Echinacea Purpurea: Growing Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea is a a lot cherished and sought-after flowering plant to develop within the backyard for flower preparations, natural teas, to draw butterflies, or just to be admired for its architectural magnificence.  The purple to lavender rays of its daisy-like flowers are completely suited to develop in cottage backyard borders, in large drifts amongst tall grasses, or as a part of a prairie backyard.  No matter model you select to develop your Echinacea purpurea, it’s assured to make a press release.

Wildlife gardens in North America profit from the addition of purple coneflowers attracting native species of helpful bugs all summer season equivalent to pollinating bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Its deer-resistant nature makes it good for native wildlife gardens too. When flowers start to fade it’s the flip of the small birds, particularly finches to feast on the dried seed heads.

In conventional drugs, the dried flowers of Echinacea purpurea are an especially widespread natural tea and well-known treatment for reinforcing the immune system towards seasonal colds, flu, and chest infections amongst different illnesses.

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Echinacea Purpurea:

Fast Care Information

Like different echinaceas, Echinacea purpurea is a bee magnet. Supply: M. Martin Vicente
Frequent Title Coneflower, purple coneflower
Scientific Title Echinacea purpurea
Household Asteraceae
Top & Unfold 4-5ft (120-150cm) excessive; 18-24in (45-60cm) unfold
Gentle Full solar to partial shade
Soil Properly-drained, sandy, clay, loam, silt
Water Drought resistant
Pests & Illnesses Slugs, snails, vine weevil, and powdery mildew

All About Echinacea Purpurea

Purple coneflower
Purple coneflowers can create a stupendous show within the backyard. Supply: BarefootGardener

Echinacea, from the Greek ‘echino’ which means spiky or prickly, is the genus of round 9 echinacea species, purpurea being one. Every species has a number of varieties in all sizes and colours such because the pale creamy white flowers of ‘White Lustre’, the purple-red flower heads of ‘Vibrant Star’, and the deep pink flower with brilliant orange cones of ‘Robert Bloom’.

Echinacea is usually often known as coneflower or japanese purple coneflower however it’s usually referred to by its botanical title echinacea. The Echinacea purpurea species originates from the rocky hillsides, prairie grasslands, and woodlands of central and japanese United States. As a hardy clump-forming herbaceous perennial Echinacea purpurea is a tall pink to purple daisy-like flower, from the household, Asteraceae, with long-lasting blooms which might be self-supporting and low upkeep.  Amount and high quality of blooms enhance with maturity with crops rising flowers to 4-5ft (120-150cm) in top and foliage 18-24in (45-60cm) throughout. 

Purple cone flowers produce basal leaves round Might which might be darkish inexperienced, lengthy, ovate, deeply veined, and roughly textured. Flowering gentle inexperienced stems are stiff, upright, and with scattered white hairs bearing comparable, however barely smaller leaves. Single pink petalled flowers, typically tending towards lavender rays, 5in (12cm) throughout are produced with a bloom time from early summer season to September with a central orange-brown prickly seedhead cone. As soon as the drooping rays surrounding the seed head fade, the flowers dry to type spiky brown globes. Seeds are small, brown, and wedged between the spikes making them troublesome to reap though crops will readily self-seed in late fall. The dried inflexible stems stay upright all through winter if not in the reduction of whereas the foliage dies again remaining dormant till the next spring.

Echinacea has blackish faucet roots with quick non-invasive rhizomes. Though crops might be propagated by division, they don’t tolerate disturbance effectively and might take a couple of years to recuperate and set up in new places. Native People in North America use Echinacea purpurea to deal with ache, coughs, colds, rheumatism, burns, and toothaches. All components of the plant can be utilized medicinally.  


Closeup of Echinacea purpurea cone
An excessive closeup of an Echinacea purpurea cone. Supply: Martin LaBar

Late spring in any case danger of frost has handed is one of the best time of 12 months to plant purple coneflower.  Develop echinacea in full solar to half shade in fertile well-drained soils both within the floor or in containers. Select a container that’s deep sufficient to accommodate the faucet root and large sufficient to permit this clump-forming perennial room to unfold. Container-grown coneflowers will should be watered extra recurrently than these grown in native soil.

