Coneflower disease?

greekmamaJuly 7, 2013

Can someone please help me identify a problem with my coneflowers. I dug out the original landscaping plans for my back garden. Originally, white swan and purple coneflowers were planted. Last year, I had pale purple flowers.....this year, the petals are coming but seem light green. I have a few that are purlish...but not too vibrant. Can you tell me if I have a disease or am I just too eager and the petals will come in one of their original colors? I will try to post a picture too.


p.s. I've been lurking and enjoying this forum for many years.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A friend stopped by today. She thinks I have aster yellows.....she also said that my black eyed Susan and phlox are susceptible in the same bed. Can anyone give me their thoughts? Is the entire bed lost? What about the butterfly bush?


This post was edited by greekmama on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 19:57

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have to dig up and remove the plants that are exhibiting the disease. Do not compost! It can spread to other species, but purple coneflowers and like cultivars are most susceptible. I think it is spread by chewing insects . . . grasshoppers perhaps? I had it a few years back. I removed all my purple coneflowers, but did not remove pale purple coneflower. My pale purple coneflowers were not afflicted by the disease. Butterfly bush and sweet black eyed susans were also not affected, just the purple coneflowers.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you theresa2. From the pictures, do you believe that I'm dealing with disease?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's hard to say for sure based on the photo. I copied a good description of the disease from the UW-Horticulture Extension website:

Symptoms of aster yellows are often mistaken for damage due to herbicide exposure. Infected plants are typically stunted and twisted, with foliage that is yellow or red. Infected plants are often sterile. Floral parts that are normally brightly colored may remain green, and petals andsepals may become puckered and distorted.
In purple coneflower, secondary flower heads (often in a cluster) may emerge from the primary flower head.

Mine definitely had that secondary flower thing going on. I do not see that occurring on yours.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I was a MG, the experts at NC State held seminars via closed circuit TV. Often they were asked about problems such as yours. Almost always the answer was, "environmental damage," i.e., chemical spraying that had drifted to nearby plants. This didn't kill the plants but made for strange growth development for that year.

This year along a mt. road in NC I observed the same type of damage on Joe Pye and other roadside plants, and the electrtic company, BREMCO, had been spraying in the area. I hope the damage is not fatal to this huge group of plants.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
botanybob(Northern Idaho)

These petals are not fully developed and probably do not have the color they will have when mature. Many flowers do this. I wouldn't take any drastic action until the flowers have opened. The foliage and stems all look normal and healthy.

Please post an update with photos as this develops.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 11:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Photos of Natives on Tumblr
Hi all, I have a small (1/4 acre) woods here in Minnesota....
Is it cheating to use varieties that were bread from natives?
For example, instead of native Itea virginica, using...
Create well-adapted strains in the garden from foreign ecotypes?
Hi, Of course, it is ideal to cultivate the most local...
Prairie Plants threatened by Noxious Weeds Act
Hi, I found this great blog and information about prairie...
Avoiding Spreading Invasive Beetles
I was trying to find sassafras, which it turns out...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™