The Q&A Archives: spots on stems of hydrandea and cone flowers

Question: I have two hydrangeas that have done well in the past. I noticed today black spots on the stems of the plants (also on my Cone Flowers). The leaves are fine and they have just started to bud. I also noticed this on a Hydrangea in a store today. Is this normal or do I have a problem?

Thank you.

Thank you, Lynn Butler

Answer: Brownish spots on hydrangea stems is quite normal but spots on the stems of coneflowers indicates either insect feeding or a disease. Closely inspect your coneflowers for pests and watch the leaves as they unfurl. If they, too, develop spots, there is a fungal or bacterial pathogen at work and you'll want to identify it and control it. Best wishes with your garden!

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