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How to Care for a Coneflower


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Coneflowers are carefree plants with many uses in the garden. A familiar sight in wildflower meadows, coneflowers also work well in a more structured setting. Combine them with ornamental grasses and white yarrows. They look their best in groups or drifts, and purple and white coneflowers have an elegant appeal when planted together. Coneflowers bloom best in full sun, but they also tolerate partial shade. Give them an average, well-drained soil in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 through 9.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Scissors or pruners
    1. Fertilize with a thin layer of compost on the surface of the soil each spring. Coneflowers don’t need a lot of fertilizer, and the compost will carry the plants through the season. Compost also adds organic material to improve the structure of the soil and help hold moisture.
    2. Apply about 2 inches of mulch over the top of the compost to help with weed control and help prevent moisture evaporation.
    3. Water deeply when rainfall is less than an inch per week. Although coneflowers tolerate drought, they grow best and produce more flowers when they receive adequate moisture.
    4. Cut off faded flower heads to prolong the bloom season. At the end of the season, leave a few flower heads for the birds. Many species of songbirds feast on the seeds over winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid over-fertilizing coneflowers. Coneflowers that are fertilized or those grown in rich soil develop weak stems and need staking.

  • You might think that these purple flowers would clash with yellows and oranges, but these colors actually bring out the rich color in the cones.

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