Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater This plant is resistant to deer
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
On Jun 18, 2010, Massgirl from Franklin, MA wrote:
I bought this last year from a local Home Depot. It had several blooms already on it, and after planting, it did really well - lots of new growth and blooms. This spring (zone 6a), it really took off! It is about 4 feet high, and does lean a bit, so I've had to stake it. But the bloom color is gorgeous, and they do start out quilled, like others have complained, but they straighten out after awhile. Also, the blooms have lasted quite a long period of time for me, maybe about two weeks, and even then, they die off, and I have tons more coming in! So pretty, I love it!
On Aug 8, 2009, redchic01 from southern willamette valley, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:
It seems to me as if there is more than one strain of this plant in production now. Since this spring I have purchased six plants of Sundown from three different sources. Initially just two for myself and then other family members wanted some so I tracked them down. Four of these plants are great! The color holds well, the petals completely unfurl, and the fragrance is great. The other two start out the same, but as others have said, the color fades and the petals don't completely unfurl. Anyhow.... I think that if a person can find a strong strain of the plant that they'll be really happy with it. The four strong ones that I have are absolutely wonderful!!
On Jul 31, 2009, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Most Echie purists probably don't like this plant, but it makes one of the lovliest spots in my garden. It puts out an incredible amount of blooms week after week. Some of them open quilled, but eventually unfurl. I love the color changes on the blossums. Even those that take on a purplish appearence, still retain enough orange to give an overall coral color. The flowers paint a lovely backdrop for my daylilies.
On Jul 13, 2009, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:
Last year I picked this up mid-summer and it did 'ok'. The leaves looked almost burnt like they had way too much sun and the flower stems kept rotting and falling off. However, it came back WONDERFULLY this year and just came into full bloom! The flowers are lightly scented and a very vivid orange colour that fades to pink. I love it and it's had none of the problems it had last year! So if for some reason yours isn't doing/looking very well give it another chance before you toss it.
On Aug 8, 2008, Sneirish from Swansea, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
My sister "collects" Coneflowers, so I have kind of tagged along, though I am not impressed with all of the various hybrids. BUT, I do have to say that I like my "Sundown." The color has not faded out as much as some of the others do. And it tends to retain its shape and appearance quite a bit longer too, with no droopy petals. I am very pleased with this one. I also have mine in a spot where it gets a good bit of sun from morning through early afternoon, and then gets shade for the hottest part of the day. Maybe that makes the difference.
On Jun 6, 2008, danludwig from Cincinnati, OH wrote:
I ordered this plant and was told "Regretfully, these plants have not met our quality control specifications. Rather than delaying your shipment any longer, we have cancelled these plants off your order." Sounds like they saved me an eyesore......
On Sep 8, 2007, Allie88 from Palmyra, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I love this plant. The unusual color is wonderful. If you are a gardener who doesn't get too uptight about "unfurled petals" and whatever else the negative reports were, you will find this plant definitely worthwhile. The positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion. The color is gorgeous and the flowers quite beautiful.
On Sep 7, 2007, Ducky777 from Arlington, TX wrote:
I'm surprised the negative comments were given a 'neutral.' This plant is a dud!!! I've heard the major nurseries are giving people their money back for this inferior hybrid. Mine is a mess. Ugly unfurled petals, unopened flowers, short and stunted. I give this plant TWO HUGE THUMBS DOWN. BTW - I have E. Sunset and it is fabulous!
I think this cultivar of the Big Sky cones to be very beautiful. I just planted one about two months ago, and I have tons of blooms. The petals are an eye-catching rose color near the brown cone and they fade into a deep orange. Gorgeous. I just saw this cultivar at Longwood Gardens, PA last weekend, and it is beautiful in its maturity. I've noted some pictures with petals folded back, but I have not seen this in my own plant. The only problem encountered is that I'm not the only one that finds the plant appealing. Bunnies do too. They have nibbled off a lot of the tender new foliage at the base. Still the plant is strong and has found a new bunny-free location in the front of the house. I can't wait to see it next year...bigger and better. As of now, I would definitely recommend this cultivar.
On Mar 23, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
For info only:
Developed by Itsaul Plants of Georgia, the Big Sky™ series of Echinaceas are crosses of E. purpurea -- the traditional Purple Coneflower -- and E. paradoxa. They are heavy-blooming, unusually long-lasting, and sport a range of brand-new colors for the family.
On Oct 28, 2006, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I am not overly enthused with this plant, but save negative ratings for plants that totally fail. Yes it did have some of the rolled petals and the orange color quickly fades to purple. The leaves on mine and others I saw looked wrong for the second half of the season.
The picture on the info card showed a brighter orange-red. I thought I was buying E. "Sunset", but when I got home, noticed that in small letters it said "Evan Saul" underneath. I wasn't thrilled with the color, since I was wanting something brighter, and was considering ripping it out, but it has grown so much and has continually bloomed, that I've decided to keep it. It may not be the most beautiful echinacea, but it is one of the best bloomers!
On Jul 6, 2006, nanny_56 from Putnam County, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:
I had the same impressions and thoughts on this one too. I bought at a local nursery so it was a decent size starter plant. As it now about tripled in size & the flowers are looking much nicer though still mix of orange & pink, which is what I read in the plant description, but getting more of the flatter petals. I have it planted with Sweet Dreams Coreopis and it is beautiful!
On Jun 28, 2005, moyesii from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have a similar experience to both previous posters.
Just a few weeks after planting in spring, the tiny thing produced a bud, which took the longest time to flower.
The flower is similar to the way scutler describes. The petals never unfurled, and the flower is pink. I was a little annoyed with this ugly thing. But maybe after the plant matures, the problem will fix itself.
On Jun 6, 2005, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:
While I do like the plant, I am noticing unexpected variation in petals (please see photo). Some are "normal", flat, open completely, and are deep coral-orange. Others are "rolled" or tubular with the coral portion sealed inside and what would normally be the underside of the petal exposed; these are more pink. Both types of petals appear on the same flower. I have not seen this in any official photos of the plant and am eager to see photos from other DGers.
On May 21, 2005, BeginnerLucky from Elkton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
I found one of these at a nursery last weekend and planted it. This morning I noticed that the plant has put out a bud already, even though it's only about six inches tall.
If it actually blooms, I'll put up a photo.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Laguna West-lakeside, California Edgewater, Colorado Fort Lauderdale, Florida Cordele, Georgia Lawrenceville, Georgia Saint Charles, Illinois Williamsville, Illinois Davenport, Iowa Hebron, Kentucky Aberdeen, Maryland Frederick, Maryland Franklin, Massachusetts Ocean Grove, Massachusetts Dearborn Heights, Michigan Deephaven, Minnesota St Cloud, Minnesota Doniphan, Nebraska Long Branch, New Jersey Albuquerque, New Mexico Coram, New York Tonawanda, New York Chapel Hill, North Carolina Fearrington, North Carolina Bolindale, Ohio Tulsa, Oklahoma Corvallis, Oregon Westfir, Oregon Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania East Norriton, Pennsylvania Palmyra, Pennsylvania West Wyomissing, Pennsylvania Bluffton, South Carolina Inman, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Atoka, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Conroe, Texas Houston, Texas Missouri City, Texas Richmond, Texas Fruit Heights, Utah Lexington, Virginia Portsmouth, Virginia Kalama, Washington Seattle, Washington Ellsworth, Wisconsin Hartford, Wisconsin Menasha, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Mount Horeb, Wisconsin Watertown, Wisconsin