|My echinops leaves are fading, then turning a crispy brownish to black from the outside to the inside and on the stems. This does not seem to affect the flowering. They are planted in fairly rich mostly sunny soil (altho' there are a lot of tree roots in the same area). The bed is watered regularly with the lawn sprinkler system. These plants were just put in last year. Not all plant stems/leaves seem to be affect - at least not at the same rate. Is this a fungus or insect?
|Unfortunately, based on your description I can't tell what the exact problem is. It might simply be drought stress, but it could also be a fungus exacerbated by overhead watering and/or poor air circulation. You might try thinning out some of the stems to increase the air flow and certainly remove any affected foliage and stems as they occur (and all stems at the end of the season) to try to reduce reinfection. You might also take a very close look for evidence of insects, being sure to look at the undersides of the leaves and along the stems.|