Ask a Question forum: coneflower plants

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Indiana (IN)
Jan 4, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Why do my cone flowers seem to only flower every other year? They are planted on the southside of our brick house. My Bee Balms seems to do the same thing? Do I need to replant more of each?
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 4, 2018 12:06 PM CST
Echinacea and monarda bloom every year here....
Matter of fact, echinacea bloom repeatedly all growing season for me.

Wonder whether moving some of them to the other sides of the house would have any effect.

Did you save any seed?
Echinacea comes up easily from cold stratified seed... Most monarda spreads aggressively from the roots, should be plenty to divide.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jan 4, 2018 12:20 PM CST
Odd these are 2 of the more reliable plants to flower every year, and like stone said Echinacea flower repeatedly over the season. Do they need dividing? Echinacea do not like much food , overfeeding can cause larger plants with low flowering.
Indiana (IN)
Jan 4, 2018 12:24 PM CST
I might get 1 or 2 plants to come up and bloom but then the next season they are abundant? Do you think it has to do with rain or not much rain? We are on well so I cannot afford to water daily or even twice a week when it is very dry. Could this be the problem with both? Our soil is very hard as well.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 4, 2018 12:27 PM CST
At my house in the arid Sandhills, these bloom without supplemental water.

So... I don't think watering would help.
Digging the beds and adding organic amendments might.
Indiana (IN)
Jan 4, 2018 12:31 PM CST
I picked these plants due to them being drought resistant so I am happy to hear that info.
Maybe they are just tired? I planted them all some 10 maybe more years back.
Thank You for your advice on this matter.
Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Tomato Heads Plant and/or Seed Trader Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Butterflies Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 4, 2018 6:43 PM CST

I do not think water is a factor with your Monarda and Echinacea blooming every other year. They thrive in drought conditions.

You may want to check the pH of the soil in this area, most cone flowers prefer a neutral soil pH of about 6.5 to 7.0.

Do you mulch your plants? A mulch of compost in the spring might give the plants micro-nutrients that could give them an extra push into bloom???
Name: Bea Kimball
Little Rock, Arkansas; (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Butterflies Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 16, 2018 8:42 PM CST
You certainly don't want to water too much. An unusually spring caused some exotic hybrid echinaceas to bloom and then die of some fungal disease. The common echinacea plants finished the season strong and healthy as usual. Several friends had similar problems.
Indiana (IN)
Jan 18, 2018 9:10 AM CST
Thank You for all the helpful tips.

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