Coneflower/Echinacea - Knowledgebase Question

Langhorne, Pe
Avatar for mrsbernwhela
Question by mrsbernwhela
July 16, 2010
My cone flowers have no petals this year. I don't see any bugs on them other than bees/butterflies/finches. My neighbor said she thinks the finches are eating the petals? Do the birds eat the petals as well as the seeds?

Answer from NGA
July 16, 2010
It's possible the finches are pulling off the petals but it might also be that butterfly larvae are feeding on them. I'd hate to see you try to control either with deadly force so why not try driving a couple of stakes in the ground and draping birdnetting over the plants? If birds are the culprits they won't be able to get to the flowers; if caterpillars are the culprits you'll still see damage, even with the birdnetting protecting the plants. Just out of curiosity it might be an interesting test.

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