The purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, has been a tricky plant to grow in my garden. The deer love it! I don’t know how many times it has been chowed down on by those feisty rascals, but it took all summer and just in the past few weeks have the bloom stalks survived being eaten long enough to actually produce a bloom. We started these plants from seeds that I received from my mom. Pass along seeds and plants are the best as they always have some sort of story or memory attached to them. It probably would have helped if we hadn’t planted the flowers front and center along the pathway, as if to entice the deer outright and instead had put them further back into one of the flower beds. Oh well!
In Texas the plant is only native to extreme northeast Texas, and is more common in the eastern portion of the United States. There are other echinacea species I’d like to try to grow eventually, but I have a feeling they would be tasty to deer, too. If I can get this patch growing well, I’d like to add another patch or two in other locations in the garden as I think they would be prolific bloomers through the growing season.
Do you grow any echinacea species in your garden?