Why plant Audubon® Native Yellow Coneflower?
Bright egg-yolk-yellow petals and chocolate-brown cones distinguish this delightful, unusual species from the more common Purple Coneflower. Yellow Coneflower sports fragrant, shuttlecock-shaped flowers that nourish our native butterflies and bumblebees. Monarchs and fritillaries are frequent diners. When the flowers are finally spent in late summer, the cones turn black, but they are adorned with bright yellow once again as goldfinches rush in to devour the seeds. In fact, planting Coneflowers is one of the best things you can do to attract goldfinches to your yard. Every year, you’ll look for their rollercoaster flight pattern and listen for their chirpy call.
Yellow Coneflower’s botanical name is Echinacea paradoxa. The “paradox” comes from the fact that its petals are yellow, whereas all other Echinacea species’ flowers are pink. Plant breeders have taken advantage of this quirk by crossing Yellow Coneflower with those other species, creating new hybrids in all sorts of crazy colors. The problem is that hybrids sometimes don’t produce seed, and thus, no treats for the finches. For maximum wildlife benefit, you’ll want to choose the unaltered species, like the Yellow Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, and Pale Purple Coneflower we offer.
How to use Audubon® Native Yellow Coneflower in the landscape?
In the wild, Yellow Coneflower is quite rare, occurring only in the Ozark region of Missouri and Arkansas. Help this special, uncommon Spirit flourish by planting it in your garden!
Hardiness Zone: 5-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Yellow Coneflower
For best results, plant Yellow Coneflower in a sunny site or in a spot that receives shade only during the hottest part of the day. The soil should be of medium fertility and must drain freely. Cold, boggy soil in winter is not its friend. Deadhead spent flowers to keep the plant looking fresh if you wish, but remember that no seedheads at all means no goldfinches and no winter interest, either. On the other hand, plants allowed to go to seed may reseed in your landscape beds—you may consider this a plus. Cut old stems down before new growth appears in spring. Coneflowers love heat and are slow to emerge, so be patient.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.