The connection between coneflowers and marigolds

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

I am thoroughly convinced based up my experiences last year and this year, that these two plants should not be growing near each other. Last year was probably the first year that many of us learned of yellow asters disease. From various post, there were gardeners concerned that misshappened flowers had contracted these disease. A good number of times, it was damage done by leaf hoppers.

Last year, I did some research on leaf hoppers and learned that one of the plants that they like are marigolds. Marigolds are also one of my favorite flowers because my mother always had marigolds in her garden. Leafhoppers can also be found in other flowers and I believe that someone reported that they were common in unkempt areas as well.

I also noticed last year that the only plants that had mishappened flowers were near my marigolds. This year, I have noticed the same thing. Plants that had problems last year are fine this year, and are not near marigolds. Plants that were fine last year are having problems this year, and are near marigolds.

The affected plants have cones that don't develop correctly, but do not have the witches broom that is characteristic of yellows asters. In this picture, you can see the orange marigolds in the background.

This message was edited Aug 11, 2009 11:26 AM

Thumbnail by pennefeather
McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

This is a link that someone kindly supplied last year.

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/focus/per_echinacea.cfm

Even on the off chance that I am wrong, in the future, I will not plant these plants together.

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

i wonder if the marigolds are a harbor plant for eryphoid mites?
do you have a county extension office near you? they may be able to either look at your buds under the microscope or send off them to the lab at u of va.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I just read an article that said Marigolds repel leafhoppers. Go figure. LOL. Here's something else I found from P. Allen Smith...

"Marigolds - The marigold is probably the most well known plant for repelling insects. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well. If you choose marigolds for your garden they must be scented to work as a repellant. And while this plant drives away many bad bugs, it also attracts spider mites and snails."

If Marigolds attract "spider mites," maybe they attract other mites as well. This could be something to look into.

This message was edited Aug 11, 2009 11:30 AM

Ft Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10a)

I've heard heard people down here saying gecko lizards can transmit problems from plant to plant. They jump and swing from plant to plant and who knows what they might be picking up on their feet.

Southeast, MA(Zone 6b)

Very interesting info. There are good and bad aspects to all plants. They develop over time to survive in their original native environment. Then we move , hybridize and put them next to a plant the competes with them. I think they are like most people, they don't always get along. Knowing who plays well with others is important info we can all use, thanks.

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