Coneflowers come in a wide variety of colors, making it a very suitable plant for anyone’s garden. Purple coneflower also known as echinacea purpurea is one of the most popular species of coneflower. They are also very popular amongst bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds as they have lots of nectar.
Purple coneflowers are very hardy and they have a long bloom season. They are best planted in the early spring if it is a seedling and you will start to see leaves grow after a few months however, it can take up to two years before you see a bloom.
How to grow purple coneflowers from seed:
- Wait until the cone has fully dried from the flower, the color should be really dark and the texture should be hard. Wear gloves during this process, as you separate the seeds from the cone.
- Place the seeds on a plate or a flat surface where they can dry out before storing.
- The easiest way to grow coneflowers is to sow them outdoors in the fall or sow them in the winter in milk jugs.
- If you are going to start seeds indoors, it is important that you replicate the cool weather as if it were outside, by planting seeds in a damp seed starting mixture. Then place the container in the refrigerator for 2 months. After that you can take the seeds out and plant them as you normally would.
- The seeds need darkness to germinate, so plant them about 3mm deep in the soil and make sure that they are covered.
- They should germinate within 1- 2 weeks.
- Place the seeds under grow lights that are about an inch or two above the plant once the seedlings emerge.
How to care for the purple coneflower:
- These flowers can grow in any USDA hardiness zone 3-8 but in cooler climates they may need winter protection for the first year or two. After that they are very hardy and can withstand the cooler temperatures.
- They need full sun for at least 6 hours a day, they can tolerate partial shade however, they will not grow to their full potential.
- Coneflowers need a soil pH of 7.0 and they can grow in a wide variety of soil types except really wet soil. If you don’t know your soil’s pH, test it with a soil testing kit.
- These plants will excel with regular watering, especially during the first year or two.
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