Purple Coneflower, Sombrero
Purple Coneflowers perform best when planted in average to poor, well-drained soil, but the addition of compost at the time of planting is beneficial. The plant requires at least 6 hours of full sun, but may appreciate some late afternoon shade. Seed may be collected from the bristly brown flower centers for propagation elsewhere, but the Purple Coneflower profusely re-seeds itself. Root cuttings may be taken in late fall, and the plant may also be propagated by root division every few years.
Purple Coneflowers perform best in dry summers with little to no supplemental irrigation. Excellent soil drainage is a must, and the plant requires 6 or more hours of full sun daily. No staking is necessary.
Other than the addition of organic matter at the time of planting, the Purple Coneflower plant requires no fertilization.
Regular deadheading will contribute to a more attractive appearance and encourage fresh flowers to form on the plant. If cut back to about a third of its height in late summer, the Purple Coneflower plant will re-grow quickly with renewed energy.
If over-watered, Purple Coneflower will likely develop fungal diseases such as Powdery Mildew, Stem Rot, or Aster Yellows Disease. Care should be taken to ensure the plant has adequate air circulation and minimal supplemental irrigation. Aphids, whiteflies, or Eriophyid mites occasionally arrive and may be treated with an insecticidal soap spray, according to the product label directions. Japanese Beetles may be treated with an application of neem oil, or may be hand-picked from the plant.