Mexican Hat Flower: Rising Prairie Coneflowers

The Mexican hat flower will get its identify from the big cone in the midst of the flower, which is claimed to resemble a sombrero or hat. It is available in a variety of colours from darkish pink, reddish brown, and pink and yellow. The Mexican hat plant has a really energetic rising season and blooms from late spring into early fall. 

Like so many coneflowers, the prairie coneflower, aka Mexican hat flower, is a good pollinator plant. It’s comparatively drought tolerant as properly and thrives within the scorching and dry climates of the western United States. 

Essentially the most generally recognized coneflower might be echinacea which is understood for its use in natural teas. Mexican hat plant can be utilized in teas as properly and has additionally been used as a therapy for poison ivy. Think about including this coneflower to your pollinator backyard, and also you’ll be rewarded with an edible natural tea supply as properly! 

The Mexican hat plant can also be recognized for being deer-resistant and comparatively pest and illness free. Often called Ratibida columnifera, it’s a fast-growing plant. The one draw back is that it might crowd out weaker crops close by. Give these wildflowers loads of house in a sunny spot in your backyard, and also you gained’t be disillusioned! In addition they appeal to many helpful pollinators to your gardens, equivalent to wild bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. 

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Mexican Hat Flower:

Fast Care Information

Mexican hats
The flower obtained its widespread identify as a result of it appears like a hat. Supply: suziwahoozi
Widespread Title Mexican hat sunflower, upright prairie coneflower, Mexican hat plant
Scientific Title Ratibida columnnifera
Household Asteraceae
Top & Unfold 2-4 toes tall and 18 inches huge
Gentle Full solar
Soil Effectively-drained soil, sandy loam
Water Drought tolerant plant
Pests & Illnesses Root rot, Japanese beetles, aphids

All About Mexican Hat Flowers

Ratibida columnnifera
Ratibida columnifera close-up, exhibiting its pronounced cone. Supply: Andreanna Moya

Mexican hat flower (Ratibida columnifera) is also referred to as prairie coneflower, red-spike Mexican hat, thimble flower, or upright prairie coneflower. Mexican hat crops are native to the nice plains of North America from southern Canada to northern Mexico and many of the United States. This perennial plant is within the aster household. Folks develop Mexican hat for lovely lower flowers. 

The flower heads resemble different members of the coneflower household (like Echinacea), however with pronounced upright seed heads that kind from the middle of the drooping petals. This long-headed coneflower is supported by slender stems with vibrant inexperienced, feathery, and deeply cleft leaves. This colourful coneflower can vary from pink and yellow to reddish-brown. 

For one of the best germination outcomes, the Mexican hat seeds require a interval of chilly stratification. Use a excessive seeding price to sow the seed within the fall by broadcasting the tiny seed after which frivolously raking the realm. Within the early spring, water often till the Mexican hat crops are established. Their bloom time will differ relying in your area however ranges from late spring, by way of summer season, into late summer season and even into the early fall. 

Mexican Hat Plant Care

Mexican hat plant care is notoriously no to low upkeep making this a fantastic selection for an space of the backyard that you simply’d wish to fill with out including one other plant care schedule to your agenda. 

Solar and Temperature

Many Mexican hat flowers
Many Mexican hat flowers amongst different wildflowers. Supply: DaylandS

Purple-brown Mexican hat crops thrive in full solar. Nonetheless, they are going to tolerate gentle shade. They make a fantastic possibility for sunny borders in your cottage gardens. Given 6-8 hours of daylight per day, this actually colourful coneflower selection will flower profusely. The perfect rising zones for this plant are USDA rising zones 4-8. 

Because the seeds want a interval of stratification, zones with chilly winters enable them to propagate naturally. In zones with hotter winter climate, the chilly interval could be simulated by inserting seeds within the fridge for a number of weeks earlier than planting. 

The perfect temperature vary for this plant is between 65-75 levels Fahrenheit. When temperatures in midsummer start to pattern persistently above 90 levels, the flowers are inclined to die again and go to seed. The crops will die again fully on the first signal of a light-weight frost. 

