Dwarf Red Coneflower Seeds
Dwarf Red coneflower is a hardy, drought-tolerant wildflower. Deep red flowers on 1-2′ stalks attract beneficial insects, native bees, and butterflies to the garden. Dwarf Red coneflower is fast-growing; you should provide ample room to spread without it taking over other plants. Great for borders, natural gardens, rock gardens, and pollinator plantings.
Dwarf Red coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) is similar to flowers in the echinacea family but with a distinctive long-headed cone. It is a biennial that is a short-lived perennial in warmer climates. Seeds should be planted in late fall and exposed to cold weather to break dormancy. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing.
Planting by Zones
- Coneflower has strikingly gorgeous flowers that attract tons and tons of beneficial insects and butterflies to the garden. Coneflower needs cold stratification to break the dormancy of the seed. In Zones 9 and 10, coneflower seeds can be direct sown in the garden in the fall, when soil is at 35-40°F, allowing plants to establish during the cool season. Alternatively, you can break seed dormancy by planting them in moist sand and keeping in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
- Seeds germinate better when they are exposed to cold temperatures. Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost and transplant out after the danger of frost has passed. Alternatively, direct sow in the cool of early spring or in fall for spring germination.
Planting Coneflower Seeds
- Direct sow or transplant your coneflower into the garden. Exposing the seed to several weeks of cold temperatures can drastically increase germination. This process is called cold stratification.
- A gardener can choose to start plants in starter pots and emulate cold stratification. Plant seeds in moist sand and keep in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
- Seed can be direct sown in an area of the garden that will receive cold exposure. To direct sow the seeds, plant in well-worked soil that is finely raked and clear of debris. Cover with 1/8″ well-sifted soil.
- Plant in well-draining, moderately fertile soil. Coneflower prefers full sun.
- Mulch heavily around your plants to help with weed suppression and moisture retention.
Growing Coneflower in Containers
- If you are planting coneflower in containers, make sure your container is at least 10″ deep. The larger the container, the more blooms you will get. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
Harvesting Coneflower Flowers
- Coneflower blooms make gorgeous cut flowers. Harvest flowers early in the morning and place them directly in a vase of room temperature water for the longest-lasting blooms.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In Zones 9 and 10, coneflower will happily bloom from spring through fall with moderate moisture.
- DO NOT overhead water as this promotes disease.
- Side dress with an organic granular fertilizer to ensure abundant blooms.
- Deadhead spent blooms to encourage more flowers.
- Coneflower plants grow 1-2′ tall and are great for borders, natural gardens, rock gardens, and pollinator plantings. The blooms not only attract beneficial insects but also feed pollinators. Plant with other native plants and wildflowers. Our Sulphur Dwarf Mix Cosmos make for a cheerful color palette of red, orange, and yellow. Shop all our flowers here.
Additional Learning Resources
- New to starting crops from seeds? Please watch our Seed Starting Presentation to learn the basics!
- Learn about growing all our crops on our YouTube page!
- Having pest issues? Check out in-depth information for pests that can be an issue to garden flowers at the UC Integrated Pest Management site.
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