Mexican Hat Flower: Growing Prairie Coneflowers

The Mexican hat flower will get its identify from the big cone in the course of the flower, which is alleged to resemble a sombrero or hat. It is available in a variety of colours from darkish pink, reddish brown, and pink and yellow. The Mexican hat plant has a really energetic rising season and blooms from late spring into early fall. 

Like so many coneflowers, the prairie coneflower, aka Mexican hat flower, is a good pollinator plant. It’s comparatively drought tolerant as nicely and thrives within the scorching and dry climates of the western United States. 

Essentially the most generally identified coneflower might be echinacea which is thought for its use in natural teas. Mexican hat plant can be utilized in teas as nicely and has additionally been used as a therapy for poison ivy. Take into account including this coneflower to your pollinator backyard, and also you’ll be rewarded with an edible natural tea supply as nicely! 

The Mexican hat plant can be identified for being deer-resistant and comparatively pest and illness free. Often known as Ratibida columnifera, it’s a fast-growing plant. The one draw back is that it could crowd out weaker vegetation close by. Give these wildflowers loads of area in a sunny spot in your backyard, and also you received’t be disillusioned! Additionally they appeal to many helpful pollinators to your gardens, resembling wild bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. 

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Mexican Hat Flower:

Fast Care Information

The flower bought its frequent identify as a result of it seems to be like a hat. Supply: suziwahoozi
Frequent Title Mexican hat sunflower, upright prairie coneflower, Mexican hat plant
Scientific Title Ratibida columnnifera
Household Asteraceae
Top & Unfold 2-4 toes tall and 18 inches extensive
Gentle Full solar
Soil Effectively-drained soil, sandy loam
Water Drought tolerant plant
Pests & Ailments Root rot, Japanese beetles, aphids

All About Mexican Hat Flowers

Ratibida columnnifera
Ratibida columnifera close-up, displaying its pronounced cone. Supply: Andreanna Moya

Mexican hat flower (Ratibida columnifera) is also called prairie coneflower, red-spike Mexican hat, thimble flower, or upright prairie coneflower. Mexican hat vegetation are native to the nice plains of North America from southern Canada to northern Mexico and many of the United States. This perennial plant is within the aster household. Individuals develop Mexican hat for stunning reduce flowers. 

The flower heads resemble different members of the coneflower household (like Echinacea), however with pronounced upright seed heads that kind from the middle of the drooping petals. This long-headed coneflower is supported by slender stems with vivid inexperienced, feathery, and deeply cleft leaves. This colourful coneflower can vary from pink and yellow to reddish-brown. 

For the very best germination outcomes, the Mexican hat seeds require a interval of chilly stratification. Use a excessive seeding price to sow the seed within the fall by broadcasting the tiny seed after which evenly raking the realm. Within the early spring, water repeatedly till the Mexican hat vegetation are established. Their bloom time will differ relying in your area however ranges from late spring, via summer time, into late summer time and even into the early fall. 

Mexican Hat Plant Care

Mexican hat plant care is notoriously no to low upkeep making this an amazing selection for an space of the backyard that you just’d prefer to fill with out including one other plant care schedule to your agenda. 

Solar and Temperature

Many Mexican hat flowers
Many Mexican hat flowers amongst different wildflowers. Supply: DaylandS

Pink-brown Mexican hat vegetation thrive in full solar. Nevertheless, they’ll tolerate mild shade. They make an amazing possibility for sunny borders in your cottage gardens. Given 6-8 hours of daylight per day, this really colourful coneflower selection will flower profusely. The best rising zones for this plant are USDA rising zones 4-8. 

For the reason that seeds want a interval of stratification, zones with chilly winters enable them to propagate naturally. In zones with hotter winter climate, the chilly interval could be simulated by inserting seeds within the fridge for just a few weeks earlier than planting. 

The best temperature vary for this plant is between 65-75 levels Fahrenheit. When temperatures in midsummer start to development constantly above 90 levels, the flowers are inclined to die again and go to seed. The vegetation will die again fully on the first signal of a light-weight frost. 

