The plant to the right of the Asters looks like Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress Spurge) which has a bluish color in the bracts. It does remind you of a small evergreen. It blooms yellow in the spring from stems that start at the ground. You can then cut them off after blooming and not have to interfere with the bracts. Dry soil is the rule here. If you provide more moisture than needed, the bracts will bend over and be 8 inches or more. To the lower left in the picture is a sedum with the yellow flowers. I have it here in Dayton, but the name escapes me and I can't find it in my books.
Beautiful pictures, my asters aren't out yet. Prob still too warm. I don't know, first year.
p.s. My echinacea has the aster yellows. My botany professor (I'm a student) told me that I should rip them all out and that I couldn't plant anything in the aster family for seven years now, as the virus lives in the soil! This is a brand new garden, planted in June. I haves asters in a bed on the other side of the front steps, and eupatorium rugosa 'Chocolate' (white snakeroot) in the bed with the echinacea, about 4 feet away. I am stunned, does anyone know about this?? Can I replace the soil in just that part of the bed where the coneflowers are and try them again? You can tell, I don't want to throw in the towel just yet. Thanks.
I have a problem also with the Purple Coneflowers. It looks like there is only one plant and it is separated by itself that does not have the distorted flowers. I believe also that it is not very old, but was a seedling somehow of the others that have been there a while. As for my Asters ... they haven't got any buds yet. I have the novae blah, blah, blah. I cut them back twice so they wouldn't fall over when they bloomed this year. I have a light purple clump, dark purple clump, and a pink clump. They will have bunches of little flowers when they show their stuff. I enjoy them. They are in a completely different flowerbed.
The thread that involves the Echinacea says to destroy the ones affected. This will be a job for me & I'm about ready to start on it. Do not compost them. I think I can only save one plant and I will move it this fall.
Greenthumb, are you sure you can save that one by moving it? see the threads on echinacea, i'm not sure how to point you there, don't you hate newbies? LOL I am dismayed, since I had wanted to add more, also this can affect any and all in the aster family, aren't you supposed to divide asters every other year!? this really wrecks my plans. I have not seen anything on the threads or when I google for that matter on the soil thing, hope he's wrong, but he's pretty smart guy.
PrairieGirl, I'm not sure that I can save it from its wrath. I was going to move it to a bed with daylilies, globe echinops, merrybells, yarrow, & grasses. I have not divided my novae-a... asters. I've never noticed any distortions on them. They are not in the bed with the Echinacea. I will have to look closely when they bloom. Right now, the foliage looks in tip-top shape. I think that the implication is ... to destroy the ones that are affected, but leave the others alone if they don't show any symptoms. I think if they're not in the same flowerbed, you have a better chance of not as many flowers getting the virus. They're not in every single flowerbed necessarily.
Ok, thats reassuring. And maybe not in every single plant?? What are merrybells? Your garden sure sounds pretty. Yarrow is in the aster family, but I think I read somewhere that it has a purifying effect on the soil, I know for sure that allium do. Also echinops is in aster family, but I'm not sure if virus will spread to them. My husband came up with this idea (I knew I'd find a reason to keep him) put the coneflowers in pots and either bury them up to the rims or just set them in the beds. I have thought of using pink valerian as substitute for coneflowers, may still get some, but really wanted the coneflowers. Have read that e. pallida is not as susceptible as e. purpurea, thats the droopy petaled one, found on tallgrass prairie. What I really want to know is this: Has anyone ever planted something in a place where the coneflowers were distorted and had it be all right?(anything in the aster family?)
PrairieGirl, I like the idea of putting the healthy coneflowers in pots and burying them in the soil. That way you still have the color where you want it. I have never seen pink valerian, although I've heard of it. Never have seen any in the nurseries that I can think of. I think that it is more important than ever to use native plants and tough plants that do not die because of our changing climate. Here is an active link to the Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI. I have bought plants and seeds from them. http://www.prairienursery.com/
Thanks greenthumb, I'm already on their mailing list ! :8) That's exactly where I was thinking of going next, for advice and/or new plants. Have you ever spoken to Neil (Diboll) the owner? I wonder if I e-mail him or something he would know what we're asking about. I have never seen the valerian either, but wasn't really looking. Any other ideas for substitutes would be welcome. I guess it's all a part of the cycle of life in the garden.
Nice aster photo, kbaumle!!!!!! And PrairieGirl, I like the idea of e-mailing Neil Diboll. I'm sure he knows of the problem by now and he may have another solution. Not one of the asters is blooming yet!!!!!!
I wrote to Neil via customer service. Will let you know if I get a reply. Thanks for the link kooger. I re-read the links from the echinacea page, I think the soil-borne pathogen is the sclerotinia root rot, but I couldn't follow it all. So maybe you just yank out the infected plants and that's it. Prob over-thinking this thing, I have a tendency to do that! Obsessive-compulsive I think they call it...LOL
I yanked out the icky part of the 'white swan' echinacea and this year it is small and just about to bloom with no brown stems. I'll know if the asters yellow is still present when it blooms. The 'ruby star' next to it was infected with the asters yellow this spring, so I destroyed the whole plant. It did not seem to have any brown stems -root rot, while the white swan last year had brown stems and asters yellow.
Because I didn't deadhead last year, I have easily a half dozen scattered in the garden. They all look great so far. I'll just leave the actual spot empty for now. Check out the new pic I put on the asters yellow thread - found them today at work. Really 'cool' in a bad sort of way. lol