I have a patch of purple coneflower I started two years ago from seed. It
has some tall, white valerian in the middle and is next to a very quiet
road. The plants flowered great this year, but the petals are turning black
at a pretty constant rate. I only get a day or two of unblemished blooms
before the petals go. The leaves are untouched. I live in SW Ohio, zone 5,
and it's been a somewhat dry summer, and I haven't deep watered the bed but
once or twice.
Is this a disease? Something I'm missing? A sign that the soil in that
area is terrible? What could be the problem? And what might I do?
Though great xeriscape plants they have their limits & since you say
you've been having droughty weather & not watering the echinaceas but
twice all summer, then the blossoms are getting cooked, browning first at
the petal tips then the whole flower prematurely blackens. If it were the
leaves I'd think you had blackspot disease which can spread & blacken an
entire leaf, but since you say it is just the petals, then they're
drought-stressed & need to be irrigated more regularly to look their best
through the height of summer. Also, if they have blazing hot sun both
morning & afternoon, they may want something taller planted nearby to give
them shade for the morning hours, as even heat-hardies can max out their
sun tolerances at about six hours, after which they're cooked.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
Laurel, Paggers tells it right. You can water more, you can mulch more
and you can cut the flowers to enjoy in-doors in water, but drought and
heat with little shade aren't going to allow a great show in the flower bed.
The upside is, if you cut flower stems for indoor enjoyment now, you'll
keep flower stems coming thru the cooler, shorter, days of later August
and September. These will still go to seed and you'll get your seed heads
for replanting or fall arrangements.
Thanks to Paghat & Sue, for answers.
The bed is actually shaded in the AM, and gets dappled afternoon sun and
full sun in the late afternoon. The drawback? It's out of reach of my
current hose configuration, and thus misses out on the extra watering.
:-( I will get another hose hooked up and go clip them....actually, we've
had a couple of days of thunderstorms & rain, so maybe a good deadheading
will get me more flowers now that it's cool & moist.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.