How to Grow Echinacea (American Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea is a popular herb proven to bolster the immune system. It is also an aesthetically pleasing perennial garden flower. It makes delicious eye candy for any landscape scenario. It is a hardy Native North American Plant.

Echinacea is heat and drought tolerant, its blooms are long lived, unlike many other garden flowers that pop out and then disappear, its blooms linger for quite some time.

Blooms appear in early to mid summer and new blooms continue right up till the first frost.

The flower blooms consist of several small flowers in a central cone, it actually gives the appearance of one large flower. These cone enclosed flowers are magnets for bees and other pollinators. The heirloom versions are purple to lavender, there are some hybrid versions in multiple colors.

They average 2 to 4 feet tall on standard varieties and about 16 inches on dwarf varieties, this of course is variable depending on cultivar and conditions. The spread is 1 1/2 to 2 feet on standard and a foot or less on dwarf.

Full sun is best, 5-6 hours daily minimum, they will however tolerate partial shade. Good air circulation is also advantageous. A sheltered or shaded location inhibits air circulation and promotes fungal diseases and mildew.

Although they are drought tolerant, they fare better with regular watering.

Soils high in organic matter with an optimal Soil pH of about 6.5 to 7.0 is best.

Supplemental fertilizer is usually unnecessary in all but the poorest of soils.

Deadheading the flowers is advisable. They produce an abundance of blooms, removing the flower heads before they go to seed forces the plant to produce more flowers continuously.