Sunday, August 30, 2009

Black Eyed Susans Stand Out in my Garden

I planted two Rudbeckia "Goldsturm" last year and they grew quite tall this summer. I have some coneflowers planted behind them as I wasn't expecting the Black Eyed Susans to get so large. When I called Bachman's to ask what type of Black Eyed Susans were true perennials for zone 4, the only one they said would last was "Goldsturm". All the rest you see for sale might last two years at the most. Hopefully he is right...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tall Phlox

I usually only see Phlox sold in pinks and purples, so when I saw this tall Phlox for sale at Bachman's, I snatched it up. It is called "Orange Perfection" and while not really orange, but more of a coral color, it is an amazing. Grows up to 4 feet tall.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Growing Joe Pye Weed

I am constantly getting asked by people walking by my home what these tall plants are growing in my garden. When I tell them Joe Pye Weed, they almost always say they have never heard of them. Growing up to 9 feet tall, mine ("Gateway") are currently around 6-7 feet high, and only two years old at this point. They like moist areas so I have them growing in an area that receives alot of runoff from my yard. I am growing really tall perennials in the middle of my bed to act as a naturally fence.

In the perennial garden on the other side of my house, I decided to try out the dwarf variety, "Little Joe", as they only get about 4 feet high, but mine are a little taller than that. He gets a little more shade here, but he seems to be doing just fine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What a Plant Sale Looks Like

In late May, the Dakota County master gardeners had a plant sale. It started at 9 am, and when we arrived at 9:15, the crowd you see above was already there. Needless to say, it was a mad house and half of the plants were already claimed. I picked up some Penstemon Husker's Red and Balloon Flowers. It was a fun event to attend and see the different plants available, many of which were said to come from the master gardeners own gardens.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One of my Coneflowers has Stem Rot

Horticulture Magazine had this very informative question and answer article on “Why are my Coneflowers Dying?” Since many of us grow Coneflowers or Echinacea, I thought this might be a very helpful article.

This site has some great photos of diseases that effect Coneflowers

Question: Why Are My Coneflowers Dying?July 27, 2009

My two-year-old coneflowers (Echinacea) are wilting and dying. They make many flowers, then they wilt and the leaves turn brown. The whole plant seems to die, stem by stem. What can I do? Nothing else in my perennial bed seems harmed.

Answer: Coneflowers are generally easy to grow and free of pests, but there are some diseases that attack them when conditions are right. The symptoms you describe suggest sclerotinia stem and root rot, also sometimes called crown rot. It is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.
This disease can present itself while the plants are still small or during bloom. It can originate in the soil and form black areas on the roots and plant crown after the plant dies. It can also reach the plant through the air, in which case it causes stem blotches, wilting and dieback. Flower heads may droop. Digging up one of the plants to examine the roots should help you diagnose the problem. A small, weak or broken root system also points to a fungal problem.
This disease is most likely to occur in damp conditions. If your area has received more rain than usual this year or it has been very humid, this fungal disease is most likely the problem. Also, echinacea are drought-tolerant plants that don’t require or prefer a lot of watering. If you are watering consistently to meet the needs of the other, undamaged plants in the bed, you might want to consider growing your coneflowers elsewhere.