​​The 7 Best Echinacea Companion Plants For A Lush Garden

Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, thrives when planted near the right companions. But deciding on suitable partners for this hardy perennial can feel daunting.

After exhaustive research and some trial and error, I’ve come to find the best choices of coneflower companion plants that not only thrive equally well under similar conditions but also keep pests at bay and enhance each other’s growth remarkably.

Some perfect Echinacea companion plants include Stachys, catmint, black-eyed Susan, coral bells, bee blame, Salvia, and stonecrop

Get ready to discover a plant partnership that will turn your garden into an oasis teeming with vibrant blooms and enthusiastic pollinators!

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with purple coneflowers can enhance the health and beauty of your garden by attracting pollinators and deterring pests.
  • Suitable companions for Echinacea plants include Stachys, catmint, black-eyed Susan, coral bells, bee balm, Salvia, and stonecrop.
  • Echinacea thrives in well-drained soil and needs at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • The Echinacea in your garden will do well around plants that provide shade, attract beneficial insects, repel pests, and help create a more visually appealing display amidst its pink or purple flowers.

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

What is companion planting?

echinacea companion plants - echinacea flowers growing in a field, in a range of different colors

Companion planting is a popular modern gardening technique. It is when different plants are grown together, ideally plants with similar growing requirements, to benefit all the plants.

For example, one plant may provide the necessary shade needed by another or help repel harmful insects, promoting a healthier and more flourishing garden.

This practice not only conserves space but also aids in preventing insect infestations while maintaining soil health.

For instance, some flowers can attract beneficial insects that improve pollination rates and keep aphids away from your cherished Echinacea purpurea or other perennial wildflowers! 

So, rather than using harsh chemicals to fend off pests, companion planting offers an all-natural solution straight from your garden’s ecosystem.

Characteristics Of Echinacea

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, tolerates drought well
Mature Size
Typically 2-4 feet tall, depending on variety
Soil Requirements
Well-draining soil; pH 5.5-7.0
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to partial shade
Temperature Tolerance
Hardy in USDA zones 3-9
Growth Habit
Perennial flowering plant
Flowering Period
Summer to fall
Flower Color
Pink, purple, white, or mixed colors
Foliage Characteristics
Green leaves, often lance-shaped or ovate
Propagation Methods
Seeds, divisions, or root cuttings
Pruning and Maintenance
Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming; cut back in late fall or spring
Common Pests and Diseases
Few pest or disease issues; may encounter aphids or powdery mildew
Companion Planting
Echinacea can be companion plants for other perennials and attract beneficial insects
Edible Parts
Some parts of Echinacea plants are used in herbal teas and supplements
Wildlife Attraction
Echinacea flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies
Generally non-toxic; avoid ingestion in large quantities, may cause mild stomach upset
Special Care Instructions
Echinacea can self-seed; deadhead to prevent excessive spreading; provide good air circulation

Tips for Growing Echinacea

Choose an ideal planting location for your Echinacea and ensure the soil conditions are well-drained and suitable for the plant Coneflowers.

Consider group planting to maximize benefits, such as attracting pollinators and providing a visually appealing display in your garden.

Ideal planting location

To ensure the successful growth of your Echinacea plants, it’s important to choose the ideal planting location.

These beautiful coneflowers thrive in full sun or partial shade, so find a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Keep in mind that Echinacea grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9, so make sure your chosen location falls within this range.

Additionally, coneflowers prefer moist, well-drained soil, so make sure to plant them in an area with good drainage.

By selecting the right planting location for your Echinacea, you’ll provide them with the optimal conditions they need to flourish and bloom beautifully year after year.

Soil Conditions for Coneflowers

Coneflowers, or Echinacea, thrive in soil conditions that are moist and well-drained. They prefer dry-to-medium soil with a pH level between 6 and 7.

It’s important to provide them with an environment where water can drain easily, as they don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.

Additionally, coneflowers can tolerate some shade but need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

With these specific soil conditions met, your coneflowers will flourish in your garden or wildflower bed!

Group Planting Benefits

Group planting with Echinacea offers a range of benefits for your garden. First and foremost, it attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, which are essential for the health and reproduction of plants.

By grouping Echinacea with other companion plants, you create a vibrant and inviting environment that these pollinators can’t resist.

Additionally, group planting can help repel pests such as aphids and Japanese beetles, reducing the need for chemical insecticides.

Moreover, when planted in groups, echinacea provides shade to neighboring plants during hot summer days.

This not only protects delicate foliage but also keeps soil moisture levels balanced.

7 Best Companion Plants for Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Stachys (Hummelo betony), catmint (Nepeta mussinii), stonecrop (Hylotelephium), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), coral bells (Heuchera americana), Salvia (Salvia farinacea), and bee balm (Monarda bradburiana) are all excellent choices for companion planting with Echinacea.

1. Hummelo Betony (Stachys monieri)

closeup of bee pollinating Stachys monieri flower

Stachys monieri, also known as Hummelo betony, is a star performer in any garden and makes an excellent companion for purple coneflower.

As well as being a beautiful addition to your outdoor space, with its striking purple flowers and dark green foliage, it also attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, which boosts the pollination rate of other plants nearby.

As a member of the mint family, Stachys monieri shares similar growing conditions to purple coneflowers.

Both are hearty perennials that thrive in full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil.

Stachys reaches around two feet at maturity and features whimsical pink-purple flowers that complement Echinacea’s wildflower beauty splendidly.

Planting Stachys and Echinacea together will bring a bountiful burst of color to your garden while attracting beneficial insects.

2. Catmint (Nepeta mussinii)

Known for its role as a natural bug repellent, catmint, or Nepeta mussinii, makes an impressive partner for Echinacea in your garden.

