Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wacky leaves

Every so often my coneflowers have what I call yellow leaf disease.

The White Swan coneflower continues to grow - you can see the buds - but the leaves get a sickly yellowish-green. I am baffled by this. I thought the conventional wisdom was that if your leaves were yellow your plants are getting too much water. Not so in my case. If anything - they probably don't get enough.

To further complicate this, weird brown spots appear on the leaves too. My purple coneflower did this two years ago and were so diseased toward the end of the season that I yanked them out and never put them in my garden again. But I love the White Swan and I'm bummed that this is happening to them.

Do you know what might be causing this? Bad soil? Not enough fertiziler?

On to fun things ....

Better Homes and Gardens gives their recommendations for plants to try each year. This year they suggested the double wave petunia. I'm not a big petunia fan but I was smitten by their photos of them and decided to give it a whirl. The picture above is the pink. They are in a planter mixed with blue double wave petunias, pink million bells and purple fountain grass. The double blooms are gorgeous and require next to nothing in maintenance. My kind of annual! I'd buy these again in a heartbeat.

Iris quiz: I was given this very tall iris last year. Can anyone tell me what kind it is? Love the colors - perfect for all the Minnesota Viking fans in our house!


Roses and Lilacs said...

I hope it isn't aster yellows a disease that is incurable and can be spread to dozens of other plants. Watch the flowers, if they are deformed chances are that is what is wrong. Google 'aster yellows in coneflowers' and compare the pictures.

My coneflower leaves were twisted like pretzels this spring but show no other signs of disease. I'm thinking the cold wet weather. They seem to be ok now.

Kit said...

Hi Beth -

I have no idea what's going on with your coneflower...I too would have thought too much water, but obviously that's not it.

Interesting to read about the aster yellows disease - I don't have yellow leaves, but last year about half of my blooms came up looking deformed. Better watch it again this year.

It's always an education, eh?

Johnnny said...

Maybe Sasha has something to do with the jaundiced leafage? I'm sure this could be confirmed with a simple DNA test. To fix the problem, perhaps try washing the leaves with vinegar, and then blow dry for five minutes. Regarding your Minnesota Vikings' iris, what will happen if Favre joins the team, since the Vikings already have a #4 (Booty)? If Farv does turn Purple, October 5th should be interesting when the Vikings play the Packers on Monday Night Football! Love your blog, Beth.

Susie said...

Maybe they need some fertilizer?!? I hope they are not diseased.

That iris looks something like a Siberian iris.

Beth said...

Roses: Oh Marnie - as soon as I googled "asters yellows in coneflowers" I knew right away. That's EXACTLY what my coneflowers had looked like. There is one bloom coming on the White Swan and I'll wait to see what it looks like. If it's anything like the photos - it's going. Sigh ....

Kit: It's always an education! That is what's so great about this hobby - you can learn something everyday. When am I going to see pictures of your garden?

Johnnny: What can I say - you make me laugh! Sasha! Only you! :o) And if you want my opinion - it's just a matter of time before Favre wears the purple and gold and I'm all for it!

Susie: I thought it might be some kind of Siberian Iris. I have one that's called "Caesar's Brother" - and it's very different and certainly not as tall. There must be lots of varieties? Good to see that you got some rain in Mississippi - finally!

Lynn said...

My daughter gave me seeds for the double petunias for xmas.(lavender,purple, light pink and brugandy) They are growing like crazy. I love them and sure hope they put on seeds for me to save and try again...I will have to do a post on petunias soon. Some of them are on Miss Petunia.