Did I murder my echinacea?

quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)June 14, 2009

A few days ago I noticed that my echinacea were looking a bit wilty. I had watered well, yet I don't think I over watered either...it looked like it might have been getting choked out a bit by a bushy rudbeckia, so I decided to move it, being it's still technically spring. I also decided a different bushy rudbeckia ought to be moved too, as to give it more room sine it was pushing itself out against a boxwood.

So the day before yesterday I got up early, about 7 am, so it would be nice and cool when I moved my babies around. I gave them some water, and expected some major pouting from them. I've experienced this before, and usually within a week divisions seem to perk back up to normal. But I didn't divide these, just re-plunked 'em.

Uh oh.

Here it is two days later and they are still REALLY pouting. Darn near wilted to the ground actually. They seem to perk up in the morning when it's cooler, but the transplant and this heat just don't seem to be giving them a chance to recover.

Do you think I might still get blooms this year? Or will they be too busy trying to stand up straight that I'll have to wait until next year? Or do you think they could be gonners altogether?

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perennialfan273(zone 5)

This late in the year really isn't a good time for transplanting echinaceas. The heat is just too much for them. They're probably still in 'shock' as we call it, from transplanting. I doubt you'll get blooms this year because blooming is the last thing that this plant is thinking about doing right now. Right now it's just trying to get its root system established, but don't worry. Given time, the plant should perk back up and it should be fine.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:11PM
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I'm curious about this as well, especially the wilting part. My echinaceas (several established clumps) were looking extremely droopy. We've had about a week of rainy, drizzly overcast weather. Even though we have extremely well draining soil, I thought maybe some root rot had gotten a hold of them so I dug up the clumps and the roots looked good -- healthy colored. The soil around was moist but not wet. They seem to perk up during the cooler parts of the day and then droop again during midday even with temps only in the mid to high 70s. Wondering what's going to happen when temps reach the 80s and higher later in the summer.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:21PM
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quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)

dorothyz6 - that was my feeling too, is that our temps are only in the 70's so I didn't think they'd droop so much. *fingers crossed for both of us*

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 4:49PM
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quilt_mommy -- I'll keep my fingers crossed as well. What perplexes me in my case is that none of my clumps had been moved. And I thought with all the rain, drizzle and dampness we've been having they shouldn't be underwatered, which was why I suspected root rot from too much moisture. But the roots looked fine and they perked back up. I assume once root rot gets a hold, the plant won't survive. So, I'm still perplexed. :) Hopefully, come the heat of summer, both ours will be happy!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 7:07PM
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I am not saying names but some country girl one time when first in gardening split plants in august plunked some also. It was up in the upper 90's. LOL water throughly and be patient. I promise you it will be just fine and I think that country girl had blooms that year also. Not like I would know from my own risky chance taking or anything lol. I would never do anything like that, heck I know you only split in spring and fall, roflol.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:14PM
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It really is too warm (even in the 60's) to expect taller plants like this to transplant well. I'm known far and wide for use of numerous baby pools all year long...lol. They hold my plants awaiting relocation or new plants.

If you want blooms this year? Take them out and stick them in 6" of water in some sort of container. Wait about a week or maybe a bit more depending upon the weather and then replant. They should be fine then as they've started new root growth and gotten over the shock.

I also do this with large shrubs of all types...works like a dream! I just took out a 6' tall Diablo Ninebark that needed more sun 10-12 days ago and it's about ready to go back in the ground. I put it in water in the shade for a week making sure it wasn't droopy then this week started giving it morning sun only. I'll move it into full sun for a few days and if it doesn't droop, it's ready to be planted.

Pools also take the pressure off doing it NOW or worrying about stuff if you're away. For just a few plants, pails, serving bowls "etc" work fine.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 5:50AM
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quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)

countrycarolyn - LOL*** You are funny :) I think next year I'll do that spring/fall thing! Thanks for easing my worry a little! :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:58PM
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pegnj(6 central NJ)

Half of my echinacea are doing terribly. The plants are wilting and most of the stems just come loose and break off in my hand. The plants are down to 1 or 2 stems. I guess it is root rot. We are having the rainiest June on record. Is there anything I can do at this point to save them?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:26PM
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quilt_mommy(5/6 Northeast Ohio)

Just a little update - my ech's were very upset with me for moving them so late and in such hot weather...but I staked them up, along with the rud's and they are both budding. I removed some of the yellowed/brown leaves that were close to the bottom of the plants too. They aren't lush and healthy, but I think they'll make it through the season and I wouldn't be surprised if they come back as if nothing happened next year. :) Just thought I'd share!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 4:26PM
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