Purple coneflower might be grown from seed, nursery inventory, or by root chopping and plant divisions.  Seeds might be began indoors 4-6 weeks earlier than the final frost date and would require a interval of chilly stratification to assist germination. Putting seeds within the fridge for a few weeks earlier than sowing ought to do the job. Harden crops off for a minimum of per week to assist them acclimatize to parts earlier than planting out.

Retailer-bought nursery inventory might be planted into their closing rising positions right away.  Merely dig a gap massive sufficient to accommodate the basis ball and plant on the identical depth as within the pot. Divisions and established root cuttings ought to be planted in the identical method. House crops 18-24in aside.


Echinacea purpurea in the shade
Echinacea purpurea can tolerate partial shade, however does take pleasure in solar. Supply: jmunt

As soon as established, echinacea is straightforward to look after. Simply in case, here’s a full information that will help you maintain your flowers in nice well being, with wholesome development blooming flower heads by late summer season.

Solar and Temperature

Echinacea purpurea enjoys a full solar place however may also develop in partial solar to gentle shade. Crops want a minimal of 4-6hrs direct solar to thrive in USDA zones 3 to 9. These are among the solely crops with a local vary of this measurement. Echinacea is drought tolerant, warmth resistant, and can survive gentle frosts. Shield new shoots from late spring frosts with a frost blanket or a bell-shaped cowl.

Water and Humidity

Water the soil early within the morning to offer crops loads of time to soak up all that moisture earlier than the total noon warmth of the solar. Use soaker hoses, backyard hoses, or a watering can with the water directed on the soil. Younger crops ought to be grown in moist soil till settled into their new rising positions. Mature specimens have low water wants, solely requiring irrigation when displaying indicators of warmth stress or excessive drought. 


Jap purple coneflower is adaptive to most soil sorts, even doing effectively in gravel, clay, and really sandy soil. For greatest outcomes develop Echinacea purpurea in wealthy well-drained soil ready with numerous natural matter. Really helpful soil pH is 6 to eight.


An excessive amount of nitrogen fertilizer when rising Echinacea purpurea can lead to weak floppy crops that produce numerous wavy-lined emerald foliage on the expense of flowers.  mulch in late autumn and once more in springtime with well-rotted steer manure or compost will present sufficient vitamins to final the season. Alternatively sprinkle some fish meal, blood meal, and bone meal across the base of crops in spring and water it effectively for pretty pink and purple flowers in late summer season.


Deadhead spent purple flowers all through the flowering season to encourage numerous new flowering stems. Seed heads might be left for the birds in late fall/winter and in the reduction of in spring when new shoots seem.


Echinacea purpurea might be propagated by seed, plant division, or root cuttings. Seeds ought to be harvested out of your healthiest inventory and saved someplace cool just like the fridge to simulate winter chilly stratification. This helps with germination. Good high quality store-bought seeds can be used. Sow seeds 4-6 weeks earlier than the final frost date on prime of moist soil, 2 inches aside if sowing in seed trays, and canopy frivolously with some sieved soil. Preserve the soil moist and at a temperature of round 55ºF (13ºC) till germination which might take between 5 and 20 days.  Pot up seedlings individually into 3in (9cm) pots and develop on, solely planting exterior in any case danger of frost has handed.

Propagate japanese purple coneflower by division in spring or autumn, minimizing harm to the faucet root.  Dig a big, deep gap round a mature plant and gently tease your complete root ball from the bottom. Cut up the basis ball into the specified variety of new crops both by breaking sections aside by hand or dividing with a noticed or knife. Plant every new part instantly right into a ready planting gap amended with numerous contemporary compost. Echinacea doesn’t at all times transplant effectively and should take time to settle into its new planting location.

Take root cuttings in late fall to early winter when the plant is dormant. On the fringe of a mature echinacea plant, dig down till the roots are uncovered and select a wholesome part 1 to 3in lengthy with proof of the earlier season’s shoots connected to the basis. Minimize the part utilizing a pointy, clear knife and plant right into a pot ready with a mixture of damp compost and sand or perlite. Frivolously cowl the chopping, maintain moist, and l depart someplace cool, out of direct daylight till new shoots seem in spring.


