Traditional coneflowers are purple with a dark center, but recent breeding techniques have produced an array of colors in this striking plant, making it ideal for perennial gardens, cottage gardens and wildflower meadows. Available in purple, pink, white, lime, orange and variegated varieties, coneflowers bloom from early summer to frost. They are easy to start from seed, but for quicker results buy already-established plants to add to the perennial bed.
- Browse the many coneflowers available for purchase from online nurseries and garden supply companies. Check that bare roots or established plants will be shipped and not seeds. (See Resources for links to coneflowers.)
- Visit your local nursery or greenhouse and look in the perennial section for coneflowers. Choose a plant that is short and compact. Tall leggy foliage indicates a lack of sunlight. Leaves should be uniformly green with no discoloration.
- Check for signs of insect damage. Tiny holes in the leaves indicate insect infestation. Check undersides of leaves and stems for small white scales. These sucking insects can quickly kill your plants and will spread to other plants in your garden. Look for fine webs left by spider mites.
- Check the soil in the top of the pot for any signs of mold or mildew. Green or whitish-gray mold grows as a result of improper watering or poor growing conditions.
- Turn the pot over and check the roots. A few fine roots showing through the drainage holes are fine, but if you observe a large coil of roots that are extending through the holes at the bottom, the plant has outgrown its container and growth and blooming may suffer.
- Look for any signs of wilting. Plants that experience stress due to overheating or lack of water will recover, but growth and blooming may be inhibited. Always choose the healthiest plants for your garden.
Tips & Warnings
Consider growing coneflowers from seed for a less expensive option.