Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea (with annual Aster)

According to Doug Green’s Perennial Garden Tips: “The name Echinacea comes from the Greek, echinos or hedgehog.” I can almost see a little hedgehog in the spiny seed head. You can read the rest of Doug’s article here.

As I worked on my spring to do-list this week, I added another low-maintenance perennial that needs some maintenance.

Purple Coneflowers should be divided every 3 to 5 years. I tend to ignore them well past the 5-year limit. I procrastinate until they look raggedy, bloom less or turn black from mildew because they are too crowded. All that happened last summer.

I have 2 large clumps of these tall, back of the garden perennials and a small clump that somehow grew under a dogwood tree. I’ll dig up the large clumps, separate and put some plants back in the same spot. I’ll pot up the rest to give away. I’ll move the small clump to a corner of the front garden that can use some color. Then, I’ll be good for another 5 years.

Even low maintenance plants require some maintenance.
The no-maintenance garden is spelled C-O-N-C-R-E-T-E.

More information: “Dividing Perennials” from Clemson University Cooperative Extension


donna said...

Concrete! ha-ha Sometimes that appeals to me. I didn't know that Purple Coneflowers needed to be divided. I'm terrible at that kind of garden work.


Marie said...

Maybe the coneflower wouldn't need to be divided in some places. I don't remember how long it has been in the same spot - a long time. But it looked pretty bad last year so I thought division would help. We'll see.