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You would rarely find pests and diseases on coneflowers. Call it special, call it a superpower and you’ll still be right.
This is because coneflowers are made resistant to multiple sets of pests and diseases. It is usually difficult to be penetrated by pests and diseases.
This is however not to say that pests and diseases cannot get through to it. Coneflowers are attacked by pests and diseases, as regularly as any other plant in the garden.
The only difference between the coneflowers and regular flowering plants is that, while regular plants can easily have their cell saps sucked by pests and diseases which lead to health
decline, coneflowers can resist the effect and survive for quite a while before dying off.
This is however risky because your coneflowers might be struggling with pests and diseases without as much as a symptom until the infestation has grown to an unbearable limit.
At this point, it is very difficult to eradicate the pests and diseases from the plants. This accounts for the various loss of coneflower plants.
However, coneflowers rarely ever degenerate to points where they die off, so you would not necessarily be spending so much time on plant care for coneflowers as you would for other flowering plants.
The coneflower is a ten-species flowering herb. They are popularly grown in the northern hemisphere wherein temperatures range from moist to dry.
The Blooming of these plants is usually in summer. The blooms are beautifully colored flowers that vary in color from yellow to purple and in some situations, a red variety.
Coneflowers are resistant flower species that are restricted in natural growth to some parts of the world. In the other parts where they do not grow naturally, growth can be artificially induced by setting up the same climate and soil conditions that exist in its natural habitat.
This is better achieved by the use of a greenhouse or the use of plant pots and potting soil.
Coneflowers are largely propagated asexually and have many cultivars. Coneflowers have multiple uses in the medical field and disease control departments.
Herbal doctors have a practice of including coneflower roots in herbal preparations for coughs and sore throats.
Chewing coneflowers raw does not usually have side effects but can stimulate some harmful effects when it is mixed with certain chemicals in your body.
I hope you now understand how important every shrub of coneflower growing in your garden yard, or somewhere in the wild, is to you and mankind.
This means that coneflowers ought to be protected, preserved, and conserved against extinction.
The only threat to this, is the existence of pests and diseases, hence this article boils down to the control of pests and diseases that threaten the peaceful existence of coneflowers.
But, you need to be able to identify these pests and diseases of coneflowers before you can effectively remove them. This brings us to the focal point of this article.
In this article, you will be joining me on a journey through identifying and exploring the peculiarities of each of the various pests and diseases of coneflowers.
You will also be learning important facts about these pests and diseases and how to get rid of them from your coneflowers.
This read promises to be both interesting and informative. Let’s quickly get to work.
What is Echinacea Disease?
Scientifically, the coneflower goes by the name echinacea.
Echinacea disease refers to those health conditions in echinacea plants that distort the normal functionality of the plants.
These diseases vary in terms of their points of infestation on the echinacea plant.
Some Echinacea diseases attack the stems, others attack the leaves and some others attack the root system of the plants.
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Echinacea diseases could be caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. These diseases affect the proper functioning of the echinacea plants and distort the growth structures in the plant which leads to stunted growth, poor yields, and death of the plant.
The necessity of getting rid of these diseases from echinacea plants cannot be overemphasized if you wish to see your coneflowers bloom to their full capacity.
11 Coneflower Pests and Diseases
You will be partly correct to say that pests are the only reason for a decline in the health of coneflower plants.
You will also be partly correct to say that diseases can be held responsible for the poor growth and functionality of coneflowers.
This is because these two go together- pests and diseases. Their activities upon coneflowers are what accounts for health decline and population decrease of coneflowers.
There is a long list of various pests and diseases that affect the life of coneflowers, breaking through the turgid defenses of these northern hemisphere plants and causing death to the plants.
Below are eleven major pests and diseases that attack coneflowers. These will be listed concurrently in terms of pests and diseases.
- Aphids (Pest)
- Aster Yellow (Disease)
- Eriophyid mites (Pest)
- Anthracnose (Disease)
- Japanese Beetles (Pest)
- Fusarium Wilt (Disease)
- Leafhoppers (Pest)
- Stem Rot (Disease)
- Mealybugs (Pest)
- Leaf spots (Disease)
- Whiteflies (Pest)
You will get to find out how and why these pests and diseases are included in the top eleven list of pests and diseases.
One of these, or a combination of various pests and diseases is the cause for the decline in the health of your coneflowers.
By knowing the symptoms that your plants exhibit upon infestation with any of these pests and diseases, you will be able to point out which pest or disease is currently plaguing your echinacea plants.
You will also be able to decide on the best control strategy to employ for any of these pests and diseases.
1. Aphids (Pest)
Aphids are one of the world’s most invasive and destructive pests. There’s almost literally no plant that does not get infested by aphids.
These tiny insect pests can be found lodged on the underparts of coneflower leaves, from where they connect their specialized mouthparts into the plant tissues and suck nutrient-bearing sap from the plants.
Scientists have discovered two types of aphids. The neutral aphid that does not cause any harm to the coneflowers and the destructive aphids that chew and suck through plant tissues causing loss of nutrients to the coneflower plants.
Apart from sucking nutritious sap from plants, aphids can cause powdery mildew fungi disease on coneflowers. By ridding plants of chlorophyll, they inhibit the coneflower’s ability to carry out photosynthesis, leading to stunted growth.
At initial infestation, you can get rid of aphids by a spray of water on the leaves where they lodged, applying spray pressure to the underparts of the leaves.
