How to divide coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Coneflower is a perennial much appreciated for the color and shape of its flowers. In this article we will learn how to divide coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).
Coneflowers are perennial plants that tolerate most soils. They are important at the end of summer and there are many colors available to choose from.
Its beauty lies in the daisy-like flowers, which have raised centers or ‘cones’ that give it a fascinating texture and vibrancy.
At a time of year when many other summer perennials are already in their descendant phase, Echinacea appears as a fresh and showy feature in the garden.
The variety I will use to demonstrate the propagation process is Echinacea ‘Mellow Yellow’. It is a variety with light yellow petals and orange cones.
Coneflowers grow in clumps in the garden. These clumps should be divided every three years to improve plant vigor.
In this guide, we’ll demonstrate how to do multiple divisions and get new plants from another one.
Although it is a small clump, it has been growing in the pot for a year with the intention of propagating the variety and making this demonstration guide.
This way, we can make the divisions easier for later planting in the garden beds or planting other pots.
If replanting divisions directly into the garden, prepare the soil by adding a little slow-release fertilizer, organic matter, or decomposed manure.
In this case, we will plant the small divisions in pots to strengthen before planting in the final location. We prepared a generic potting compost, with organic matter and coarse sand to improve drainage.
Divide coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
I remove the plant from the pot by carefully turning it upside down.
With a shovel, I cut the clump in half so I can easily start to separate smaller pieces.
Then, I gently separate and divide the tufts into smaller ones.
It’s very easy, each segment has to have good roots and foliage shoots (that are easily visible). The more roots each new plant has, the better chance it will survive and grow vigorously.
In this case it was quite easy to loosen the roots of each division and separate each new plant. This is because the soil was quite loose and easy to handle.
However, when we are dividing large plants that have been growing for 3 or 4 years in the garden, the task is not so easy. We may need to use forks and cutting tools to divide the plants.
Keep in mind that when dividing large plants to plant in the garden, you should separate them so that each division has several shoots. Here we are creating small plants that will still grow in a nursery.