For those who’d prefer to take pleasure in these flowers year-round then it’s possible you’ll contemplate rising them indoors in potted vegetation. They are often grown in any heat, well-lit indoor setting. Nevertheless, they’re quick rising and may have repotting now and again. Whereas these vegetation are significantly drought tolerant, in excessively extended intervals of warmth and drought, they could want some further moisture. Mulch can be utilized to assist preserve moisture, particularly in poor soils, and cut back the necessity for watering. 

Water and Humidity

It’s finest to water these vegetation both early within the day or later within the night after the warmth of the day has handed. Watering in the course of the hottest a part of the day ensures {that a} portion of the water will evaporate earlier than it will possibly attain the roots. Throughout germination and preliminary progress within the spring, these vegetation would require common waterings. 

As soon as they’re established, nonetheless, they want moisture much less steadily. Whereas these vegetation are significantly tolerant of drought, in excessively extended intervals, they could want some further moisture. Mulch can be utilized to assist preserve moisture, particularly in poor soils, and cut back the necessity for watering. 

Watering on the base of the plant with a soaker hose or drip irrigation traces works finest. Drip irrigation traces are significantly helpful for mass plantings the place it could be tougher to succeed in the bottom of each plant with a hose. As soon as the plant has gone to seed, it’s possible you’ll stop watering altogether. Permit the seed heads to dry on the plant, after which rigorously acquire your flower seeds for subsequent yr! 


Mexican hat vegetation are identified to outlive in a variety of soil sorts. These native vegetation are typically present in meadows, prairies, roadsides, and different areas with disturbed soils. Nevertheless, they require well-drained soil since extra moisture could cause issues for this plant. The most effective rising medium for Ratibida columnifera ought to be a well-drained, barely sandy loam combine. Mexican hat plant has no particular soil pH necessities and may survive in impartial to alkaline soils. 

Fertilizing Mexican Hat Plant

Upright prairie coneflowers
The Mexican hat plant is typically referred to as upright prairie coneflowers. Supply: yumievriwan

One of many advantages of planting native vegetation just like the Mexican hat plant is that they don’t require fertilizer in any respect! Not solely is Mexican hat plant care low upkeep, requires low water use, and prefers sandy soil, however in addition they don’t require any fertilizer. Fertilizing your Mexican hat vegetation received’t harm them in any respect; it simply isn’t obligatory. Plant in a full-sun location with well-draining soil, and also you’ll be having fun with Ratibida columnifera all summer time lengthy. 

Pruning Mexican Hat Vegetation

You possibly can prolong the bloom time of Ratibida columnifera in your backyard by pruning again the flower heads or deadheading the spent blooms. This can encourage one other flush of flowers. For those who don’t need your flowers to re-seed themselves and unfold, mow them down after they’ve completed blooming. Within the first yr of progress, it’s advisable to chop again the spent blooms earlier than they get an opportunity to go to seed to assist the plant focus its vitality on establishing roots and turning into naturalized. On the finish of the rising season, when the plant has dried fully and died again, it may be reduce to the bottom. 

Mexican Hat Propagation

Mexican hat seed is simple to gather, and one of many advantages of rising this wildflower is an ample and endless supply of seeds to share with pals or unfold to different areas of the backyard. After the flowers have bloomed, every cone will dry and switch into tiny seeds that may be stripped from the cone. 

As talked about above, these seeds require a interval of chilly stratification so they’ll have to be planted within the fall for finest outcomes. The seeds are so tiny that they don’t have to be planted deeply. The most effective sowing methodology is to broadcast a considerable amount of the seeds over an space of naked dust after which evenly rake the seeds into the bottom. 

Troubleshooting Mexican Hat Flower

Blooming and spent upright prairie coneflowers
Blooming and spent upright prairie coneflowers. Supply: Large Gray Mare

Little doubt you’ve chosen to develop Mexican hat vegetation as a result of they’re low upkeep, drought tolerant, and fast-growing stunning flowers. There are, nonetheless, some points to be looking out for with regards to this wildflower. 