It’s especially effective at warding off unwanted pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and Japanese beetles.

The vibrant foliage of catmint thrives best under full sun with plenty of moisture in well-drained soil conditions. However, keep feline friends away, as this plant can be toxic to cats! 

By integrating catmint, with its delicate purple flowers, into your wildflower garden along with Echinacea, you will create a visually appealing arrangement and also foster healthier plants by preventing insect infestations and promoting healthy soil conditions.

Plant some aromatic catmint—it contributes significantly to the success of your perennial garden while invigorating it with wonderful scents.

3. Stonecrop (Hylotelephium)

closeup of beautiful songbird drinking nectar from a stonecrop flower

Stonecrop is a beautiful choice for your garden if you’re looking for a drought-tolerant perennial. With its stunning succulent structure, it will add beauty and texture to your landscape.

This lovely groundcover sedum also attracts butterflies and songbirds with its vibrant flowers.

There are several colorful hybrids of stonecrop available, allowing you to create a stunning display in your garden. To ensure abundant growth, plant stonecrop in rich, well-drained soil.

One of the great things about stonecrop is that, like Echinacea, it is heat and drought-resistant, making it easy to care for and an excellent choice for those hot summer months.

4. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta)

When choosing companion plants that work well with coneflowers, look no further than cheery black-eyed Susan.

This fast-growing perennial attracts butterflies and other pollinators, and boasts vibrant yellow-to-orange daisy-like flowers, making it an excellent addition to your wildflower garden. 

Black-eyed Susan thrives in full sun and can provide support and visual interest alongside Echinacea.

With its hardiness and ability to tolerate various soil conditions, this reliable companion plant is sure to enhance the beauty of your garden while creating a welcoming environment for pollinators.

5. Coral Bells (Heuchera americana)

Coral bells, or American alumroot, are excellent companion plants for Echinacea.

These lovely perennials not only add beauty to your garden but also protect your Echinacea plants by deterring deer and rabbits.

Coral bells come in various colors, which can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.

They have similar soil preferences to Echinacea, making it easier for them to thrive together—and for you to look after them.

Another advantage of coral bells is that they are low-maintenance plants that can withstand different growing conditions.

An important feature the two plants have in common is they are both drought-tolerant. It’s easy to see why coral bells are great companions for Echinacea in any garden setting.

6. Mealy Sage (Salvia farinacea)

lovely purple Salvia farinacea flowers growing outdoors 

Mealy sage (Salvia farinacea), also known as mealycup sage, is a versatile perennial plant that should be considered as a companion for your Echinacea. Its dense violet flowers add a pop of color to any garden.

Not only is Salvia attractive to butterflies, but it also requires full sun and well-drained soil to thrive—just like Echinacea!

The best part? It’s both deer and drought-resistant, making it a low-maintenance addition to your garden.

Whether you’re planning a wildflower garden or looking to enhance your perennial bed, Salvia is an excellent choice for adding beauty and resilience to your landscape.

7. Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana)

Bee balm, or Monarda bradburiana, is a popular perennial plant. Bee balm plants attract bees and other pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, benefitting your Echinacea and all your other plants as well. 

Bee balm is a herbaceous plant that spreads fairly quickly and offers lovely slender, tubular flowers in white, pink, red, or purple.

It’s also versatile regarding sunlight requirements, as it thrives in both full sun and partial shade.

If you’re looking for a splash of color or want to encourage pollinators in your garden—and who wouldn’t?—bee balm plants are perfect companions for Echinacea. 

Final Thoughts: Planting Echinacea Companion Plants

Incorporating companion plants into your garden can enhance its beauty and benefit the ecosystem’s overall health.

By choosing plants like Stachys, catmint, black-eyed Susan, coral bells, bee balm, blue phlox, butterfly milkweed, mealy sage, and stonecrop as companions for your coneflowers, you’ll not only attract pollinators and deter pests but also create a stunning display of colors and textures.

With their low-maintenance nature and similar environmental requirements to Echinacea, these companion plants are the perfect choices for any garden enthusiast looking to create a thriving and vibrant space.

FAQs About Choosing Coneflower Companion Plants 

What can I plant next to Echinacea?

Planting companions like bee balm, yarrow, and ornamental grasses next to Echinacea helps to create attractive pollinator-friendly garden areas.

What vegetables grow well with Echinacea?

Echinacea can be planted near vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, which can benefit from its pest-repelling properties.

Do Echinacea plants spread?

Echinacea plants can spread slowly through self-seeding, but they are not aggressive or invasive spreaders.

Can lavender and Echinacea grow together?

Yes, lavender and Echinacea can be grown together, as they have similar sun and soil requirements and can create an appealing garden combination.

How many Echinacea should I plant together?

Plant Echinacea about 18 to 24 inches apart to allow enough space for their growth and ensure good air circulation. The number of plants depends on your garden space and design preferences.

Can I plant Echinacea near other herbaceous perennials?

Yes, it is possible to plant Echinacea near other herbaceous perennials as long as they have similar growing requirements and complement each other aesthetically.

However, it’s essential to consider spacing to ensure adequate airflow and prevent overcrowding.

Are there any vegetable plants that can be planted with coneflowers?

While coneflowers are primarily ornamental plants, they can be planted with some vegetable plants.

However, it is important to consider both plants’ spacing requirements and growing conditions to ensure they thrive together.

Can I plant coneflowers with other native plants?

Yes, coneflowers can be planted with other native plants with similar growing conditions.

Native plants often support each other’s growth and attract native pollinators, creating a more diverse and ecologically beneficial garden.

Can I plant coneflowers with other flowers from the same genus?

Yes, coneflowers can be planted with other flowers from the same genus, such as purple Echinacea varieties.

These plants share similar growing requirements and will complement each other in terms of color and form.