August – Plant of the Month: Echinacea
They look amazing and are a powerhouse of a plant, loved by bees, butterflies and humans and so deserving of its plant of the month status.
More commonly known as the Coneflower, they are an herbaceous perennial that is part of the Daisy family. Its flowers are long lived and make perfect cut flowers.
Echinacea are low maintenance plants provided you give them a sunny spot and a well-drained soil, these perennials don’t like wet feet in the winter! During the first year keep the soil moist, but once established they are fairly drought tolerant. If you see leaves wilting or drooping, dry or cracked soil, or dry leaves that turn yellow, you should water your plant right away.
In general, keep Echinacea on a lean diet, just fertilising once in the spring with an organic fertiliser. Remove faded flowers to prolong flowering. Cut down to soil level after they stop blooming or after a frost.
- The best flower colour occurs in a sunny position.
- They flower through July, August and September.
- They are perennial flowers.
- Their foliage is deciduous.
- They like pretty much any well drained soil.
- Attracts wildlife to your garden including butterflies and bees. Find out why bees are so important here.
- They are happy in full sun but like to be partially sheltered.
You can learn more about Echinacea in our A Focus on Echinacea including frequently asked questions.