It’s obvious the coneflower, or echinacea, with its show-stopping color, is hard to miss in any garden, but it also benefits the wildlife all summer and even into fall and winter. The coneflower is great for multiple winged species. From bees to butterflies and even birds, the coneflower is a great source of food.
How, you might ask?
Nectar! The nectar helps provide food for the survival of different winged critters. Blooming from mid-summer into fall, the flower produces nectar for bees and butterflies, including monarchs and painted ladies, to feed from for many months.
What happens when the flower is done blooming?
Leave them for the birds! The coneflower attracts many birds like blue jays, cardinals and goldfinches. These birds enjoy feasting on the seeds from the spent flower head well into the winter season. So, before you think about pruning them back, help feed the birds through the winter, and enjoy mother nature at its best.
What should you do after winter is over?
Simply cut the spent flowers down to the ground. The plant will start to regrow in the spring to repeat this wonderful cycle of life.
—Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery