.
Allow the flowers to dry out and turn brown. Cut off some seed heads and save them for planting later. Break up the seed heads and use them for birdseed in the winter. Goldfinches love coneflower seeds.
Let the coneflowers stand for the entire winter. Doing so adds interest to your garden when nothing else is standing during winter. Birds will seek out and feed at these coneflowers.
Or, if you want to tidy up the garden, cut the coneflowers back in the fall. Once the seed heads have dried, cut the plants back to 4 or 6 inches. Try not to trim any lower than this or plant health may be affected. Use the trimmings for compost next year.
Cut the coneflowers down once spring arrives, but before the plants start to actively grow. Leave 2 to 4 inches of the stalks remaining. Mulch the stems to use as compost later.