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Purple echinacea flowers in a garden
If you want a low-maintenance plant that flowers for month on end, attracts bees and beneficial insects to the garden and lasts well as a cut flower, then echinacea is for you. Available in shades of purple, white or yellow, this striking garden perennial suits most gardens and climates.

What you need to know about echinacea

Name: echinacea, coneflower, Echinacea sp.

Height: 60–100cm. 

Plant type: herbaceous perennial.

Climate: all climates including cold temperate, warm temperate, arid/semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical.

Soil: grows best in soil enriched with compost.

Position: full sun to part shade. 

Flowering: flowers in spring, summer and autumn. 

Feeding: feed annually with an all-purpose fertiliser in early spring.

Watering: drought-tolerant once established.

Appearance and characteristics of echinacea

An easy to grow, hardy perennial to about 1m, echinacea emerges from the soil each spring and flowers throughout the warmer months before setting seed and dying back down into the ground in late autumn.

Close-up of purple echinacea flowers 

Uses for echinacea

A long-flowering perennial, echinacea attracts pollinators, bees and beneficial insects to the garden. Echinacea root is used in herbal remedies as a treatment for the common cold due to its ability to naturally boost the immune system. As a result, you may see echinacea tablets in your local pharmacy as its medical properties are well-regarded.

How to plant and grow an echinacea plant

Echinacea seeds should be sown in spring. 

  1. Sow direct into well-prepared soil or start in punnets and transplant when seedlings reach 12cm. 
  2. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot. 
  3. Remove the pot and place in the soil. Backfill to make sure the plant is at the same height in the soil as it was in the pot.
  4. Firm down and water well to remove any air pockets around the roots. 
  5. Mulch around the plant to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. 

If sowing direct, wait until the seeds germinate before mulching. Protect seedlings from snails and slugs with pet-safe snail pellets or snail traps.

How to care for echinacea

How often should you water and feed echinacea?

Echinacea should be watered during establishment and during extended periods of hot, dry weather.

How and when to prune echinacea

Deadhead (cut off) old flowers regularly to encourage more flowering and to prevent plants self-seeding throughout the garden. Cut back in late autumn. 

Diseases and pests that affect echinacea

Echinacea is relatively pest and disease free. Protect from snails and slugs during early spring.

How to propagate echinacea

Growing echinacea from seed

Echinacea is easily propagated from seed collected in autumn. 

  1. Remove mature flowerheads and hang them upside down over a bucket or paper bag while the flowerheads dry. 
  2. Once dry, shake or crush to remove seeds. 
  3. Sieve to remove plant material and store in an envelope clearly labelled with the variety and date collected. 

If you like this then try

Tansy: a versatile companion plant that repels pests and attracts pollinators. 

Pyrethrum: a daisy that is the main ingredient in natural insecticides. 

Sunflower: a close relative that’s decorative and edible!

Start growing today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!


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