Ratibida columnifera. Plant this perennial wildflower in your organic flower garden, or grow it in containers. Ratibida Prairie Coneflower seeds are useful for water-wise xeriscaping plans because the plants are native to the central prairies and mountains, and accustomed to drought, high heat, and high humidity. The central cone of each flower is surrounded by lovely bright red petals tipped in fiery sun-bright yellow. The strap-like leaves are bluish green and form a rosette. Avoid getting the leaves wet (or water only first thing in the morning) to prevent the onset of foliar disorders like powdery mildew. Flowers appear from late spring to autumn, and stems can range from 60-150cm (24-60") tall.
Perennial Ratibida is also known as Prairie Coneflower and Mexican hat. It is native over a wide range in North America, from the Canadian south to the north of Mexico. It is closely related to Rudbeckia. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Ratibida from seed.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Ratibida is hardy to Zone 3
Start transplants in a cold frame in early spring, or direct sow in May to June. Starting indoors requires vernalization – wrap planted pots in plastic and store in the refrigerator for one week, and then provide 20°-24°C (68°-75°F). Do this step 4-6 weeks before planting out. Seeds will germinate in 7-42 days.
Barely cover the seeds with soil. Transplant or thin to stand 30-60cm (12-24″) apart.
Stake tall growing plants in windy gardens. Ordinary, well-drained soil will do. Ratibida is susceptible to foliar diseases like powdery and downy mildew, fungal spots, and leaf smut. To avoid these, mulch around the plants and only water in the morning, avoiding getting the leaves wet. These plants are highly resistant to heat and humidity, and they are suitable for xeriscaping.