Companion Planting for Vibrant Coneflowers

Coneflowers are well-liked for their cheery daisy-like blooms and robust stems that add summertime color to gardens.

These hardy prairie species are not only beautiful accents to flower beds and meadow plantings, but they also draw pollinators and have been used for herbal medicine for a very long time.

While coneflowers are generally easy to grow, their health and vitality can be further boosted by practicing the age-old technique of companion planting.

You can establish a symbiotic community that improves nutrients, lowers insect problems, and offers mutually beneficial assistance by choosing your plant neighbors carefully.

Let’s explore some of the best companion plants to pair with your coneflowers below!

The Ultimate Companion Plants For Coneflowers

Companion Plants For Coneflowers
Companion Plants For Coneflowers

1. Herbs

Many herbs not only make great culinary companions in the kitchen but also work wonders in the garden bed. Their pungent aromas can deter certain pests, while some have biochemical properties that enrich the soil.


With its feathery foliage and brilliant yellow umbel flowers, dill makes a charming companion to the purple coneflower. Planting it nearby can help attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and tiny parasitic wasps that prey on aphids, mites, and other pests. The sprawling dill plants also help shade shallow coneflower roots and retain moisture in the soil.


Often touted as a plant’s best friend, borage’s bristly stems and leaves are valued companions for coneflowers. It is said to increase resistance to pests and disease while its deep roots mine nutrients from deep in the soil and share them through decomposition after the plant dies back. The vivid blue star-shaped flowers are also wonderful for attracting bees and making a pretty edible garnish.


From repelling aphids and Japanese beetles to increasing disease resistance, the pungent allium scent of chives has many benefits for coneflower health. Plus, the purple pom-pom flowers look gorgeous interplanted with the coneflower’s sunny rays. Leave some chives to bloom rather than harvesting all the leaves and enjoy the bonus of beautiful edible flowers.

2. Vegetables

Don’t just relegate coneflowers to ornamental beds! Interplanting flowers and edible crops together is an excellent way to create a productive and beautiful potager garden. These veggies make excellent companions:

Bush Beans

The spreading, bushy forms of these beans make a nice underplanting to complement the tall, upright coneflowers. Using their shallow roots, bush beans can absorb soil nutrients that would otherwise be out of reach for the coneflower’s shorter root systems. Planting beans through your coneflower patch also serves as a living mulch to retain soil moisture.


While tall, rambling, indeterminate tomato vines may overwhelm coneflowers, bush or dwarf determinate varieties make good companions. Coneflowers can provide light shade that helps prevent issues like blossom end rot for the tomatoes. Additionally, the scratchy leaves and stems of the coneflowers are a deterrent to soft-bodied pests like tomato hornworms.


A classic companion for just about any vegetable garden plant, the pungent scent of marigolds confuses pests looking for their prey. Interplanted thickly, they can create a protective barrier of smells around coneflowers. Some studies have also shown marigold roots may inhibit harmful nematodes that can impact coneflowers.

3. Flowering Companions

Of course, we can’t forget other flowering plants that work beautifully with coneflowers! Here are some shining floral stars:

Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans)

These two sun-loving prairie favorites are made for each other. Both are tough and low-maintenance, blooming for months on end through summer’s heat. However, plant the shorter Rudbeckia cultivars like ‘Toto’ or ‘Prairie Sun’ nearer the front, letting the taller coneflowers take center stage towards the back.

Liatris (Blazing Star)

Another North American native with a superbly tall, spiked form, blazing star complements the rounded flower heads of coneflowers exquisitely. Its fine foliage allows coneflowers to receive ample airflow, while its deep taproots help aerate and break up dense subsoil layers. Just give the blazing star plants plenty of elbow room, as they can spread aggressively.


For a pop of contrasting color, few plants beat the brilliant yellows and reds of tickseed. Coreopsis is drought-tolerant and will happily share its sunny spot with echinacea. Plant the feathery foliaged cultivars like ‘Moonbeam’ or ‘Zagreb’ to allow the coneflowers’ blooms to be prominently displayed.

The Value of Biodiversity

Beyond the particular compatibility of any two plantings, the key to developing a healthy, balanced ecosystem in the garden is to increase general biodiversity.

By combining a wide variety of plants, you can build a complex community that is more resilient to disease and insect problems.

Diverse plantings attract a wide range of different pollinators, pest predators, and other beneficial insects that can keep each other and problematic bugs in check through their complementary roles.

For example, having lots of wildflowers may attract predatory wasps and tachinid flies, whose larvae feed on caterpillars and other coneflower pests.

At the same time, those flowers bring in pollinators like native solitary bees that improve seed and fruit set.

Spacing plants closely in polycultures also uses garden space efficiently while mimicking nature’s layered, tightly-knit plantings.

Towering coneflowers filter sun and rainfall down to shade-appreciating plants below, while ground-hugging creepers act as living mulches to keep roots cool and moist.

Plants with varying rooting depths can mine different nutrient levels, complementing each other’s needs.

Experiment and Observe

With so many beneficial plants to choose from, companion planting for coneflowers is an exciting way to get creative in designing a beautiful and balanced potager garden.

However, during the process, you will want to keep an open mind and carefully observe how different plant pairings perform in your unique growing conditions and microclimate.

Not every species may be an ideal match, despite their touted benefits on paper.

For example, extremely vigorous growers like mint may overwhelm coneflower roots if they are not contained. Fennel might attract too many seed-eating songbirds and become a nuisance.

Part of the fun is tinkering and tweaking to discover the most synergistic community for your garden!

At the end of the day, companion planting aims to work in harmony with nature.

So don’t be afraid to step outside the traditional vegetable beds and let your ornamental plantings, like coneflowers, mingle amongst the edibles.

Increasing biodiversity creates a resilient, self-sustaining ecosystem right in your backyard.

With some well-chosen neighbors, your coneflowers will receive all the help they need to thrive and dazzle year after year.

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