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How to Plant Coneflower Bulbs

Coneflowers are tall flowers that resemble daisies. They can be grown from seeds or transplanted as growing plants from your local nursery. Coneflower seeds grow into a bulb-like structures called rhizomes. While rhizomes are commonly referred to as bulbs and even sold as bulbs, they are not true bulbs, scientifically. However, no matter what you choose to call them, coneflower bulbs should be planted in the spring.

Choose an area that is in full sun to partial shade to grow your coneflowers. Amend the soil so that it is well draining and rich in nutrients. Mixing in several inches of organic matter, such as compost, to the top foot of your planting bed will accomplish both goals at one time.

Plant the coneflower bulbs so that they are about two inches from the soil’s surface. The crowns should be facing up.

Space coneflowers at least one feet apart from one another. Some larger coneflower varieties need more space, such as the double decker cornflower, which should be spaced about two feet apart.

Fill in the hole with the soil you dug out and use the palm of your hand to push firmly down on the soil. Water the bulbs well and then push down on the soil once more. Tamping down the soil will remove any possible air pockets, which can cause root rot.

Coneflower Plant Bloom?

There are three main nutrients that plants require: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The most important for setting blooms is phosphorus. Bloom-boosting fertilizers contain higher levels of phosphorus, a 15-30-15 ratio for example. A typical water-soluble fertilizer can be mixed 1 tablespoon to 1 gallon of water and applied to the plants every seven to 14 days during the summer bloom season. Coneflowers will endure heat, drought and poor soil. However, they do not like too much water. Soil for coneflowers should be well-drained and deep to accommodate their long tap-roots. Otherwise, the plants will fail to thrive and bloom. However, certain cultivars like Pica Bella (Echinacea purpurea "Pica Bella," USDA zones 5 through 9) need weekly watering. All cultivars and species should be grown in full sun. Coneflowers should never be planted in full shade, which will stunt plant growth, reduce the chance of flowers and possibly kill the plant. They can be left in place for many years without becoming crowded.

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