Pale Purple Coneflower Attracts Many Butterflies!
The nectar from Pale Purple Coneflower is a big hit among butterflies and other pollinators, and it even attracts hummingbirds! It’s an early to mid-summer bloomer, so when it is paired with its relative, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), which blooms a little later, you’ll have a coneflower in bloom for most of the summer and into the fall. And birds love the seeds in the fall!
Characteristics of Echinacea pallida Plants
Pale Purple Coneflower is hardy in USDA zones 3-9. It is an herbaceous perennial that spreads in clumps and will self-sow if the seed heads remain on the plant. The pale purple flowers have thin drooping petals that look quite pretty when in a grouped planting. The flower colors can range from almost white to a variety of pale pinkish purples. It also pairs well with grasses, as it is naturally found in prairies, meadows and open woodlands.
Echinacea pallida grows about 2-4′ high and flowers from June-July (May in some areas). It loves full sun but will tolerate a little shade. Having a taproot, it is quite drought tolerant and even stands up well to heat and humidity. It needs good drainage and prefers dry to medium moisture. It prefers rich soils but does well in poor soils as long as the drainage is good.
How to Start Pale Purple Coneflower Seeds
Pale Purple Coneflower seeds can be started in the fall, winter, spring or indoors. We have found about a 75% germination rate with no cold stratification from our seeds. Perhaps you could improve on that, as some sources recommend cold stratification for 1-3 months–but at this rate of germination we see no reason to wait. Do, however, keep the seeds in a cold/dry storage (like in a sealed bag in the refrigerator) until you are ready to plant.
Plant the seeds about 1/8-1/4″ deep at room temperature. Ours germinated in about 2 weeks, but that can vary based on temperature. Space plants about 12-18″ apart.