When Can Coneflowers Be Dug Up & Moved?
Coneflowers should be divided every three to four years.
With their colorful daisylike blooms and ability to attract bees and butterflies, coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) make an excellent addition to sunny gardens. These perennial plants grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, depending on which species you select. Although coneflowers are drought-tolerant and require little maintenance, they will benefit from being divided every three to four years. To ensure your plants survive being transplanted, it's important to choose the right time of year for this project.
Fall is an excellent time to dig and divide coneflowers. Because the clump is still leafy, you can see the full size of the plant, making it easier to determine exactly where to dig. You can also evaluate which areas of the plant didn't do well over the growing season and remove them once you've dug up the plant. When moving coneflowers in the fall, wait until the flowers have faded before digging up the plants. Typically, this will be some time in late September through October.
Spring is another good time to dig and move coneflowers. In spring, you're not only itching to get in the garden, but your coneflowers are vigorously growing. This means spring-transplanted coneflowers will quickly put down new roots once moved. Spring days also tend to be cool and cloudy -- perfect weather for transplanting. When moving coneflowers in the spring, wait until new shoots sprout from the soil. For most coneflowers this will be sometime in April.
It's not advisable to dig and move your coneflowers in summer. While in bloom, the plants put most of their energy into flower production, meaning the plants will have less energy to put down roots. Hot, dry summer weather also adds stress to a newly transplanted plant and may kill your coneflower. If you must transplant your coneflowers in summer, choose a cloudy day to make the move. Before or after moving the plant, cut back all the flower heads to encourage root development. Once the plant has been transplanted, keep it watered and provide a screen to protect it from the sun for a week or two.
Making the Move
When you're ready to dig up your coneflower, take a shovel and cut into the soil in a circle about 6 inches wider than the plant. Dig as deeply as possible to keep the roots intact. Using the shovel, lever the plant out of the ground. For large clumps, have a friend help you lift it out or cut the plant into sections to make it easier to lift. Once out of the ground, use the shovel to cut the clump into sections. Aim to make the sections about 8 inches in diameter. Examine the sections and trim away any unhealthy or dead areas. The sections are now ready to be planted in other areas of the garden. Space the sections at least 12 inches apart. Once transplanted, water the divisions well.
taken from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-coneflowers-dug-up-moved-70131.html
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa