I have tried growing coneflowers from seed, both the regular and hybrids, and have had no luck at all. I just received some more and currently have them in the refrigerator because I've read they need to stratify. I've tried winter sowing and direct sowing. I'm in NC, zone 7, and was wondering if you could suggest any tips for growing them. Thanks so much.
Have you watered the area in the spring? The seeds need water in the spring after winterizing. In most cases, normal rainfall is enough, but if there is a water shade, like a tree or overhang, that is blocking rain from getting on the seeds, this would reduce germination. If you feel they may be in a water shade, you may want to water them some in the spring.
Also, the seeds only need the very lightest of covering with soil. Spread the seeds and only sprinkle a bit of soil over them.
I live in Ohio and my purple coneflowers have died. Do I take the flower off the top or cut the flower down to the ground?
It is up to you. Both are fine. Some people actually like to leave the plants and flower heads intact for the winter, as the birds like to eat the seeds. It can provide some winter interest in the garden and then the plants can be cut back in the spring.
The purpose of removing the flower, or "deadheading," is to prolong and encourage flowering by cutting off the blossom so the plant spends energy on producing more flowers rather than developing seeds.
If you leave the flower on the plant, it has a chance to produce seed, thus self seeding next year's plants. After the seeds have dispersed, you can cut the plant down to the ground. This article has more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/coneflower/growing-purple-coneflowers.htm
Something is eating the leaves on my coneflowers.
I would use an insecticidal soap and treat the plants.
Neem Oil is a good choice.
Here are some links.
I have 3 coneflowers planted 5, 3 and 1 year ago. They have buds and should bloom soon. In the morning they're all are upright. The last 2 afternoons, about half the stems on the oldest one have drooped - like an upside down U. Today, the middle one is also starting to droop. I've looked under them but there are no signs of animal damage or any sucking type of insect. What do you think is the problem?
The Coneflowers droop as a mechanism to conserve moisture by presenting less surface to the sun.
They are a prairie flower that like to be on the dry side. They will show sun wilt then recover in the evenings.
I have a clear case of asters yellow in one of my favorite coneflowers. Of course, I will destroy it, but wonder if I can plant a new one in its spot next year? I would hate to keep losing plants. Thanks.
No, it needs the host plant to live in.
We have coneflowers and they got tall, budded, and before they bloomed, the heads started to droop. The leaves started to wilt and then the stalk died. Half of the bush is dying and half is ok (for now). Can you help? What is going on with them and what we can do to fix the problem?
This article may help pinpoint the problem: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/coneflower/coneflower-problems.htm
For most pest or fungal issues, neem oil is effective. Here is more info: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/problems/pests/neem-oil-uses.htm
I'm having a problem with the petals on my coneflowers this year. On some of the flowers, all of the petals have disappeared (see attached picture). There doesn't seem to be any bugs, worms, or mildew on the flowers. The leaves look fine, and the flowers without any petals are at a height higher than what I believe a rabbit could eat. Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks.
This could just be the natural aging of the flower. As the flower fades you can dead head the plant. This will encourage more flowers and longer blooming time.
The leaves look healthy in the image with not signs of insect damage or disease.
Here is a link with more information.