The Q&A Archives: coneflower leaf problem

Question: I live in Greeneville,TN. Ihave a bed with 8 conefloer plants we planted last year. The leaves of 1 plant are curling and turning a silvery color. The remaing plants are green and blooming very well. The 1 leaf problem plant is producing flowers just as well as the other 7. Do you know what's going on and could it spread to the other cone flower plants?
Thank you, Joy Jones

Answer: The silvery leaf color is a prime symptom of spider mite feeding. These tiny pests also leave webbing on plants where the leaf meets the stem or where two stems meet. If you find the webbing, the plant has a population of spider mites. These pests like dry dusty places so periodically hosing off the plants will discourage them. As for treating the plant already infested, you can try to control the population with insecticidal soap applications or miticides but it might be better for your healthy plants if you pull the infested plant and remove it from the garden.

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