These varieties of coneflower will have your garden blooming in style all summer long!
Echinacea, also known as coneflowers, are native to eastern and central North America, where they originally were found on prairies and open woodlands.
They are a popular cottage garden plant that is robust and very hardy. The plant can easily be propagated and you can also collect seed from it for future plants.
The original echinacea purpurea, with its pretty purple color and large orange center, is prized for its long blooming period and ability to self seed. But there are so many other colors, too.
Let’s discover some other varieties of echinacea which can also take pride of place in our summer gardens. Echinacea varieties come is all sorts of colors and sizes. Why not try one of these types of coneflowers this year?
Growing tips for coneflower
Most types of the echinacea varieties below have similar growing habits and needs. Coneflowers are fairly low maintenance, and they need little care after the first year.
Follow these echinacea care tips for your plant:
Temperature and water needs for coneflower
Echinacea plants are very heat tolerant. They like the sun, and plenty of it.
Water well to get the plants established and then they are quite drought tolerant.
Coneflower spacing and hardiness zones
Space normal sizes of coneflowers 8 to 14 inches apart. They will grow from 2 feet to 4 feet.
Dwarf sizes can be planted closer together. Some miniature coneflowers are less than one feet tall!
Most coneflowers are perennials in USDA zones 4 to 8. A few can even extend to zone 3 and some zone 9.
Bloom time and uses
Coneflowers bloom from early summer until fall. Birds, bees and butterflies are attracted to them. Birds like the seeds in winter.
I am often asked the question “do you need to deadhead coneflowers?” It’s not easy to answer the questions, since I recommend deadheading only in the earlier part of the blooming season.
To encourage more flowering, deadhead coneflowers regularly, during the peak bloom time, by cutting off faded blooms before they produce seeds.
To deadhead, cut back the stem to a leaf of part of the stem where a new bud forms.
However, in late fall, discontinue deadheading and leave the flowers to allow seed formation for the birds in winter.
Share this post about the varieties of coneflower on TwitterPurple coneflowers (echinacea purpurea) have pretty purple petals and tall domes. But they are not the only type of coneflower. Head to The Gardening Cook to learn about 33 other varieties and colors to grow. #coneflower #echinacea… Click To Tweet
Purple varieties of coneflower
Purple coneflowers (echinacea purpurea) come in pale and dark purple-pink colors. They are the most common colored variety of echinacea. Here are some purple stunners to try.
Purple Pow Wow Wild Berry Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea ‘PAS702917’ is the 201o All America Selections winner.
Easily grown from seed, this purple coneflower doesn’t mind the color. It is hardy in zones 3-8 and has 3-4 inch flowers on stiff stems.
Prune regularly to make the plant more bushy and you’ll get a showier flower display.
Echinacea purpea ‘bravado’ has single 4-5 inch blooms with orange centers.
Bravado is cold hardy in zones 3-9 and is a prolific bloomer.
It attracts pollinators and will grow to 48 inches tall.
Forget those stiff looking coneflower blooms. This variety looks like no other coneflower. It has very dark cones and petals that are really droopy.
It is hardy in zones 4-8 and will take the heat in stride.
The petals of this species are used by Native Americans in their medicines.
Other purple coneflower varieties
If the tradition color of coneflower is your style, here are a few more to try.
- Merlot coneflower – Echinacea purpurea ‘merlot’ grows 3o inches tall and is known for its incredible hues.
- Pica Bella’ purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Pica Bella’) – Has slender petals and is very heat and drought tolerant.
- Pink Double Delight’ purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Pink Double Delight’) – Unusual flowers of this hybrid are double blossomed and look a bit like pompoms.
Dwarf varieties of coneflower
Most types of echinacea take up a fair amount of room and have tall stems. Some can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. These dwarf varieties need much less room.
Echinacea After Midnight
This pretty plant is a dwarf variety. ‘After midnight’ coneflower has large pink-to-purple daisy flowers and dark centers. It grows just 12 – 14 inches tall and wide so can be used at the front of a garden border.
