Tall Cutleaf Coneflower for
Bumble Bees and Butterflies
Rudbeckia laciniata: Cutleaf coneflower, Green-headed coneflower, Wild golden glow
- Perennial: USDA hardiness zones 4-8 (lows to -34.4 °C or -30 °F)
- Native to most of the US (except the far west)
- Native to most of Canada (except Alberta and Saskatchewan)
- Full sun to part shade
- Prefers moist, well-draining soils
- Height: 4 to 7 feet- ours have grown over 7 ft. the past two seasons
- Spacing: 3 to 4 ft
- Flowers: bright yellow with central green cones
- Blooms July to September
- Sow seeds directly outside in fall- November is a good option for most regions
- Start seeds indoors before final frost
- Sow seeds directly after final frost
- Divide in fall
- Winter sowing is a good option for controlling plant placement
- This plant is a sunshine spectacle in the garden when it eclipses 7 feet
- Long bloom period- up to 2 months
- Height makes it easy to view nectar-thirsty bees and butterflies
- Produces a bounty of beautiful blooms
- No serious pest issues- we haven’t experienced any in Minnesota over 4 seasons
- Can spread by rhizomes in moist soils
- Tall stalks can require staking- our plants are growing against a south fence and we have never had to stake them
- Spring planted seeds and small plants won’t flower first year
- Large leaves droop when soil dries out
Laciniata Growing Tips:
I’ve heard several reports that cutleaf coneflower can be an invasive garden plant. We have not had this problem (by a stroke of luck) because of plant placement.
I had not researched this before we planted it, and placed it in a corner where we have other coneflower varieties growing. Fortunately, this was in the driest part of our garden. We added compost to the soil before planting to improve soil quality but this is not the soil it would prefer for invasive growth through rhizomes.
Our plants have thrived, but they have not spread…at all.
Keep an eye on your coneflowers during dry periods. Water when the leaves start to droop so your plants stay perky for pollinators.
Rudbeckia lacinaiata is very popular with bumble bees. There are times when there is a bumble bee on almost every blooming flower. This might be the bumble bees’ favorite flower in our garden.
Please comment below if you’ve seen other butterflies and pollinators sipping nectar from the green-headed coneflower. This type of info is rarely listed so your input can help others make the best decisions for their precious garden space.
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Rudbeckia laciniata in your butterfly garden: