Ratty Looking Echinacea, Bee Balm and Black Eyed Susan

edlincoln(6A)July 22, 2014

Last summer I planted a row of various varieties of Echinacea, Black Eyed Susans, and Bee Balm, all very small.

This year they are very big, but the leaves are full of holes, and none of the coneflowers have bloomed. The Bee Balm have a few flowers. They all look ratty.

The site is a narrow strip of mulch in front of yews. Very gravelly soil because of spill over from a pee stone driveway, a LOT of wind, northwest exposure, shaded to the southeast. Zone 6A. Lots of beetles of all descriptions, particularly Japanese beeltles, but I haven't noticed anything crawling on the leaves. The allium in the area are doing great despite being in a worse spot.

I'm not a purist organic gardener, but these were planted for pollinator interest, so pesticides that hurt bees would be counterproductive.

Is there anything I should do? Will they bloom? Will they look better next year?

Don't have photos of the plants, but this is another part of the bed.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get a relevant pic ..

i gotta tell you ed... this is the ratty season .... and by this time... i dont really care ...

is anything dying???? .. that is my usual line drawn in the sand ... as to when i feel i must take action ... and it rarely comes ...

shall i presume.. this has nothing to do with your reforestation of the parents land???

over abundance of green.. vegetative growth ... can be related to too much fert... any history there???

and i do note.. that everything.. due to the horrible winter.. is weeks behind in my MI ...

of the things you list.. i really think they are run it over with the truck plants... and a little cosmetic damage.. isnt really going to kill any of them ... so i ... again.. wonder if it is worth spraying for anything ...

think about it..

and get us some pix ...


ps: you arent a real gardener.. until you convince yourself... that next year will be better... lol

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Yes, they were fertilized. I scattered a little time-release fertilizer and root-building fertilizer around the area early Spring. I also dump a few drops of fertilizer in the watering can sometimes. None are brown, the leaves are just full of holes. Ironically, given the location at the edge of a driveway, I suspect all the plants have been run over by a truck a few times when the ground is covered with snow and the edge of the driveway less clear. (And as a mater of policy I only plant tough plants...woosy plants aren't worth the effort.)

Lots of Echinacea elsewhere in the neighborhood is blooming.

I think some of the coneflower were "Passion Flute Echinacea" planted last April and November.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 2:08PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Holes in the leaves: You must have a bug problem. Check at night to see what might be eating them if you don't see anything during the day.

NW exposure: That doesn't sound like a whole lot of sunlight for these to bloom properly. IMO all the plants you mentioned growing in this area are pretty much full sun (or close to it) plants.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:29PM
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babera(5a (Montana))

I was going to say what Kevin said. I grow Black Eyed Susans in the hottest, sunniest spot in my yard. Echinacea gets western (late afternoon sun). I would be inclined t say slugs possibly tearing holes. I had problems earlier this year with Hostas. if it is them you will see them come out at night and mine are usually in the shaded beds.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:46PM
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