The romance of these coneflowers goes beyond color. "As we developed the new hues, we also discovered fragrance the purple selections only hint at," Bobby says. It becomes most prominent in late afternoon, when flowers warmed by the sun give the air a sweet, unexpected scent.
These new coneflowers also cut like a charm. Snip a few stems as they open, and they'll last in a vase for at least 10 days. The colors combine beautifully with other garden flowers and herbs for stunning mixed-bouquet potential. Few summer blooms produce the color range these selections posess.
Coneflowers grow enthusiastically . Here are Bobby's recommendations for success.
- Well-drained soil: This is a must for long-lived plants; many times they will fail due to excessive moisture in the soil.
- Sunlight: Full sun (at least four hours) is best to ensure strong plants and sturdy flowers.
- Fertilize: Don't go overboard. Feed with an all-purpose granular food (such as 14-14-14) in the spring and once again in midsummer.
- Maintenance: Once blooms fade, deadhead them at the bases of the stems. New buds will follow. Tall flowers that aren't in full sun may need stakes for support.
July 2007 issue of Southern Living.