Echinacea, native to the eastern North America, is a beautiful genius of flowers known for their long blooming period. Commonly known as coneflower, these plants are common in the cultivated garden and can be used for a variety of landscapes, from water smart planters to English gardens. They actually have multiple flower structures within the bloom – a showy, but sterile out flower to attract pollinators, and inner flowers with pollen in the shape of a cone.
Echinacea tends to grow between two to five feet tall, and once it’s established (after around a year from planting time) it has very low water requirements.
Landscape Planting – Echinacea basics
Botanical Name: Echinacea spp.
Common Name: Coneflower
Type: perennial shrub
Native Range: Eastern North America
Size: 2 – 5 feet tall, 1 – 2 feet wide
Bloom Time: Summer
Bloom Description: Purple and pink
Sun: Full sun, partial shade
Water: once established (around one year after planting), water around once a week. They can go longer without water, however they start to show signs of drought stress.
Maintenance: Pruning is not required, however shearing them back in winter will often result in bushier plants with more blooms. Removing spend flowers (deadheading) in summer will promote a longer blooming period.
Suggested Use: Flower gardens, English gardens
For landscape planting, Echinacea grows best in full sun areas, however they can handle partial shade. Our landscape designers at Creative Concepts Landscape will be happy to look over your property and determine areas that are optimal for these types of plants.
Our designers can take a look at your property and see if Echinacea’s needs can be met. We create a design plan for all of our consultations to determine what plants and needs match each individual property. Echinacea can be used in water-wise gardens, however they will show best with weekly supplemental water. Their pastel blooms look at home in English gardens, however they can be incorporated into many different design types, including more traditional chaparral themed landscapes. Again, Creative Concepts Landscape will help to determine the best location on your property, or create the conditions to promote a healthy, beautiful garden.
Echinacea has moderate water requirements, once established, however they can be used in drought tolerant garden. In the first year after planting, while your Echinacea is establishing itself in the landscape, they will need irrigation systems or regular hand watering. Creative Concepts Landscape has installed many irrigation systems (drip and sprinkler), and we would be happy to take a look at your property to come up with a design that could meet Echinacea’s needs. Once these plants are established (usually around one year after planting) the irrigation can be reduced to around once per week, or twice during high temperatures. If there is rain, the irrigation can be turned off completely in late fall through winter.
These plants also prefer well-draining soils. Most of the natural soil in Southern California is somewhat sandy, well-draining soil.
Pruning & Maintenance
Echinacea is fairly low in maintenance needs, however pruning is necessary to promote fuller blooms. In many cases, providing supplemental water for these plants, while they are becoming established, is the highest maintenance requirement. Creative Concepts Landscape has been installing irrigation systems for over twenty years. We will be happy to schedule a consultation and come up with an irrigation system plan and install it. Creative Concepts landscape also repairs and refurbishes existing irrigation systems, so they are in optimal, efficient condition.
Outside of maintaining an irrigation system for Echinacea, the plant can be sheared to promote fuller growth in spring. The spent flowers should be removed throughout the summer to increase their bloom periods and promote additional flowering.
Creative Concepts Landscape has options for maintenance schedules. Many of our clients have us maintain their property weekly or two times a month, however we also offer periodic cleanups. These cleanups range from four times a year, twice a year, and sometimes once a year. We will be happy to talk with you and determine a maintenance/cleanup schedule that fits your property needs.
For landscape planting, Echinacea grows well in full sun and is useful as a border plant with eye catching blooms, or as eye catching shrubs within a rock garden. Creative Concepts Landscape gets many requests for water-wise (drought tolerant) garden installations, of which Echinacea can be a welcome addition, however they do best with a little more supplemental irrigation. Our team of designers and technicians has decades of experience designing and installing gardens.
Creative Concepts Landscape creates a landscape plan and design for your specific property characteristics along with your wants. Our highly experienced designers will be able to see what plant types and layout will complement your landscape’s existing features to come up with a planting design plan.
Thank you for joining us again in this week’s horticultural adventures. Please come back next Wednesday for out next blog post, and as always, contact us for all your landscape needs!
By Daniel Williams
Client Liaison for Creative Concepts Landscape