How to Grow Echinacea Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Hedgehog and Purple Coneflower

Echinacea plants are hardy perennials.

They bloom from the summer until the beginning of autumn with white or red daisy-like flowers.

Common names for Echinacea include Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, and Hedgehog Coneflower.

Purple COneflowers

As they reach heights of between 60 cm and 1.2 m they are ideal for use in garden borders. Echinacea attract bees, birds and butterflies, and make a fantastic dried flower.

Visit this page for specific advice on growing Echinacea purpurea.

Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea purpurea by asdfawev.

How to Grow Echinacea

Echinacea Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Coneflower, Hedgehog Coneflower, Purple coneflower.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 24 to 58 inches (60 to 140 cm).
Native: Northern America.

Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Summer through to early autumn.
Flower Details: White, purple, yellow, red. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Spiny centers resemble hedgehog spikes.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Elliptic. Obovate.

Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Start of spring - before the last frost, or in the first months of autumn. Spacing 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm).
Sow Inside: Echinacea Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature: 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). Eight to ten weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors before the last frost or in early autumn.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight or slight shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.5 to 7.0. Average to poor soil. Can survive in dry soils. Regular watering, avoiding leaf splash to prevent mildew. Cut back inflorescences to the ground at the end of autumn.
Propagate: Root cuttings can be taken in the spring, or propagate by dividing in the spring in cold areas, or the autumn in warmer areas.
Miscellaneous: Named after the Greek word for Hedgehog.

How to Grow Coneflower (Echinacea)

If you plan to grow Coneflowers outdoors from seeds then they should be sown at a depth of 3 mm either in autumn or early in Spring.

Coneflowers should be grown in a sunny or lightly shaded area of the garden that has good drainage and a soil that has a pH between 5.5 and 7.

If you first plan to grow seedlings of Echinacea species indoors first then they should be started off about 9 or 10 weeks before they are due to be planted out in early autumn or before the last frost of spring.

It usually takes about two to three weeks for Coneflower seeds to germinate in the dark at a temperature of 21 to 24 degrees centigrade.

Once ready for transplanted in the garden the Coneflower plants should be spaced at about 30 cm (small) to 60 cm (larger plants) apart.

Caring for Coneflower and other Echinacea Plants

When Echinacea plants are growing in the garden they require regular watering and the inflorescence stems should be cut back to ground level at the end of autumn.

If you require more plants then Coneflower can be divided in the autumn, or cuttings taken from the roots in the spring.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Echinacea plants. Updated September 2020.