Perennials forum: Echinacea question

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 3, 2013 9:13 AM CST
We have a bunch of big clumps of white echinaceas in my daughter'ss garden in Salt Lake. She says last year they looked really scrappy with small leaves and the flowers came out with brown spots on the petals.

They really need dividing but will that solve the problems or should we invest in some new plants?

They are putting the house up for sale soon so we really need the garden to look good this summer. Can't wait for trial and error to tell.

I am helping out with spring start up this week. We have a lot of spaces in her big perennial beds that would be great for the tons of divisions we have. Help!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Apr 3, 2013 10:20 AM CST
I've divided the purple ones with no problem, I imagine the white ones would get new life too.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
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SunnyBorders
Apr 3, 2013 11:46 AM CST
Very roughly, find perennials beds go through maybe a five year cycle,
from looking scrappy when they're first planted to looking overgrown at the end.
The beds look at their best in the second or third year.

Don't think (at least here - (Cdn) Zone 5a) you can do a lot with perennial beds (re flowering) within six months.

If I need to do a quick fix on a perennial bed (or fill in an area for quick colour), I use blocks of annuals (e.g. geraniums).

Re Echinacea: find the older cultivars like 'Magnus' (pink), in picture, and 'White Swan' (white) to be very hardy.
I do periodically divide them and they last for years.
Some of the newer cultivars (in sunny locations) only seem to last here for a few years.

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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Apr 3, 2013 2:22 PM CST
I was wondering if your echies have aster yellows. Do you have a picture from last year?
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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Apr 3, 2013 3:53 PM CST
Above picture July 28, 2011.

Not sure of reference "aster yellows".

'White Swan' (July 27, 2012).

Thumb of 2013-04-03/SunnyBorders/c18eff

This one's doing pretty well for me at present
(had two/three years): 'Hot Papaya'.
(July 6, 2012).

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[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Apr 3, 2013 4:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Apr 3, 2013 4:49 PM CST
I asked Clint to pop over to check this out. He is the expert when it comes to Echies. They look fine to me but I have never seen aster yellow in person.
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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Apr 3, 2013 5:28 PM CST
Looked it up.
Interesting.
Hadn't heard of it.

In Canada, seems restricted to the West.
Seems to like the Canola crop,
though Echinacea is one of many host plants.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Apr 3, 2013 6:18 PM CST
About half of my echinacea got aster yellows last year. Glare The flowers turn kind of green in the centers which become very distorted and it eventually kills them.
It was very upsetting! Angry
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Apr 3, 2013 7:38 PM CST
Horrible, Sue.
With me (a couple of years ago) it was lily beetles.

Picture below: Sept 21, 2012.
It's a Big Sky Series Echinacea ('Sundown').
This is the best the plant could do last year.
Take it to be an example of the degeneration that cultivars of this series are apparently prone to.

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Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Apr 3, 2013 8:08 PM CST
I've had trouble keeping some of the newer ones going too, but White Swan, Magnus, and purpurea seem to last a lot longer than the new ones.
But they all are suseptable to aster yellows,but they're so pretty we keep getting more! nodding
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Apr 3, 2013 8:42 PM CST
Here is a scary pic of yellow asters. I removed all my cone flowers that year and the next. I hope what is coming back from seeds will be healthy.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 3, 2013 8:48 PM CST
I only realized recently from another posting here that aster yellows was what was going on with mine. I just got about 30 new ones last fall and I am keeping my fingers crossed that since they are planted far away from the others they won't get affected...so far it's only the purples that have it. Yanking them all out. So sad.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Apr 3, 2013 9:01 PM CST
Awesome pictures Anna, they will be a great help for others to be able to identify aster yellows on their plants! Thumbs up
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 3, 2013 10:23 PM CST
Wow. Thanks for all the great input.

The ones I am dividing are all White Swan if memory serves. The new clumps look healthy but just a bit stunted from crowding. I am going to go ahead and replant them in nice groupings so they will make a better show than little starts here and there. We have dozens of small starts.

That aster yellows looks bad! I dont think we had that though.

We also planted several clumps of the Big Sky series and they are all gone. Very disappointing considering how pricey they were even 5years ago. A few self sowed but all the seedlings came back pink.

I'll try for a pic or two tomorrow.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 4, 2013 3:36 AM CST

Moderator

The brown spots on the blooms is just from the blooms getting wet. It is more obvious because the blooms are white. When you water, try not to get the water on the blooms, especially if you water early in the day when the sun is hot.

Many people are confusing mite damage with aster yellows. These mites can cause deformed blooms that look just like the aster yellows blooms. Often the blooms without petals are just mite infested. The foliage of aster yellows infected plants has clearing of the veins and a yellowish tint. We have lots of info at the Echinacea Cubit about these problems and photos of them all too.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Apr 4, 2013 3:44 AM CST
Great information, just click on clintbrowns link and check out, 'Echinacea Diseases and Pests', lots of information and pictures. Thumbs up
Susan

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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 4, 2013 8:50 AM CST
Great, I will check it out. Hoping it's NOT Asters yellow!
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
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virginiarose
Apr 4, 2013 5:20 PM CST
I hope not! Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Jul 3, 2013 11:42 AM CST
More re deformed Echinacea flowers:

The group of three Echinacea 'Hot Papaya', in my posting of April 3, 2013 above, is now producing deformed flowers.
See picture taken yesterday, below.
Checked my records. They were planted June 12, 2011.

Re any possibility of disease, notably aster yellows, all three plants look very healthy.
It's only the flowers which are deformed.

Am thinking it could be a case of rushing potential cultivars to market too soon.
Other recent/current examples being Echinacea 'Big Sky Series' and Phlox paniculata 'Peppermint Twist' and P. paniculata 'Twister'.

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jul 3, 2013 11:54 AM CST
I always have an Echincea or two do this every year. Never the same ones. It doesn't bother me much since the plant itself is ok. What really made me sad this year was the random wilt I got on some, I'm up two three now. I lost parts of two and one whole plant.

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