The vibrant blooms of the Coneflower are a favorite among many gardeners. It is common to plant them in pots, but if you have a large yard or garden, or simply got some coneflower seeds, you might be curious about How to Grow Coneflowers and How to Germinate Coneflower from Seed.
What are Coneflowers?
Coneflowers, the little native flowers that are notorious for attracting all the bees, birds, and butterflies making your areas more exquisite and are ecologically diverse.
They are also called by the name of ECHINACEA. Coneflowers can grow approximately 2 to 4 feet in height along with dark green foliage. Their growth rate is fast and they bloom from midsummer through fall frost.
How do Coneflowers attract birds, butterflies, and bees?
Coneflowers contain cone-like centers (as the name shows) which contain seeds that act as a focal point for butterflies, bees, and birds.
Being a native plant to many areas, they are trouble-free and are drought tolerant, once fully established. They can take the heat and having prickly stems, they became more deer-resistant than the other flowering plants.
Here’s a piece of good news for you that is these coneflowers don’t come in a single color. They have a variety of seven bright colors including Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, and Yellow. So you can choose whatever suits your taste and go well with your garden’s color palette.
How to Germinate Coneflower from Seed
- Start by Soaking your seeds for 12 to 24 hours to loosen up the outer shell
- Moisten your Seed Starter Soil Mix, make sure excess water is drained off (You may simply use a spray bottle).
- Add your moistened toil to seed cups in a tray.
- Plant 1 to 3 seeds in each cup by simply placing them on top center, you may sprinkle some extra soil over the seeds. One again, moisten with spray bottle lightly.
- Place your tray of seed cups on a seedling heat tray and water daily to ensure the soil is always moist.
- It will take anywhere from 10 to 20 days to germinate.
- Once your seeds do germinate, place them under a grow light for at least 12 hour per day.
- It is best to keep your seedlings indoors for 8 to 10 weeks, then they will be ready to be planted outdoors.
How to Grow Coneflowers
Now, the very first step for growing a coneflower is preparing and choosing a planting site.
- Coneflowers prefer well-drained soil and full sun to bloom best. For, that you have to choose a location from where the coneflower won’t get shaded out nor shade out others.
- Their height depends on their variety. Mostly, they reach between 2-4 in height.
- They perform super awesome in soil that’s not poor so mix in an organic matter if needed.
- Make your soil is loose by using a tiller or a garden fork to approximately 12-15 inches deep. After, that you will need to mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost.
- Coneflowers are drought tolerant.
When to Plant Coneflowers
- Mostly, coneflowers are brought as mini plants with blooms already on the way. These flowers should be cultivated in early summers or spring.
- Grow your cornflower indoor as well as outdoor from seed in spring. Moreover, if you decide to transplant or divide the coneflowers, better to do so in the spring or fall.
How to Plant Coneflowers
- Depending on the size of the variety, plant coneflowers about 1-3 feet apart.
- If in case that you are planning to move a potted plant into your garden, you have to dig a hole that must be twice the pot’s diameter. With full care place the plant in the soil and then bury it at the top of the root ball. Do make sure that the root ball must be in level with the soil surface. Then water it thoroughly.
Once you are done with the planting process, pay close attention on How to Grow Coneflowers
- To keep the plant moist and to prevent it from weeds, add a 2-inch layer of mulch and also put a thin layer of compost on all sides of the plant.
- Make sure when you plant your soil must have plenty of organic matter, although native coneflowers do not need fertilizers.
- If the season is dry or you have planted a new coneflower only then provide supplementary water.
- Keep your eye on beneficial soldier beetles in August but do not harm them.
- A light mulch in colder regions is helpful in the fall.
- Only cut back in early spring or the late winter when you are tidying up in the garden.
How to Grow Coneflowers in Pots
- Usually, coneflowers grow in the ground, but, you can also grow them in pots. Just make sure the respective container is deep enough for the plant’s taproot.
- Add a thin layer of crushed gravel at the bottom of the pot for drainage and make sure there must be holes in the bottom of the pot.
- Fill up half of the container with potting mix. Press down. Plant the root ball at least an inch below the rim of the container, spread the roots, and slowly add soil to the top of the root ball. Keep pressing the soil softly and water deeply.
- For two or maybe three days keep your pot in the partial shade and then drag it to a site that must receive full morning and partial afternoon shade.
- When you feel like the soil is too dry to touch, water it deeply.
- Using a water-soluble fertilizer, every couple of weeks fertilize your pots.
- If you see any aphids or pests use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution and spray it. It will work.
Coneflower Insects and Disease Problems
Coneflowers are very vulnerable to various pests that include beetles, leafhoppers, and aphids. Keep a check on your flowers and if you detect any problem, consider the following steps to get rid of them.
- Remove garden debris or weeds to eliminate the hosts.
- Discard the damaged plants very carefully and put them in the trash.
- Remove the commercially available insects so that they can have their buffet by attacking and destroying insect pests.
- A cheap and easy way to treat the pest problem areas is to spray Neem Oil or other organic pesticides.
In addition, the foliage and flowers are also vulnerable to different diseases like powdery mildew, aster yellows, and anthracnose, these can result in the disfiguration of flowers and leaves.
To avoid these diseases:
- Do not overhead watering. Use the alternatives like drip irrigation or soaker hoses.
- Give space to the plants to ensure and improve air circulation.
- Apply some organic fungicides to keep them protected from further infections.
How to Cultivate Seeds from Coneflowers
Purple cornflower is famous for producing lots of seeds but you must grab them before the birds. When the blooms dry out, tear them off and hang them in an upside-down position. Heads contain seeds between the spikes. When the heads are fully dry and crisp they can be crushed very easily with hands, but do not forget to wear protective gloves.
Now, add coneflower to the list of flowers that you are going to add to your garden. They are aesthetically pleasing and do not require much care. Once, they are established they do not need water regularly. They grow quite rapidly in warm weather. If it is growing season, do not waste your time and rush to the nearest nursery, grab the seeds, and color your garden rainbow.