How to Divide a Purple Coneflower
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is an old-fashioned perennial bloomer with bright daisy-like blooms with distinctive, dark purple centers. Drought- and heat-tolerant, purple coneflower isn’t fussy, and once established, will decorate your garden from early summer until autumn for many years. Purple coneflower benefits from division when the center of the plant outgrows its boundaries, or when the center of the plant begins to look old and unproductive. Divide purple coneflower in autumn.
things you’ll need:
- Sharp spade or shovel
- Sharp knife
- Dig around the entire circumference of the purple coneflower clump with a sharp spade or shovel. Loosen the roots by rocking the spade or shovel back and forth as you go.
- Insert the spade deeply under the plant, then lift the entire clump of purple coneflowers. Retain as many of the roots as possible.
- Brush off the excess dirt so you can see the roots. Use your spade or a sharp knife to cut the clump into smaller clumps. Clumps large enough to fit in a quart- or gallon-sized container will have plenty of root and will establish easily in a new location. Place the small clumps in a cool, shady spot until you’ve prepared the new planting location.
- Remove and discard any old, woody sections from the center of the original clump. Replant the clump and water deeply.
- Prepare a sunny spot with well-drained soil for the small purple coneflower clumps. In hot, sunny climates, purple coneflower benefits from light shade during the afternoon.
- Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the clump. Plant each clump at the same soil depth as it was planted in its original spot.
- Water the newly-planted purple coneflower plants immediately. Keep the soil lightly moist until new shoots emerge. Thereafter, purple coneflower is drought-tolerant but will benefit from a deep watering every few days during hot, dry weather. Water deeply enough to saturate the roots, then don’t water again until the soil dries.
Tips & Warnings
Pinch wilted coneflower blooms, and your plant will continue to flower until autumn.
In some areas, purple coneflower can become invasive. Pinching blooms as they wilt will prevent the plant from dropping seeds on the ground.