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Help with my coneflowers

Posted by jeanner SW Ohio - Z6 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 9, 06 at 22:09

Something has attacked my coneflowers this year, all the stems look like they have been cut, leaving the flower hanging by just a thread. It's a clean cut and doesn't look like the stem collapsed. I am having a real problem this year with leaf blights on my dogwoods and weigelas and have lost some sedums to fungus fleas. I cut back all the infected plants hoping to curtail the problem. We have had the same heat wave as everyone else and long dry spells followed by drenching rains. Any ideas?

I'm bummed because the finches really like them in the fall and winter.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with my coneflowers

I've never heard of such a thing, Jeanner! My new coneflowers are turning black on the flowering stems. It's a bad year for them.

If you keep having problems and need more, let me know and I'll send some to you!

RE: Help with my coneflowers

Wish I could help, my coneflowers are doing great. We sure could use some of your drenching rains though.

RE: Help with my coneflowers

Been a TERRIBLE YEAR for my coneflowers -- at least half of them never even came up -- I think the wild violets smothered them out... The ones that did, have had lots of mold on them, and the soaker hose just ain't gettin' it and I just haven't been able to stand the heat well enough to slow-water more than a couple times with the hose.

I had SUCH a patch of them and the perennial false sunflowers the last couple of years. The sunflowers are doing so-so, but the coneflowers look like I might have to start over from scratch. Since I don't remove ANY seed heads until late winter, I can't believe I didn't at least get some new seedlings.

Here's what I USED to have... I haven't photographed what this year looks like, but I might soon, for comparison. It's pitiful; I tell ya!

Long shot of my fence from just under my carport

Back section of the fence, with just coneflowers

From the middle of the fence, back towards the carport

The above was all shot in early-to-mid July of last year. This July and August... Zip.

Just so you don't feel too bad, Jean... Maybe echinacea's just having a bad year for most of us :(

RE: Help with my coneflowers

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 11, 06 at 15:45

From the description, Jean, it sounds like something eating the stems. Snails/slugs? Not sure what, if any, other critters like the taste of them. Actually, it sounds like they're not eating them, just cutting/breaking them off. :(

I've tried both Echinacea and Rudbeckia for the first time this year, with absolutely terrible results. But it's probably my fault and not the weather. :)


RE: Help with my coneflowers

What is strange is the plants are very healthy with no signs of bugs or fungus. It's just the stems are snipped, and it's always just below the bloom. A friend gave me a cultivar that has buttery yellow blooms and it is fine. Strange. I did find a strange caterpillar today so I am trying to id it, maybe it is the culprit.

Andrea, thanks for the offer, you're sweet to offer them to me. I think I will wait and see if it's a problem next year before I consider replacing the plants.

Thats a gorgeous border Jeff! I like those sunflowers mixed in with the cone flowers.

RE: Help with my coneflowers

  • Posted by mendy Z5 OHIO (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 20, 06 at 10:03

Check for ants on the roots they seem to be having a feast
on my plants. I had to dig up my plants wash off the roots and replant. :( Mendy

RE: Help with my coneflowers

Jeanner, mine are blooming like there's no tomorrow... and there are dozens of seedlings this year. I'm going to collect some of the seedheads in the fall, lemme know if you want some. Same for you, Jeff.

:) Mary

RE: Help with my coneflowers

Thanks Mary, I think the plants are fine, but thanks for the offer!

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