Rising Issues

The Ratibida genus has very tiny seeds, which might make them troublesome to sow as they will blow away or turn out to be disturbed and find yourself exterior of the realm wherein you need them to develop. They do want mild to germinate, to allow them to’t be sown deeply both to keep away from this difficulty. They are often broadcast throughout an space of naked soil and lined with a fantastic layer of vermiculite which can assist maintain them in place however nonetheless enable mild to go via. 


For those who discover holes in your prairie coneflower leaves and the leaves seem like skeletonized, then you will have a problem with Japanese beetles. They’re copper-black with a metallic blue-green head and are straightforward to identify and establish. If the infestation is small, they are often hand-picked from the vegetation and dropped right into a bucket of soapy water. 

In bigger infestations, neem oil could be sprayed in your vegetation to regulate the adults. Nevertheless, Japanese beetles overwinter as grubs within the floor, so in additional critical instances, you’ll be able to deal with the bottom yearly with milky spore powder. The milky spores are ingested by the grubs which then kill them and stop the subsequent era from rising into adults. The most effective time for any such therapy could be within the fall. Observe that it will possibly take some time for milky spore powder to be efficient, so that is an ongoing annual therapy routine.

Aphids are typically enticed by prairie coneflower foliage. One of the best ways to battle aphids is to spray them off of your plant with a blast of water as quickly as you see them. To forestall them from returning and/or overtaking your vegetation, creating an setting that features quite a lot of flowering vegetation will appeal to pollinators and different helpful bugs that like to munch on aphids, like ladybugs. In additional extreme infestations, neem oil or insecticidal soaps may also do the trick. 


Ratibida columnifera is generally freed from illness. Nevertheless, root rot points can come up if the planting website has poor draining soil or whether it is affected by overwatering. They don’t prefer to be in standing water so offering them with well-draining soil will assist keep away from this difficulty. 

Planting them in the fitting soil helps too. Nevertheless, in the event you discover wilting although it has acquired loads of water, mushy stems, and a scarcity of recent progress, this could point out rot. Letting your plant dry out fully earlier than watering it once more will help starve the fungus. The applying of copper fungicides has combined critiques with regards to treating root rot. 

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Mexican hat flower garden
The Mexican hat flower is a vibrant, thrilling backyard showstopper. Supply: mikehogan2

Q: Are Mexican hat flowers perennial?

A: Sure, they’re perennial and launch seed yearly for the upcoming season. 

Q: What’s a Mexican hat flower?

A: A quick-growing wildflower within the aster household.

Q: How do you care for a Mexican hat plant?

A: Place this column flower in a full-sun space of your backyard. As soon as established it is vitally low upkeep, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and illness free. 

Q: The place is the Mexican Hat flower native to?

A: Mexican hat has a local vary within the nice plains of North America from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico, together with many of the United States. 

Q: How lengthy do Mexican hat flowers bloom?

A: The flowering interval will rely upon a number of elements. Watering in the summertime can prolong the bloom time and deadheading or eradicating the spent blooms to encourage extra flowers. Typically talking, they’ll bloom from spring to late summer time. 

Q: How tall does a Mexican hat develop?

A: It will probably develop between 2 toes and as much as 4 toes tall. 

Q: How usually do you water a Mexican hat plant?

A: As soon as established, this straightforward plant has a excessive stage of drought tolerance and thrives in dry areas. That being mentioned, they’ll want supplemental water in extended intervals of drought or excessive warmth. Watering about 1 inch per week throughout dry spells, however watch out to not overwater as an excessive amount of moisture may also trigger points. 

Q: Is the Mexican hat plant a succulent?

A: The Mexican hat flower is a tall prairie coneflower and never a succulent. Nevertheless, there’s one other plant that goes by the frequent identify Mexican hat plant. Kalanchoe daigremontianum is usually often known as the Mexican hat plant, satan’s spine, or alligator plant and is definitely a succulent and in no way associated to Ratibida columnifera. 

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