Companion planting is an excellent way to improve not only the appearance but also the productivity of the garden. Growing different plants together is an ancient cultivation science that has been practiced for many years. Gardeners who want to stay organic but want better and healthier harvests have always preferred companion planting.
There are numerous plants that can be grown together. There are, however, many that should not be paired. As a result, understanding which crops to pair holds the key to a prosperous garden. That being said, this article will concentrate on companion plants that can be grown with Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflowers.
What is Companion Planting?
As previously stated, companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together. This science benefits both the companion plant and the host plant. Although most gardeners focus on companion planting in vegetable gardens, this process can also benefit ornamental flowering plants and fruit plants.
In contrast to other gardening areas, companion planting is often based on observations rather than rigid scientific facts. It means that gardeners and farmers must use trial and error to determine the best companion plants to pair together.
Some of the benefits of Companion Planting include:
- Attracting beneficial insects
- Eliminating pest invasion
- Fend off predators and unwanted wildlife
- Increase the produce
- Enhance the flavor of the produce
- Improving soil fertility
- Suppressing weeds
Aside from these advantages, your garden may suffer if you use the wrong companion planting strategy. As a result, it is critical to pair only plants that can thrive together. And, as said before, if you are unfamiliar with companion planting, you can use the trial and error method to experiment on your own. To get a glimpse of companion planting, you can refer here.
Echinacea (Purple Coneflowers): The Basics
Let us first learn about Echinacea before moving on to the plants to grow with it. Doing so would assist us in learning the fundamentals of the plant, like its types, growing conditions, and so on. Only then will we be able to identify the best companion plants for them.
Echinacea is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant native to eastern and central North America. These are low-maintenance plant species that can withstand even your neglect. However, if you want your plants to flourish gorgeously, you should take a few steps, such as planting them in a bright spot, watering them regularly, keeping the soil moist, and so on.
Coneflowers are heat and drought-tolerant perennials with flowers that are not purple but red, pink, orange, white, and other colors. They typically bloom from June to August and attract pollinators and songbirds. Growing Coneflowers can be a good option if you want your garden to be a haven for birds and beneficial insects.
Here is a table that can be used as a quick reference guide to the basics of Echinacea or Coneflowers. Please read it to learn the fundamentals of the flowering plant.
|Origin||Eastern and central North America|
|Height||2 to 5 feet|
|Width||1-1/2 to 2 feet|
|Soil||Loamy, rich in organic matters|
|Sun exposure||Yes, fullSome may tolerate partial shade|
|Hardiness Zone||USDA 3-9|
|Watering||Drought tolerant; no overwatering|
|Flower Color||Pink, red, orange, white, yellow and green|
|Bloom Time||June to August and later|
Companion Planting For Echinacea: The Good Companions
If you plan to grow Coneflowers in your garden, you might wonder what to plant with them. Echinacea produces flowers that range in size from 2 to 4 inches. Hence, pairing these plants with other flowering plants can be the best option. You can create a color show in your garden this way.
You could also consider planting plants from the same region as Echinacea. Doing so would ensure that all plants in your garden have the same adaptability and growth needs. However, if you are still confused, here is a list of good plants you can pair with your Coneflower plants.
Catmint is the first plant on our list. It is a herbaceous perennial with aromatic leaves that belongs to the mint family. Although it sounds similar to catnip, it is not the same thing. While catnip is grown for its strong aromatic herbal qualities, Catmint is grown for its decorative attributes.
This plant produces lush green foliage as well as lavender-blue flowers. One of the main advantages of pairing Catmint and Echinacea is that it acts as a natural insect repellent. This decorative plant will help keep aphids and squash bugs out of your garden.
2. Black-Eyed Susan
If you want to create a happy and sunny bright garden, choose to pair Coneflowers with Black-Eyed Susan. This plant also produces bright yellow and similar-looking flowers and pairs well with pink Coneflowers. Also, Black-Eyed Susan attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies, bees, etc. In other words, your garden will become a haven for pollinating insects from spring to late summer if you pair Coneflowers with Black-Eyed Susan.
However, the downside is that Black-Eyed Susan may entice deer, rabbits, and other animals. But you can grow lavender and rosemary as border plants to thwart insects and keep wildlife at bay.
3. American Basket Flower
The American Basket flower is a North American native that makes an excellent companion plant for Coneflowers. This plant bears large blooms with pink-purple petals and an off-white center. When combined with Echinacea, the showy and versatile flowers can enhance the beauty of your garden.
Pollinators are pulled to basket flowers, and the nectar is high in amino acids and sugars. These plants can thrive alongside Coneflowers because their requirements are similar: a bright sunny location, well-drained sandy, loamy soil, and an acidic to neutral pH level.
4. Goat’s Beard
This perennial plant can be combined with any annual or perennial plant that grows in similar circumstances and seasons. Goat’s Beard attracts pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, and moths to the garden. Furthermore, these are very hardy plants that are resilient to insects and pathogens, as well as deer and rabbits. So, if you plant these plants along the perimeter of your garden, it will be safe from wildlife intrusion.
In this context, keep in mind that, while Goat’s Beard is not an invasive plant species, it will self-produce by scattering seeds. As a result, don’t overcrowd your garden with Goat’s Beard and Echinacea. Instead, maintain a minimum of four feet between the plants.
