Coneflowers are a great perennial for picking; the flowers can last two weeks in water


Echinacea purpurea

Common Name

Native to the US, these perennials are completely hardy in Britain. Varieties range from white to deep purple. The flowers are also loved by bees and butterflies so it is great for wildlife too.

Growing Tips

Growing conditions

Sow these seeds in full sun in a well-drained soil.

When to grow

Sow the seeds in August to enjoy flowers next year between July and September.

What you need

  • A packet of Echinacea seeds
  • Seed compost
  • 9cm plant pots
  • Plant label and pencil
  • A clear polythene bag
  • An unheated greenhouse or cold frame
  • Gardening gloves

How to grow

  1. Fill the pot with seed compost almost to the top. Take a small pinch of seeds and sprinkle them over the top of the compost.
  2. Add a light covering of compost over the seeds.
  3. Water the seeds carefully and cover the pot with the polythene bag.
  4. After they have germinated and begun to grow, remove the polythene bag.
  5. Transfer the pot of seedlings to a cold frame. Keep the seedlings in a cool but light place and protect from frosts.
  6. Plant the seedlings out in a sunny spot in the garden after the last risk of frost next year and enjoy the beautiful flowers
  7. This flower is visited for its nectar by  several butterflies, such as white, hairstreak, blue and skipper.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.