For those who’d wish to get pleasure from these flowers year-round then you might take into account rising them indoors in potted crops. They are often grown in any heat, well-lit indoor setting. Nonetheless, they’re quick rising and may have repotting sometimes. Whereas these crops are notably drought tolerant, in excessively extended durations of warmth and drought, they could want some further moisture. Mulch can be utilized to assist preserve moisture, particularly in poor soils, and cut back the necessity for watering. 

Water and Humidity

It’s finest to water these crops both early within the day or later within the night after the warmth of the day has handed. Watering throughout the hottest a part of the day ensures {that a} portion of the water will evaporate earlier than it may attain the roots. Throughout germination and preliminary development within the spring, these crops would require common waterings. 

As soon as they’re established, nevertheless, they want moisture much less ceaselessly. Whereas these crops are notably tolerant of drought, in excessively extended durations, they could want some further moisture. Mulch can be utilized to assist preserve moisture, particularly in poor soils, and cut back the necessity for watering. 

Watering on the base of the plant with a soaker hose or drip irrigation traces works finest. Drip irrigation traces are notably helpful for mass plantings the place it might be more durable to achieve the bottom of each plant with a hose. As soon as the plant has gone to seed, you might stop watering altogether. Permit the seed heads to dry on the plant, after which fastidiously gather your flower seeds for subsequent 12 months! 


Mexican hat crops are recognized to outlive in a variety of soil varieties. These native crops are usually present in meadows, prairies, roadsides, and different areas with disturbed soils. Nonetheless, they require well-drained soil since extra moisture could cause issues for this plant. The perfect rising medium for Ratibida columnifera must be a well-drained, barely sandy loam combine. Mexican hat plant has no particular soil pH necessities and may survive in impartial to alkaline soils. 

Fertilizing Mexican Hat Plant

Upright prairie coneflowers
The Mexican hat plant is typically known as upright prairie coneflowers. Supply: yumievriwan

One of many advantages of planting native crops just like the Mexican hat plant is that they don’t require fertilizer in any respect! Not solely is Mexican hat plant care low upkeep, requires low water use, and prefers sandy soil, however in addition they don’t require any fertilizer. Fertilizing your Mexican hat crops gained’t damage them in any respect; it simply isn’t crucial. Plant in a full-sun location with well-draining soil, and also you’ll be having fun with Ratibida columnifera all summer season lengthy. 

Pruning Mexican Hat Crops

You’ll be able to prolong the bloom time of Ratibida columnifera in your backyard by pruning again the flower heads or deadheading the spent blooms. This can encourage one other flush of flowers. For those who don’t need your flowers to re-seed themselves and unfold, mow them down after they’ve completed blooming. Within the first 12 months of development, it’s beneficial to chop again the spent blooms earlier than they get an opportunity to go to seed to assist the plant focus its vitality on establishing roots and turning into naturalized. On the finish of the rising season, when the plant has dried fully and died again, it may be lower to the bottom. 

Mexican Hat Propagation

Mexican hat seed is straightforward to gather, and one of many advantages of rising this wildflower is an plentiful and endless supply of seeds to share with associates or unfold to different areas of the backyard. After the flowers have bloomed, every cone will dry and switch into tiny seeds that may be stripped from the cone. 

As talked about above, these seeds require a interval of chilly stratification so they are going to must be planted within the fall for finest outcomes. The seeds are so tiny that they don’t must be planted deeply. The perfect sowing technique is to broadcast a considerable amount of the seeds over an space of naked grime after which frivolously rake the seeds into the bottom. 

Troubleshooting Mexican Hat Flower

Blooming and spent upright prairie coneflowers
Blooming and spent upright prairie coneflowers. Supply: Massive Gray Mare

Little question you’ve chosen to develop Mexican hat crops as a result of they’re low upkeep, drought tolerant, and fast-growing lovely flowers. There are, nevertheless, some points to be looking out for with regards to this wildflower. 

