Tips For Growing Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
This genus is invaluable for the mid- to late-summer garden, bringing color into our plantings when many spring bloomers have gone green for the season. They are native to the eastern half of the U.S. and are most commonly found growing in prairie habitats.
Echinacea thrive in our gardens when provided with well drained soils, plenty of sunshine and moderate to dry moisture conditions depending on the species and cultivars. Healthy individual coneflowers will grow in the garden for 3 to 5 years. Species and cultivars raised from seed will often reseed themselves to continue their presence in our gardens.
'Rocky Top Hybrid' echinacea, while xeric, appreciates extra moisture provided by some easily accomplished water harvesting techniques. Plant it in a wide, shallow depression and mulch amply or place right up against the north side of a low, wide rock, tilted to shed water on the Echinacea's side.
Fall Care: You can leave the dried seed heads for winter, as they provide food for birds. Echinacea easily reseeds itself. You can cut back seed heads in the fall, where you don't wish the plant to reseed. Spring Care: Cut back the dry stalks to the crowns of the plant in early spring. Pull any unwanted seedlings in spring. They are easy to pull when young.
More in-depth guidance for growing and maintaining Echinacea plants: Purple Coneflowers: Native Grace and Beauty in the Garden and Echinacea: Rocky Top Hybrids, Echinacea - Perennial of the Year.