The plants are well-branched and quite compact, which makes it a good choice for containers. The black stems of enchinacea purpurea ‘after midnight’ add a nice contrast to the foliage.
It is a favorite in all wildflower meadows, as well as perennial borders. Grow it in zones 4-8 and give it lots of sun.
Echinacea purpurea ‘sensation pink’
This dwarf variety grows to 1-2 feet tall with 3 inch blooms. It is hardy in zones 4-8 and likes full sun.
The hot pink petals surround a magenta-brown colored cone. Over time, the blossoms turn to a lavender pink color.
This hybrid is useful in borders and patio containers and is perfect for a smaller garden.
More dwarf coneflower varieties
Looking for more of the shorter varieties of coneflower? Try one of these.
- Kim’s Knee High’ purple coneflower – Grows 1-2 feet tall with purple petals. Also has a red variety!
- Echinacea purpurea ‘little Annie’ – This is one of the shortest coneflowers, reaching only 6-10 inches tall when in full bloom.
- Echinacea purpurea ‘Pixie Meadowbrite’ – A mid size variety that grows 1-2 feet tall. It has flat pink petals around a copper colored center dome.
Orange varieties of coneflower
Since coneflowers will continue blooming long after summer is over, the orange varieties of echinacea give a burst of color in fall gardens. Try some of these varieties:
EchinaceaKISMET Intense Orange
This variety has single 4 1/2 inch flowers on upright stiff stems, and is hardy in zone 4-9.
The attractive orange petals will remain pretty for weeks. The flowers will bloom until frost hits.
Kismet orange coneflower will flower in the first year.
Adobe orange coneflower
Echinacea sombrero adobe orange is a mid-sized variety with vibrant orange, drooping petals around a copper center dome.
It is hardy in zones 4-9 and can deal with partial shade.
Birds, butterflies and hummingbirds love this flower!
Other orange coneflower varieties
If you like the color orange, try these varieties too:
- Echinacea Postman – drooping petals with a raised brown center
- Echinacea Santa Fe – single petals with a small brown center
- Echinacea ‘Atomic Orange’ – This single variety has bright orange petals and is fairly compact. Atomic orange has large 4 1/2″ flowers with a dark cone.
White varieties of coneflower
We are long accustomed to the purple variety of coneflower. Now it’s time for a white echinacea to grace our gardens.
Echinacea purpurea ‘avalanche’
The normal purple coneflower variety loves full sun. This white echinacea thrives in both full sun or part shade. in zones 3 to 8.
If you love daisy-like flowers but have a hard time growing Shasta daisy, try giving echinacea avalanche a try.
The plant is white with a green center. Deer are not attracted to them and they will grow in rocky and sandy soil. Avalanche has a long bloom time.
This is a mid sized variety at only 12-18 inches tall.
Fragrant Angel Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea ‘Fragrant Angel’ is a fairly new variety with large daisy like flowers and a striking domed center cone.
Firm petals stand out horizontally on stiff stems and the blooms can grow to 5 inches in size.
Will grow to 4 feet tall, so it is great in the back of a garden border. Fragrant angel is hardy in zones 3-9.
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’ is a tough double petaled coneflower variety. It has large, double white flowers surrounded by single petals.
Milkshake coneflower blooms in mid summer and will re-flower in the fall if you cut it back. It will grow to about 2 feet tall. Hardy in zones 4-9.
Hummingbirds love this beauty!
Other white coneflower varieties
If you love the look of a white garden, one of these white coneflowers might interest you.
- Echinacea Purpurea ‘Purity’ – Strong and bushy plants that are ideal for borders and growing in mixed containers. Large flowers are have stunning white daisy petals surrounding a big orange cone.
- Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ – Butterflies will flock to the brilliant golden cones and birds will enjoy the seeds that follow.
- Echinacea purpurea ‘powwow white’ – This pretty white variety can take the cold better. It is hardy in zones 3-8.
Yellow varieties of coneflower
These cheery yellow varieties of echinacea will bring a smile to any gardener’s face!
