Do Coneflowers Spread? (Explained for Beginners)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Coneflowers are one of the most recommended flowers for your garden.

This is because they are super easy to manage and they add so much color to your garden.

Although their beauty is undeniable, a lot of gardeners wonder if coneflowers are invasive.

Invasive plants are plants that can grow and spread quickly to the point of destroying other garden plants.

This has led to the question “Do coneflowers spread?” Let’s find out?

Do Coneflowers Spread? 

Do Coneflowers Spread

The answer is yes, cornflowers spread. This plant produces many stems that are capable of blossoming; it spreads swiftly through underground stolons to cover up fertile and unplanted soil.

Because of its invasive nature, this plant usually needs some space to spread out.

But the good news is that this generally does not spread aggressively, so you can feel confident planting them in your garden without the fear of them taking over.

Read on to learn more about the spreading habits of coneflowers.

What Does It Mean For A Plant To Spread?

Spreading is the ability of a plant to reproduce more pants; this feature is most common with perennial plants.

A plant’s ability to spread is an important aspect of its survival. By spreading, a plant can produce more offspring, which increases the chances that at least some of them will survive to maturity.

There are several ways in which a plant can spread, including producing seeds, vegetative reproduction, and dispersal.

Here is an article I wrote about coneflowers being hardy

How Do Coneflowers Spread?

  • One way coneflowers spread is by producing seeds. Their seeds are typically produced by flowers, which are the reproductive organs of a plant. The flowers are pollinated by insects or other animals, which transfer pollen from the male reproductive organs of the plant to the female reproductive organs.

The pollen fertilizes the ovules, which develop into seeds.

Once the seeds mature, they are dispersed by wind, water, or animals, and can eventually grow into new plants.

  • Another way coneflowers spread is by vegetative reproduction. This happens when coneflowers produce new plants from parts of their body, such as stems, roots, or leaves.

For example, some plants produce runners, which are long, thin stems that grow along the ground. When a runner comes into contact with soil, it produces new roots and eventually forms a new plant.

Some plants also produce bulbs, which are underground storage organs. Bulbs can be divided into smaller pieces, each of which can grow into a new plant.

  • Thirdly, coneflowers spread in clumps, up to 2 ft. in diameter, due to this fact they aren’t aggressive as other perennial plants in terms of invasion.

Usually, when this plant spreads in clumps, it is advisable to divide them. If they aren’t divided, their roots become overly crowded.

This lead to malnutrition of plant because these overcrowded roots do not reach the soil for enough nutrients.

The division should occur at least every three to four years. This process should take place in spring or fall.

The divided plants can be replanted, however, ensure the plants have enough spacing from each other to avoid overcrowding.

  • Lastly, coneflowers can spread by dispersal. This is when a coneflower spreads its seeds by using external forces, such as wind or water.

For example, some plants have seeds that are equipped with wings or other structures that help them to float through the air.

Once these seeds land in a suitable location, they can germinate and grow into new plants.

Other plants have seeds that are designed to be water-resistant so that they can float on the surface of the water until they get to a new location.

How Quickly Do Coneflowers Spread?

Generally, coneflowers are a fast-spreading plant; they usually take about 3 to 4 weeks to germinate.

For instance, when coneflowers spread through seed dispersal, each flower head produces hundreds of seeds that are then spread by wind, animals, and water.

Once the seeds have germinated, they can produce new plants within a few weeks.

Coneflowers typically spread through their roots, which can extend up to 2 feet deep into the ground.

Once established, a single plant can produce up to 50 new shoots each year. This means that a small patch of coneflowers can quickly become a large bed of flowers.

The speed at which coneflowers spread can be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, they can fill in a garden bed very quickly.

On the other hand, they can also become invasive if not properly controlled. This is why gardeners should be aware of their potential to become invasive.

With proper care and control, their invasiveness can be managed. 

Here are some steps that can help you be in control of the growth of your coneflower;

  • The easiest way to stop or control the spread of coneflower occurs when they bloom. When their bloom begins to fade simply deadhead the coneflower. Deadhead simply means the process of removing a dead flower headstrong the plant. This process is to be repeated until they stop blooming.
  • You can also manage the spread of coneflowers through pruning. This process should take place when bloom is over. Using a pruning shear cut the stem of the plant, particularly at the point where two or more leaves meet. 

This process is a sure way to ensure that the coneflower would not be producing more seeds. Hence there won’t be new plants germinating the next spring. 

  • Generally invasive plants can be managed also by the use of chemicals. The downside to this method is that it can affect other plants in the garden. And it can also destroy your coneflower totally; it is a good method if you are looking to remove your coneflower completely. 

However, if you are just looking for a way to reduce its spread then this method should not be employed. 

Also check out this article I wrote on are coneflowers perennial?

Do Coneflowers Spread By Seed?

Yes, Coneflowers spread by seeding. Here’s the process of how coneflower spread by seed;

  • First off, during summer the flowers of this plant open up. The center cone, which looks like a small hedgehog, matures and dries with seeds in the cone pods.
  • In autumn, the small dry seeds naturally spill out on the ground, they are scattered by wind or fall out as the plant dies back. Birds such as finches eat the seeds and scatter them in bird droppings.

The seeds grow quickly in loose soil but also will root in poor soil or cracks in clay soil. The seeds are usually dormant in winter and germinate in spring.

Do Coneflowers Spread or Multiply? What’s The Difference?

Coneflowers can spread and multiply as well.

The process of spreading involves the production of new plants which occurs naturally.

It’s safe to say that the spread of coneflowers practically means the same thing as multiplying them.

Hence there is no difference between coneflower spreading or multiplying.


Coneflowers do spread and they spread in a variety of ways, all of which increase their chances of survival.

By producing seeds, vegetative reproducing, and dispersing their seeds, plants can create new plants that can take root and grow in new areas.

This allows plants to colonize new habitats and continue their species.

However, coneflowers are invasive, though mildly, they can affect the growth of other plants in the garden if not controlled.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


HayFarmGuy - Get Info About Farm Animals in Your Inbox

Leave a Comment