Purple coneflower with moth
Different pollinators are drawn to E. purpurea as effectively. Supply: BarefootGardener

Echinacea purpurea is a tricky cookie, tolerating warmth, frost, and drought. It’s deer-resistant too. There are some things that may cease it in its tracks. Learn on to search out out what they’re and find out how to overcome them.

Rising Issues

Echinacea can take a couple of seasons to ascertain and to begin flowering which might usually be seen as a rising drawback. That is fully regular. Coneflowers simply want time to mature earlier than bloom time after they start producing these superior daisy blooms. One of the best motion to take for that is to double-check that you just’ve offered your crops with the very best rising situations together with somewhat persistence!

In case your purple coneflower seems a bit lackluster then test that you’re not overwatering, resulting in potential root rot or possibly the rising location isn’t deep sufficient to accommodate the plant’s lengthy faucet root. Enable soil to dry out between watering and for those who suppose the situation isn’t proper, then replant in a brand new location. Echinacea doesn’t transplant effectively so solely do that as a final resort.


Slugs and snails discover younger contemporary purple coneflower foliage notably scrumptious, devouring early spring shoots in a single night and leaving a glistening slime path as proof. They largely feed at night time and are extra energetic within the damp climate of early summer season. Scale back slug and snail populations by eradicating their daytime hideaways and breeding grounds like damp moist wooden and weed matting. Take away by hand on sight (greatest outcomes at night time) or depart beer or oatmeal traps that may be collected and discarded within the morning. If all else fails use natural slug/snail pellets. Learn the label rigorously to make sure they won’t hurt different wildlife.

The dreaded vine weevil instills worry in most gardeners. They largely have an effect on crops grown in containers however these grown within the floor may fall sufferer to the evil weevil. Little notches minimize alongside leaf edges generally is a signal of an grownup vine weevil.  That is superficial harm and won’t have an effect on plant well being. Nonetheless, the place there are adults there are soon-to-be larvae that trigger harm to roots and sometimes the loss of life of the entire plant. Affected crops will start to wilt, dying shortly after.

Vine weevils have change into immune to many pesticides which are sometimes restricted to make use of in containers and never on open floor. Adults come out at night time and might be collected and destroyed. Use sticky traps across the base to catch weevils as they fall. Crops affected by the larvae might be saved if caught early by digging them up and washing the roots of all soil. Repot into a brand new container with contemporary compost. Nematode drenches can be utilized in each pots and open floor to manage vine weevil larvae however normally requires repeated therapies in a single season.

Fortunately, echinacea is a deer-resistant plant, making it an appropriate addition to naturalized areas in each local weather zone in North America. 


Powdery mildew is a fungal illness that may have an effect on echinacea grown in scorching, humid, shaded situations. It grows as a white thick mud on leaves and stems, inhibiting photosynthesis and hindering development. Foliage finally turns yellow and dies. To stop powdery mildew, keep good backyard hygiene by eradicating contaminated foliage to stop the illness from spreading and reinfection in subsequent years. Present ample solar and keep away from situations the illness thrives on. Give ample house to permit good air circulation. Spray with an natural fungicide equivalent to sulfur, neem oil, or potassium bicarbonate, previous to or on first sight of illness.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Side view of Echinacea purpurea
A aspect view of Echinacea purpurea. Supply: byb64

Q: What’s Echinacea purpurea used for?

A:  Echinacea might be planted within the backyard to draw pollinators – equivalent to butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees – and as a decorative border plant.  Crops are additionally grown commercially to provide pure natural treatments.

Q: Does echinacea come again yearly?

A:  Echinacea is a hardy herbaceous perennial rising again every year.

Q: Is Echinacea purpurea the identical as echinacea?

A:  Echinacea purpurea is one among round 9 species of echinacea usually referred to collectively by the frequent title echinacea.

Q: Are you able to eat Echinacea purpurea?

A:  All components of Echinacea purpurea are edible. The purple flower petals are notably enticing sprinkled over salads. As with all medicinal crops, warning ought to be taken when consuming any a part of a plant. 

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