Rising Issues

The Ratibida genus has very tiny seeds, which might make them tough to sow as they will blow away or turn into disturbed and find yourself outdoors of the realm wherein you need them to develop. They do want gentle to germinate, to allow them to’t be sown deeply both to keep away from this situation. They are often broadcast throughout an space of naked soil and lined with a superb layer of vermiculite which is able to assist maintain them in place however nonetheless enable gentle to move by way of. 


For those who discover holes in your prairie coneflower leaves and the leaves look like skeletonized, then you will have a difficulty with Japanese beetles. They’re copper-black with a metallic blue-green head and are simple to identify and determine. If the infestation is small, they are often hand-picked from the crops and dropped right into a bucket of soapy water. 

In bigger infestations, neem oil could be sprayed in your crops to regulate the adults. Nonetheless, Japanese beetles overwinter as grubs within the floor, so in additional severe instances, you possibly can deal with the bottom yearly with milky spore powder. The milky spores are ingested by the grubs which then kill them and stop the subsequent technology from rising into adults. The perfect time for any such therapy could be within the fall. Observe that it may take some time for milky spore powder to be efficient, so that is an ongoing annual therapy routine.

Aphids are generally enticed by prairie coneflower foliage. The easiest way to battle aphids is to spray them off of your plant with a blast of water as quickly as you see them. To stop them from returning and/or overtaking your crops, creating an atmosphere that features quite a lot of flowering crops will appeal to pollinators and different helpful bugs that like to munch on aphids, like ladybugs. In additional extreme infestations, neem oil or insecticidal soaps can even do the trick. 


Ratibida columnifera is usually freed from illness. Nonetheless, root rot points can come up if the planting web site has poor draining soil or whether it is affected by overwatering. They don’t wish to be in standing water so offering them with well-draining soil will assist keep away from this situation. 

Planting them in the suitable soil helps too. Nonetheless, for those who discover wilting although it has acquired loads of water, mushy stems, and a scarcity of latest development, this will point out rot. Letting your plant dry out fully earlier than watering it once more can assist starve the fungus. The appliance of copper fungicides has blended critiques with regards to treating root rot. 

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Mexican hat flower garden
The Mexican hat flower is a vibrant, thrilling backyard showstopper. Supply: mikehogan2

Q: Are Mexican hat flowers perennial?

A: Sure, they’re perennial and launch seed yearly for the upcoming season. 

Q: What’s a Mexican hat flower?

A: A quick-growing wildflower within the aster household.

Q: How do you maintain a Mexican hat plant?

A: Place this column flower in a full-sun space of your backyard. As soon as established it is vitally low upkeep, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and illness free. 

Q: The place is the Mexican Hat flower native to?

A: Mexican hat has a local vary within the nice plains of North America from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico, together with many of the United States. 

Q: How lengthy do Mexican hat flowers bloom?

A: The flowering interval will depend upon a number of elements. Watering in the summertime can prolong the bloom time and deadheading or eradicating the spent blooms to encourage extra flowers. Usually talking, they are going to bloom from spring to late summer season. 

Q: How tall does a Mexican hat develop?

A: It will possibly develop between 2 toes and as much as 4 toes tall. 

Q: How usually do you water a Mexican hat plant?

A: As soon as established, this simple plant has a excessive stage of drought tolerance and thrives in dry areas. That being mentioned, they are going to want supplemental water in extended durations of drought or excessive warmth. Watering about 1 inch per week throughout dry spells, however watch out to not overwater as an excessive amount of moisture can even trigger points. 

Q: Is the Mexican hat plant a succulent?

A: The Mexican hat flower is a tall prairie coneflower and never a succulent. Nonetheless, there may be one other plant that goes by the widespread identify Mexican hat plant. Kalanchoe daigremontianum is usually referred to as the Mexican hat plant, satan’s spine, or alligator plant and is definitely a succulent and in no way associated to Ratibida columnifera. 

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