Echinacea Leaves Wilting

a2zmom(6a - nj)June 27, 2007

Over the past week, all the leaves on various stems on my Echinacea "Magnus" are shrivaling up and dying. It's not a case of underwatering, we had a heavy rain storm last Thursday and by Saturday, this is what occured. It's not overwatering, that's the first rain we've had in a while, we're currently in a drought. The rest of the plant looks fine. The stem looks fine, however, when I pulled, the entire thing easily removed from the ground, leaving the rest of the plant behind.

The rest of the plant still looks good, but I'm concerned that it could travel and infect the rest.

Here's a few pictures:

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rsmallen(z6 PA)

I don't have help...but I have a similar problem I am hoping somebody can help with. Here's my symptoms:

This problem has happened both last year and this year. I have loads of coneflowers planted in the front and the side yards...and this only happens in the front bed.
Last year I planted Kim's Knee High...6 plants. 1 survived. I stuck in 6 Twilight and moved the Kim. 5 have survived.

Symptoms...plants come up. Green. Good shape. Getting buds. Some stalks on one (or more in the case of Kim's) plant begin to wilt as if they were underwatered. (They were not) Soon the wilt turns to a brown stalk and shrivels up and dies. The buds have continued to try to pink up. Soon more stalks get the same way on the same plant until almost or all of the plant is a shriveled brown mess. A girlfriend said she had the same problem and put Diazinon Granules (which I would be loathe to use) and slug bait granules around her's this year and they are fine. I see no evidence of insect infestation OR slug/grub problems.

NEW SYMPTOM: 2 of the 5 remaining Echinaceas that are in bloom or in bud have suddently lost a few buds. They are simply laying in the mulch aside of the plant and are removed from the plant as neatly as if a scissors or knife had cut them off. I immediately suspected my grandsons having experienced this with my son (My peonie buds had black ants and his solution to ant removal was to cut off the offending buds) but they deny having any responsibility. Again, I do not see any signs of insects.

Anybody have any ideas???

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 8:10AM
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clickermel(z6a SW Ohio)

I am having the same problem with a couple of my echinaceas -- not the regular echinacea purpurea, but the cultivars (White Swan and Ruby Star). Several of the stems wilt and then die, but the rest of the plant seems fine . . . for now.

The two plants exhibiting this problem are in different parts of the garden. Also, I have many other cultivars (Big Sky ones mostly) that are not having this problem.

Anyone have any idea what causes this?

:-) Mel

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 9:53AM
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rsmallen(z6 PA)

I am really believing it is some fungus in the soil or roots (therefore soil) as it only affects this one echinacea in my garden. All around it are fine. I am replacing the one I tore out...AND adding replacements for the 4 that did not make the transition from dormant to run over by the hardscapers bobcat to live plant again...but before I replace that one I have put a fungicide on the soil that's there....AND I am planning to dig out and dispose of the soil from the hole, backfilling with other garden soil.

Like you, my plain old purple coneflowers are GREAT. The hybrids seem to be bothered....but first is bothered Kim's Knee High before getting to Twilight....


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 8:36AM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

I lost some echinacea a while back. Same symptoms. When pulling on the plant, the entire stalk came up. The plants were about two years old and previously healthy and productive.

Looking closely at the crown of the plant, I found a whole lot of small gray beetles (not pill bugs, but similar) chewing away there, pretty much at or just below soil level. The plant there got all mushy.

It's not clear to me if the bugs moved in after some sort of fungus started rotting the plant, or if the bugs were the cause, but in your case(s) I would check the crown very carefully. You'll have to poke around a bit.

I ended up losing two entire plants. Other species of plants nearby were not affected.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 9:50AM
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