Why did my Purple Cone Flower die?

tim_the_gardner(8)August 9, 2012

This is the first time I have ever grown a purple cone flower , and I started this plant from seed. I had one good flower bloom and was really nice, and had more flowers developing. For some unknown reason, the leaves started drooping and the plant began to die. Since it was in a pot, I figured that it was not getting enough water and that the pot was drying out in this 100+ degree heat (Texas). So I began watering it every day. The leaves still kept drooping, and I knew it was about to die if I didnt do something. I tried coating the leaves with a mild organic insecticide and even gave the plant a small amount of water soluble fertilizer. Nothing worked, and it kicked the bucket - as you can see in the photo attached. What happened? Too much Texas sun? Did I over-water? I've been gardening for a long time, but never had this happen. Very unusual. Thanks,


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Not sure what the reason but why in a pot, no place to plant your flower? I have never had a problem with them the first year they flower but they never seem to come back the following year. I read somewhere that this far south they are a short lived Perennial. So I have given away all my seeds but have planted some yellow ones and a White one in the hopes they survive more than one or two years. I love their blooms as they last over a month before they start to lose their color. You will just have to keep trying that is the fun anyway.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:21PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

My coneflowers are in the ground, but I'm in central Indiana and we're in a drought and have had mostly above 90 degree temps all summer. Alot of my plants look dead. But I think they will probably still come back next year.......so don't pull yours just yet. This was the worst summer ever for my coneflowers. The goldfinches will probably still like the seeds on yours too.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:25PM
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"So I began watering it every day"

This is your most likely problem. They hate wet roots, they need oxygen reaching the roots more-so than many plants.

If you're watering because you see drooping...wait until the sun goes down for a little while and check the plant response. Many plants will intentionally wilt (even with enough soil moisture) when it's intensely hot in order to expose less surface area to the sun (in order to conserve water being respirated off the leaves as well as preventing actual leaf damage/burn).

If the plant is still wilted after the sun is no longer beating down it probably needs a bit of water.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Thanks everyone. It happened really quickly... Here's a photo of the plant that was taken a few days before it just died.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:14PM
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I don't know your watering practices but over watering is one problem that watering won't help. Purple coneflower likes well drained soil and they thrive in hot summers.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 5:48PM
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