Salvia, also known as Mealy Cup Sage and Blue Sage, is a member of the mint family. As Echinacea companion plants, these deep blue perennials add a stunning boundary. Combine this Salvia with Echinacea to establish a colorful floral display in your garden that will attract butterflies and other pollinators.
On the other hand, Salvia is a hardy plant that requires the same growing environment as Coneflowers. As a result, growing them together will be no problem.
Stonecrop, also known as Hylotelephium and Sedum, is a hardy perennial that is heat and drought tolerant. Belonging to a diversified range of plants, Stonecrops come in myriad shapes, shades, and dimensions.
These plants can prosper in dry weather and are easy to grow due to their succulent stems and leaves. Not only that, but Stonecrop attracts pollinators to both itself and Echinacea. Hence, combining these two plants will undoubtedly result in a lovely butterfly garden.
If you want an aesthetically pleasing garden, then pair Stachys and Echinacea. Pollinators are drawn to its luscious green foliage and rosy-lavender flowers. In other words, by attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, Stachys will boost pollination for your host plant and other crops in your garden.
Aside from that, Stachys is tolerant to drought and can withstand the invasion of wildlife such as deer and rabbits. Furthermore, these are hardy plants that are simple to grow and maintain. Plant 2-3 Stachys with a handful of Echinacea to create a visual impact in your garden borders.
8. Coral Bells
Coral Bells, also known as Heuchera americana, is a low-maintenance perennial growing well in zones 4 to 9. This plant produces coral, pink, white, and red blooms and attracts pollinators. They also keep deer, rabbits, and other herbivorous wildlife away from the garden, thanks to its foliage containing high tannins. In a nutshell, Coral Bells, as companion plants, provide security from wildlife, entice pollinating insects, and produce blossoms.
9. Bee Balm
Bee Balm, also known as Monarda Bradburiana, is a member of the mint family and is native to North America. Plants originating in North America can be paired with Echinacea due to their similar adaptability and growing requirements.
This plant produces daisy-shaped blossoms with tubular petals in various shades such as pink, purple, red, and white. Bee Balm would deter herbivorous animals such as deer and rabbits, entice pollinators, and protect the host plant from mildew invasion.
10. Butterfly Milkweed
Butterfly Milkweed, a member of the milkweed family, is native to North America and grows primarily in dry open areas. These are hardy perennials that can reach a height of 3 feet. Butterfly Milkweed, like Echinacea, grows best in full sun.
When combined with Echinacea, it can help keep the former from dangling. Furthermore, the yellow flower of Milkweed contrasts beautifully with the lavender flowers of our host plant.
11. Blue Phlox
Blue Phlox, like Coneflowers, grows as a wildflower and produces brilliant blue flowers. This plant pairs well with Coneflowers and can be grown as a border plant in front of the garden. Blue Phlox not only adds beauty to the garden but also attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Is Echinacea a Good Plant to Have Around?
When growing Coneflowers or Echinacea, pairing them with beneficial companion plants can be beneficial. However, the question of WHY and HOW remains.
The Coneflower is an excellent plant for attracting beneficial insects, pollinators, and songbirds. As a result, by increasing pollination, these wildflower plants can be excellent companions for other plants in your garden. Another way this wildflower species can complement other flowering plants in your garden is to create a flower show.
The flowers of this plant come in various colors, including pink, white, and green. As a result, combine these flowering plants with nasturtiums to add a striking accent to your garden.
Additionally, Echinacea is also a deer-resistant plant. Planting these wildflowers with other plants in your garden will thus serve two functions. First, you will enjoy abundant blooms while also avoiding wildlife invasion.
Vegetable Plants to Pair With Echinacea
There is no shortage of flowering plants to complement Echinacea. Plants that originated in North America can easily coexist with Echinacea. However, some vegetable plants can also be paired with your host plant. Please keep in mind that Coneflowers attract pollinators. As a result, when paired with vegetables. They can improve pollination in your vegetable garden.
Here are some of our recommendations for vegetables that pair well with Coneflowers.
You can use your gardening skills to combine these vegetables with Echinacea to improve the appearance of your garden while also harvesting healthy produce.
Plants to Avoid Pairing With Echinacea
With our knowledge of good companion plants for Echinacea, it’s now time to focus on the plants that should not be paired with the host plant. Although almost all plants can grow healthy with Coneflowers, there are primarily two types of plants that should be avoided.
It is always best to avoid planting invasive herbs with Coneflowers, such as mint, fennel, catnip, and so on. These herbs will quickly take over the ground, suffocating your host plant. Furthermore, herbs such as fennel are allelopathic to many garden plants, producing elements that can kill nearby vegetation. Nevertheless, you can grow these herbs in separate pots to prevent them from taking over your Coneflowers’ region and ensure that your host plant thrives without issue.
To thrive, your Echinacea will require sunlight. As a result, avoid pairing it with tall plant species such as sunflowers and corns. These plants would prevent the sunlight, depriving your host plant of the much essential sunlight.
Echinacea or Coneflowers are very easy-to-grow perennial plants that grow well along with most annual and perennial crops. You can easily pair them with a plethora of flowering and vegetable plants.
We hope that our list of companion plants for Echinacea has piqued your interest. Please share your views with us if you have any experience in this context. We would love to hear from you. Also, you can dig deeper to unearth other plants that can grow and thrive well with Echinacea.