Cone flowers are a disaster!
My cone flowers are a disaster this year. It's their 3rd yr. Last yr. they were beautiful. This yr.; however, they blossomed early, and some started to turn brown before they were even all bloomed. Two of the plants have deep purple leaves - not like that last yr.
About a mo. ago one of the plants just fell over and when I tried to pick it up, some of the stalks came right out of the ground - w/no roots! I saw grubs in another part of the yard early in the season, but when we dug last mo. we found beetles, no grubs. Are these Jap. beetles?
For the last mo. they are turning from brown to black. They look terrible, almost like you would expect to see mold, although I haven't. I would cut them down, except that 2 unusual yellow birds come each day to eat the seeds, although those are almost all gone, as well.
Is it the crazy weather or what? Is it okay to cut them all back b/c they really look bad. I haven't been able to tend to my yard much this yr. b/c of surgeries I had in spring, but everything got at least minimal care.
I also missed the butterflies, which covered my cone flowers last yr. But I just read a post about the lack of butterflies this yr. I wonder what that's all about.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I love these plants. Thanks!