Will coneflowers spread, get more dense or stay same?

lynbornmanApril 25, 2007

Ok...I know this is not worded the most intelligently, but last year I did three different masses of coneflowers. I started each with about 7 fairly established plants. They did nicely, but I would really like them to be denser with more flowers. So will they come back exactly as last year or will they eventually fill in the space I gave them and cover a bigger area with more flowers? I could always stick a few more out there but if its not needed would rather not waste the money. I did try spreading some of their seeds around from last year and nothing came of that. The plants are coming back nicely but hard to say if its actually 'more'. Thanks

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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

The clumps will expand and coneflowers also reseed, though if you planted the newer hybrids the seedlings will not be the same as the parents.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 8:05AM
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heidi6ca(z8 BC)

My coneflowers have started growing for the year and they always look like the clumps aren't going to be that big but by the time they are full grown they are big. Right now mine are just about two inches high. Give it some time and you'll see this years growth too. By next year I'm sure that all the plants will have grown together into a large clump, I wouldn't spend the money on more.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 12:29PM
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By the third year you'll be pulling some out. LOL. Mine spread profusely.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:58AM
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debgrow(Z5 Chicago)

I agree, you will be pulling them out by next year. Rule of thumb for perennials is this - the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap! I wouldn't put more plants in, just give these time. Mine are 4 years old and they are all over the place!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 11:17AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

It has taken me quite a bit longer than 3 years to get some nice stands of purple coneflower (echinacea), say 5 or 6 years before the plants grew together. I have had some reseeding, but it has taken a good 3 years for any reseeded plants to actually bloom, more than say an occasional bloom.

Mostly all varieties of purple coneflowers that I have tried (from the unnamed ones just labelled purple coneflower to Magnus, Ruby Star, White Swan, Razmatazz, etc.) have been spindly scrawny looking things. They are obviously not fond of my heavy clay.

On the other hand Black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) do very nicely & pop up everywhere in the same soil conditions.

The newer Sunrise (pale yellow) echinacea did much better for me than the purple ever has, thicker plants and more bloom after 2 seasons. Because they were so expensive, I gave them heavily amended soil on somewhat higher ground. So obviously conditions do matter quite a bit, however lots of plants do great in my heavy soil and generally moist conditions.

Purple coneflower, while considered by many to be a sturdy, easy care, no problem plant, just is not one of them that grows fasts in these conditions. They do not die, they overwinter well, but they take a long time to establish well and look realy good.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:59PM
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It is interesting to hear how everyone's experiences are so different. My cone flowers grow like weeds and spread spread spread. Last fall I wanted some on the other side of the house so I looked near the bottom of the stand of cone flowers and dug out some "baby" ones. They are now up and doing well. I think this is a "faster" way of getting new bloom the following year. In my garden it is two to three seasons from seed to bloom. I cannot get Black-eyed Susan's to grow for me at all!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 6:56AM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Oh my, I can't believe you can't get Black-eyed Susans to grow for you. LOL! Mine are almost invasive - I have to yank them out -they pop up all over the place. Where do you live?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 3:57PM
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