From Doug Green:
Coneflower or Echinacea are one of the best perennial flowers in the garden. The entire family of cone flower or Echinacea loves the open sunny garden. It thrives in drier gardens than most other plants so it is a good plant for that hot, dry spot.
Do water it to establish new plantings but once established, it can thrive on its own. The really nice thing about this plant is that it will also tolerate some light shade and good soil.
The only thing that will shorten an echinacea lifespan are heavy clay soils or constantly damp soils; it does not like to have its roots constantly wet. It likes good drainage.
I have found the plant does really well in moderately fertile soils and if there is enough water in mid summer when it is setting seed, there is no problem with obtaining more plants.
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