Coneflowers (Echinacea) are gorgeous perennial wildflowers that come in several varieties and various stunning colors. While coneflowers grow best in garden borders, these adaptable plants thrive in most areas, including pots and containers. Make sure you’re helping your coneflowers thrive in container gardens with this helpful guide.
Can Coneflowers Grow in Pots?
Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) are low-maintenance perennials that bring several brilliant benefits to the garden. However, most coneflower species have deep taproots that reach up to 8 feet long, making them unsuitable for containers. Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are the best variety to grow in containers. This species develops a fibrous root system rather than a deep taproot.
What Kind of Pots Are Best for Coneflowers?
Purple coneflowers grow up to 4 feet tall and about 12 inches wide and need containers large enough to accommodate their roots. Start with a pot that’s approximately 12 inches deep and wide. As the plant grows, move up to a container about 2 feet deep and wide. For coneflowers with long taproots, you’ll need several feet-deep containers.
Terracotta pots work well for coneflowers because the material is porous, allowing excess water to evaporate. Coneflowers don’t like waterlogged soils and are vulnerable to overwatering. To prevent this, always choose pots that have drainage holes.
Keep in mind that terracotta pots can crack during the winter. Use ceramic, concrete, or metal containers in a cold climate.
The Best Conditions for Coneflowers in Pots
Coneflowers need loose, well-draining soils that don’t contain many nutrients. Use a mix of compost and horticultural grit or sand to increase drainage. Remember that coneflowers dry out more quickly in pots, so water once weekly during dry periods.
Coneflowers also require six to eight hours of full sun per day. Position your coneflower container in a south or southwest-facing aspect to provide plenty of sunlight. East or west-facing locations also work well.
Coneflowers growing in pots also use nutrients quickly. To provide enough nutrients, fertilize coneflowers once during early spring and again in early summer with diluted liquid fertilizer.
How to Grow Coneflowers in Pots
Here’s a quick guide on how to plant a purple coneflower in a container:
- Choose a good-sized container with some drainage holes.
- Fill the container with loose, well-draining soil and leave a few inches at the top.
- Firm down the soil before placing your coneflower in. Ensure the top of the coneflower’s root ball is about an inch lower than the pot’s rim.
- Fill in around the root ball with more soil.
- Water your coneflower thoroughly and place it in partial shade for a few days to acclimatize.
- After a few days, move the container into full sun and continue care as usual.
Purple coneflowers are ideal for growing in containers. Still, coneflower species with deep taproots are best planted in the ground—plant purple coneflowers with drainage holes in terracotta, ceramic, or metal pots. Position the container in full sun and provide loose, well-draining soil.
Further reading: Discover 30 stunning types of coneflowers to grow in your garden.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.