Cone Flowers taking over my garden

ryseryse_2004July 20, 2013

I have had this happen in the past with Black Eyed Susan (Goldsterm) but at least that was pretty while it was happening! These are mostly washed-out pink and not very attractive. I plan to pull about half of them out after the next rain.

They have absolutely become weeds!

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crunchpa(z5Pa)

Then do it. The whining is not going to pull them out.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:10PM
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trovesoftrilliums(5)

I hope you get them under control.

The black eyed susans have definitely gotten out of control for me this year. As you say, they do look good, but I know I need to get in there and deal with them...somehow!

Last fall I put down `3 inches of wood chips in areas where I didn't want self sowers and that helped suppress the annuals. I didn't have much problem with perennial reseeders in that area though. The black eyed susans are in a different area, and up a hill, so the mulch didn't make it up there. This year we got a cart that can attach to our riding mower, so I hope to use it to haul some mulch up our little hill.

Meh, the forums are a great place to whine. It has been very dry here and trying to pull unwanted plants is like yanking on concrete, so if conditions are similar for OP, there is no weeding to be done at this time. Sometimes just posting about a garden problem is quite cathartic.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:17PM
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crunchpa(z5Pa)

Removing the seedheads before they dry out will keep their traveling to a minimum. I like to leave them on the purple coneflower and watch the Goldfinches go nuts for them. Sometimes people make gardening to seem like drudgery. Its under your control. Dont use the invasive seeders. Or the creepers. Or the foliage faders. Wait.....make it all lawn. We have red thread this year. You just cant win man vs nature.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 5:15PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Boy, the monarch butterflies have sure been enjoying my coneflower and tall garden phlox this summer. The coneflowers are the prettiest I have ever had them . Can't wait till fall when I can relocate them and both flowerbeds.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 6:55PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I was thinking along the same lines this year - the coneflowers are definitely the dominant bloomer in one of my beds this year. On one hand, it's really pretty this nice swath of pink and white all in bloom, but on the other hand I'm thinking I need to cull some and get some other tihngs that bloom around this time. This bed isn't big enough to let them completely take over.

I thought I did cull enough - I was much more ruthless this year in pulling out seedlings this spring, but I guess I need to be even a bit more ruthless, lol.

But the butterflies are indeed loving them, and that's a good thing.

I'm sorry that your coneflowers are not giving you any joy, RyseRyse. Mine are actually probably pretty darn beetle-eaten, (as usual) but if I look at them from far enough away, especially when the butterflies are out, they look good!

I'll enjoy them while they are here, and worry about pulling them out either in the fall or the spring. It is just too darn hot right now, and yes, in this weather gardening (especially weeding and pulling) can become drudgery, so I'll wait till it cools off!

Dee

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:52PM
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terrene(5b MA)

It seems once you reach a critical mass of size or number of plants, they start to reseed like crazy. I like to keep a few seedlings just to see what they turn into, and select some nice ones, but there was a little forest of seedlings under one plant this year! So I've gotten more assertive about weeding them out.

I didn't like the seedlings of the 'Big Sky' series much, they were tall and gangly and washed out pink, but those plants have died out except for a couple Summer Sky which are off by themselves and I deadhead those.

They are so pretty in bloom though, if they aren't too mangled by mites, beetles, earwigs, or drought, and the butterflies and bees love them. I like to watch the Goldfinches on the seed heads too, but they look kinda ugly by that point and result in a lot of seedlings so I might deadhead some this year.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 4:12AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I've never had a problem with Echinacea reseeding, though they're certainly "taking over" parts of the garden. Of course that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't transplanted so many seedlings raised from various strains, including the 40 or so "Cheyenne Spirit" planted this year (some of which are already flowering, very nice).

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:29AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Hmm, Eric, you made me think of something - I only have two kind of echs, plain old purpurea and White Swan, both grown from seed years ago. I wonder if these older types reseed more readily than the newer varieties they have out now. These two are definitely at near-weed status in my garden - I pull out more of these seedlings in the spring than I do the actual weeds. Just wondering if that makes a difference....

Dee

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:37AM
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socks

My ech never grew up this spring (you probably cannot imagine that!) It is some kind of double. I finally dug up the little sprig that survived and put in a pot, it looks better now. I'll nurse it along and maybe put in the ground next spring. Sometimes you just have to get brutal with overgrown stuff and toss it, and you will be happier with a tidier garden. I dug and tossed all my hostas this spring. I loved them but so did the slugs, and I got tired of sharing.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:31AM
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ryseryse_2004

Diggerdee, I also only have the two types and wonder if, since they are closer to the wild variety they do reseed more.

Anyway, I am going to pull out all but the deepest rose and whitest whites.

BTW, in a war between cone flowers and black eyed susans, the cone flowers will always win.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:42AM
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linlily(z5/6PA)

From my experience, I would say that the older varieties reseed much, much more than the newer, hybrid varieties. At our last house, I had just Magnus and Bright Star - and I had tons, and I do mean tons of seedlings to pull every spring. I wanted to leave the seedheads on the plants for the birds, but I paid for that in the spring. And yes, we did mulch there.

When I moved here, I only planted the newer ones-Summer Sky, Harvest Moon, Sundown, Sunrise, Tiki Torch, and Pow Wow Wildberry. I have a few volunteers from these plants but nothing easily taken care of in the spring. I have yet to see a seedling from Sunrise, which is in an area of the garden by itself.

I forgot, that I do have E. Paradoxa and White Swan. White Swan will produce a few volunteers which my neighbors want when I get them. Paradoxa has never produced any seedlings.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:32PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Thanks, Linda, for that info. That might explain why some of us have more seedlings than others.

I went out to water today (grrr, still mad that the rain they talked about for a week never materialized!) and the coneflowers were just covered in butterflies. So, I have to say, they're not bothering me quite as much anymore, lol. How can they, when the butterlflies are enjoying them so much?

Dee

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:32PM
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linlily(z5/6PA)

Lovely picture, Dee. I'm with you on both counts. I love it when the hummers, bees, and butterflies enjoy my plants. Makes all the work maintaining them worthwhile!

And we too are still waiting for the rain that was promised, along with the cooler weather that was supposed to be here today. No rain and a 70 dewpoint - yuck. Looks like we'll be dragging the hose tomorrow. It's been almost two weeks since we've had any appreciable rain here. And before that, it rained almost every day for two weeks. Nothing like feast or famine.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:04PM
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