Trying to understand my coneflower

Marlborough, MA(Zone 5b)

I have a coneflower that has been planted on a slope (provides drainage) that has westerly sun.
It is about 2-3 years old. My problem is that if it is not watered everyday it gets VERY droopy.
As soon as it is watered it returns to normal appearence.
Everything else it is planted with does fine.

The following is taken from internet page about coneflowers.
Growing Conditions

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 the cone flower lifespan is heavy clay soils or constantly damp soils; it does not like to have its roots constantly wet. It likes good drainage.

As you can see I am having a totally different experence with my plant. Is my coneflower behaving strangly?

This message was edited Jun 30, 2009 9:24 AM

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I have found that Echinacea Purpurea aren't as drought tolerant as people claim, especially in full afternoon sun. I have started a new flower bed on the north side of the house here and they look much better. I'm further south so that does have something to do with it too, but I still think this particular plant needs some afternoon sun protection or it does tend to wilt. The blooms also don't last long in blazing sun.

Echinacea Tennesseensis, Pallida, and Paradoxa are more drought tolerant for me. They can take blazing sun as well. I would suggest trying these in this location. Also, try planting some Echinacea in another part of the garden. You can learn a lot about these plants by experimenting with different sun exposures, etc.

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

is it possible you have something in the ground (a big boulder, shale, etc) underneath the area of your coneflower bed? anything that might impede good root development?
you may also be contributing to the plant not developing those thick, deep roots by watering frequently.

here's my suggestion (your plant will not die from going thirsty for a day or two - really): observe your plant first thing in the morning, is it standing tall? do not water that day.
if your plant is droopy first thing in the morning, give it a nearly full 5 gallon bucket of water, all of it. one bucket full for every plant.
check your plant in the mornings only and ignore any afternoon or evening droopiness.

update us in a couple of weeks on how your plants are doing.

Marlborough, MA(Zone 5b)

WOW! Great info, thanks I'll try your suggestion.

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