Coneflowers add a country-look to the landscape.

How to Landscape With Coneflowers

by Melissa Lewis

Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), perennials that adorn landscapes in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, are often seen growing in meadows, daisy-like flower heads nodding in the breeze. Depending on the species of coneflower, the daisy-like flowers may be pink, white, orange, red, yellow or the color coneflower is best known for -- bluish-purple. When planning a landscape with these tall-stemmed flowers, take into consideration factors such as size, color, blooming times, growing conditions and the types of wildlife you want to attract.

Plant coneflowers near the back of the garden or along borders where their flowery tops rise above other plants. Most varieties reach 2 to 5 feet tall. Plant coneflowers in staggered rows, or plant in mass groupings of five or more plants. Coneflowers perform best in part to full sunlight conditions and rich, well-drained soil.

Grow coneflowers with other drought-tolerant plants to create a garden that needs little watering after establishment. Native plants have adapted to the climate of their regions, including rain conditions, and they usually make nice companion plants for coneflowers. But not all native plants are drought-tolerant -- some will need watering during drought.

Grow coneflowers near plants that flower in spring and early summer. Coneflowers typically bloom from mid-summer until the first frost. Staggering growing seasons allows you to enjoy flowers throughout the growing seasons.

Add coneflowers to a butterfly garden where their nectar will be much appreciated. The seeds of coneflowers attract many types of birds, including lsongbirds and finches. Deadheading spent coneflowers encourages a longer display of flowers, but if you may want to leave at least some of the flowers so that they may form seeds. The breeze and birds will help scatter them, providing you with more coneflowers the following year. The birds will also enjoy the seeds in winter. The dried flower heads may appear scaggly to some, but they add interest to the winter garden.

About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo Credits

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