When the infestation is more severe, you could opt for the use of homemade remedies like vinegar and horticultural oils like the famous neem oil.
2. Aster Yellow (Disease)
The aster yellows disease is a bacterial disease, vectored by the leafhopper pest.
Symptoms of aster yellow on coneflowers are called phyllody. It includes the abnormal growth of leaves that look like blossoms, on the top of the plants. From time to time, the leaves turn yellow.
The disease is vectored by leafhoppers and spread from an infected coneflower to another by leafhoppers through the sap sucked.
There’s no known cure for the aster yellow disease yet, the only way to prevent it, is to prevent leafhoppers from getting to your coneflower plants.
3. Eriophyid Mites (Pest)
These pests generate symptoms in coneflowers that keep the farmer suspecting the presence of aster yellow on the plants.
Even though they have the same symptoms, eriophyid mites are 0ests and you can often see their tiny movements on the plant leaves.
The presence of these mites on your coneflowers can lead to a reduction in the number of seeds you can harvest. To control these mites, apply pesticides to the plant’s leaves.
Remember the pesticides to apply, are those with no side effects on the plants. Pruning is also an effective means of controlling these pests.
Prune the plant to the ground in winter and maintain proper sanitation.
4. Anthracnose (Disease)
This is not so common on coneflowers. It is caused by fungi and leads to the formation of dark spots on the leaves of infected plants.
These dark spots get bigger as they merge and cover the whole plant. Death occurs on any leaf that is completely covered by the disease.
To control anthracnose diseases, use a fungicide on the affected leaves and plants.
A bonide fungicide is recommended for issues related to anthracnose.
5. Japanese Beetles (Pest)
Japanese beetles are exotic winged pests that look like precious jewels on a green leaf. These pests are exotic in appearance and the level of damage they wreck to plants.
They feed on the leaves of plants, chewing off tiny particles of leaves to make holes in the leaves that lead to wilting.
The leaves of coneflowers are not so easily damaged because of how tough the leaves are.
Control of these pests involves handpicking and the spraying of soap solutions on affected leaves.
6. Fusarium Wilt (Disease)
As the name implies, this disease will lead to the rapid wilting of plants. It is a fungal disease that affects plants and causes wilting.
Once plants are affected by fusarium wilt disease, they wilt off, regardless of how much water they receive. Treatment of this disease is best done using the fungicide named mycostop
7. Leafhoppers ( Pest)
Leafhoppers aren’t so much of an issue to plants except for the fact that they are responsible for spreading aster yellow diseases to plants.
Leafhoppers are winged insects that can fly and hop. They are vectors to aster yellow disease and cause a rapid transmission of this disease from one plant to the other.
Control of leafhoppers involves the use of pesticides and soap solutions. Also, ensure that you are not keeping the surrounding around your garden dirty.
8. Stem Rot (Disease)
Stem rot is a situation that results from waterlogged soils.
Coneflowers develop this condition when they are subjected to overwatering, poor drainage, or bad soil. Stem rot can also be caused by fungal disease which grows on plants suffering from overwatering and overwatered conditions.
To control this condition, check the amount of water being supplied to the coneflower and drastically cut it. Check to ensure that your coneflowers are growing in an adequate soil type.
9. Mealybug (Pest)
Mealybugs resemble caterpillars in body structure.
They attach themselves to the leaves and stems of coneflowers, from where they suck the nutrient saps from coneflowers.
Symptoms of mealybugs on plants involve the development of dark patches on the leaves of plants, which signifies a Loss of chlorophyll.
Use pesticides to control this pest from your coneflowers. Ensure you check your plant regularly for mealybugs. This way, you can easily check the growth of mealybugs early enough on the plant.
10. Leaf Spots (Disease)
It is caused by every pest that preys on the leaves of coneflowers. Leaf spots cause necrosis on the leaves.
These spots slowly merge to form bigger spots that eventually cover the entire leaf and kill it.
When you notice leaf spots on the leaves of your coneflowers, you should apply any copper-based fungicide to kill it. Also, avoid overcrowding your plants.
This is to allow enough air and sunlight which can be natural ways of removing spots as well.
11. Whiteflies (Pests)
Whiteflies are winged pests that are difficult to control and spread rapidly on coneflowers.
They suck nutrient sap from the leaves, stems, and flowers of coneflowers and their massive infestation can spell danger to the life of a coneflower.
Whiteflies reproduce by eggs and their larvae quickly grow into adults that grow eggs also. Whiteflies can often be found around the crown of stems.
They can also be found on the underparts of leaves alongside their asking larvae.
To control whiteflies on coneflowers, you need to introduce natural predators of whiteflies. These predators are biologically engineered to attack every stage of the growth of houseflies.
You can also use pesticides that do not harm the coneflowers consistently until the whiteflies are eradicated from the plants.
How Do You Get Rid Of Mites on Coneflowers
The following are ways to get rid of mites on coneflowers:
- Flush the leaves of the plants with soapy water
- Make use of natural predators that feed on mites
- Apply mild pesticides to the plants that do not harm them.
They say knowledge is power and with great power comes great responsibilities.
In this article, you have read about eleven pests and diseases that attack coneflowers.
You owe your coneflowers, your garden, and the general plant universe a responsibility of keeping your plants safe from these pests and diseases from now on. Cheers to effectiveness.