This midsize plant has drooping yellow petals and the typical tall brown center of your favorite coneflowers. It has a sweet fragrance and is cold hardy in zones 4-9.
Grow it in full sun. It will reach a height of about 22 inches tall and 26 inches wide.
Daydream has an earlier bloom time than other varieties, so you can enjoy this pretty flower sooner in the summer. It blooms from May onward.
Echinacea Purpurea Marmalade
This interesting variety of coneflower has blooms the color of orange, tangerine and gold.
Marmalade doesn’t like the cold as much as some coneflowers. It is only hardy in zones 5-8. It grows to about 2 1/2 feet and doesn’t mind rocky and clay soils.
Deer will leave it alone, too.
Other yellow coneflower varieties
Try one of these varieties for more cherry yellow color in your garden.
- Echinacea ‘flamethrower’ – Yellow orange petals with deep red cones. 3 foot early bloomer, hardy in zones 3 – 8.
- Leilani coneflower – 42 inch tall vigorous bloomer in zones 4-9. This variety will grow in both full sun and part shade.
- Echinacea ‘Big Sky Harvest Moon’– The deep yellow petals have large orange cones and are tolerant to heat and humidity. It blooms all summer long.
- Mango Meadowbrite coneflower (echinacea purpurea ‘CBG Cone 3’) – This cultivar has fragrant, yellow blooms with a peach tint that droop downward.
Red varieties of coneflower
A far cry from the normal purple color, these red echinacea varieties will give a regal, bold look to your cottage garden.
Double Scoop Cranberry Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea ‘balscanery’ is a double petaled variety. It has deep red blooms in two layers – a mound of petals on top surrounded by lower flaring petals.
Double scoop cranberry blooms from July to September. It grows to 2 feet tall and is both drought and heat tolerant.
The perennial is hardy in zones 4a to 9b.
Hot Papaya Coneflower
Echinacea ‘hot papaya” is incredibly eye catching with its large and fragrant double petaled flowers. It grows to about 2-3 feet and is hardy in zones 4-9.
Tolerant of all things – deer, heat, drought, humidity and poor soil, these beautiful flowers will last a couple of weeks as fresh flowers in a vase.
The flowers are extremely vigorous and will bloom until late fall.
Other red coneflower varieties
Here are a few more red coneflower types to try:
- Echinacea ‘firebird’ – Orange red in color, a profuse bloomer from midsummer to fall in zones 4-9.
- Mexican hat coneflower – This highly domed coneflower has deep red petals with yellow tips and a tall brown center mound. Find out how to grow sombrero coneflower here.
- Echinacea Sombrero ‘Salsa Red’ – Bright red blooms add a pop of color to any garden. This variety was bred for drought tolerance. Hardy in zones 4-9.
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Where can I buy echinacea plants?
Check your local small florists, Farmer’s Market and big box stores to find echinacea plants for sale as well as lots of varieties of echinacea seeds.
There are also many places to purchase cone flower varieties online:
- Etsy has a wide range of both plants and seeds for coneflowers.
- Monrovia has a big selection of colors of coneflower plants.
Pin this post for the best varieties of coneflower
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Admin note: this post for varieties of coneflowers first appeared on the blog in August of 2013. I have updated the post to add all new photos, many more varieties of coneflowers, and a video for you to enjoy.
- Coneflower seeds
- Well draining soil
- Watering can or garden hose
- Choose a spot that gets 6 hours of sun.
- Coneflowers like well draining soil. If yours has a lot of clay, add some compost or other organic matter.
- Check your package for hardiness zones and height of mature plant. Space seeds according to mature size.
- Start seed indoors about 1 month before the last expected frost date in your area.
- Keep in a sunny spot indoors, or use grow lights.
- When the danger of frost has passed, bring the plants outdoors to harden off.
- After two weeks of hardening, plant in the ground outside.
- Water well until the plants are well established.
- Watch out for soldier beetles in August.
- Mulch plants in cold regions in late fall.
- Cut back plants in early spring.
Note that coneflowers grown from seed will not normally flower for the first two years.
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