Is this yellow aster

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

Do I have the dreaded yellow aster? I so hope not!! It is twlight and I never got to see a bloom. Darn rabbits kept eating it.

I think it might be on my summer sky as well. They are neighbors.

Thumbnail by dpoitras
Athens, PA


I dont know for sure, but it does look like it. I pulled everything this past year - all my coneflowers, rudebeckia and shasta daisies. I think my rudebeckia 'Herbstonne' and my Rudbeckia laciniata 'Hortensia' are ok though. I bet I pulled over 20 plants. The problem is that asters yellow does not attack just coneflowers. I saw some real nice asters in the store last week and wanted to get them, but I didn't dare - I figured they would be attacked by the dreaded disease.

Best of luck to you.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Looks like it to me. I lost Summer Sky this and I am watching my Twilight right now....

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

I never heard of asters yellow until Paul from Al posted on it this spring. Since that time, it seems as if many of the gardeners are becoming more aware of this, and questioning what is happening with their plants.

My coneflowers are only between one and three years old. All of them have been healthy until just a couple of months ago. I have seen the misshappen flowers throughout my garden. This has affected the older coneflowers as well as new ones that I grew from seed this spring, and some from the spring perennial coop. I am truly heartbroken that this has happened.

Until fairly recently, I don't think that I have ever seen a leafhopper. A couple of weeks ago, we had a deluge of rain that lasted most of the day. Since then, I have suddenly seen a tremendous upsurge in insects. Most of these insect seem to be concentrated around my marigolds, and most of them seem to be leafhoppers.

When I deadhead my marigolds, I get a cloud of leafhoppers jumping around. They are small green insects that hop quickly. The coneflowers near my marigolds are all suffering. The same plants that had beautiful healthy flowers earlier this spring, now have clear signs of asters yellow. I don't know if marigolds are a favorite of the leafhoppers, but this is the only time that I actually see them in action.

Although I am new to coneflowers I love these flowers, and I am determined not to give them up. This spring, I will be starting more from seeds, and I will not be planting them near the marigolds. I am not sure if this will limit the damage, but these definitely seems to be a strong correlation in my garden. The coneflowers that are not near marigolds have not suffered.

Of course, I couldn't find a single picture of marigolds side by side with the coneflowers.

Thumbnail by pennefeather
Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

I have lost 2 this summer and keeping an eye on the others.

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

before you start ripping out your coneflowers, make sure it's not Eriophyid mites.

plants infected with mites can have funny looking blooms but they do not develop the witches brooms that come with aster yellows. treatment of mite infested plants consists of removing the blooms and cutting down foliage.

google the mites to see some pictures of infected plants.

here is a link with some pictures:

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Thank you for the link. I looked carefully at these pictures, and mine looks more like the mite photo. I may still pull them though.

I thought that the powdery mildew pictures were interesting. This looks like the silvery leaves that we have discussed in another thread. I'm not sure if they are mildew, but they become hard, and you can't actually wipe the mildew off.

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

I was checking around and found a clear picture of aster yellow.

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

I didn't pull my plants. I cut off all the blooms and cut the plant way back. I'm just not positive yet that that is what it is. It's this late in the growing season and I'm expecting a hard frost any day now. I think I'm going to stick it out until next spring. First sign of a funky bloom and out they will come. Thanks for all the help and keep your fingers crossed.

Athens, PA

I thought about doing that too, but the problem was that other plants could end up with the dreaded disease. I had read that even veronicas could end up with this disease and the year before I put in a number of veronicas in that are different sizes and colors. Couple that with the fact that leaf hoppers are found in weed beds and the house that is directly behind me is vacant and has been all year - we figure another year before it hits the sheriffs sale, so another year that it will be vacant and a weedbed - it just wasn't worth it to me. Earlier in the season I started filling the coneflower spots with other plants. I have some clematis coming from the Chalk Hill sale to fill the spot below.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

Carolyn, I see you couldn't sleep either.

Athens, PA

dpoitras -

I wish you were right on that one, however I get up early to go to work. The trouble I have in the morning is staying off the computer - which, obviously I had that problem this morning If it was just that I could not sleep - I would have been able to be on the computer longer.



West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

I was collecting seeds today and saw this freak show - at first I wondered if it was aster yellows, but it looks like the pics of Eriophyid mite damage. What's weird is that it's probably the best looking plant out of dozens, other than the green stuff. I think it's a 'White Swan'.
I also thought the seeds might have sprouted in the seed head - we've had a lot of rain lately, and I saw another dried up marigold with sprouts coming out of it - but I broke it apart and there was only one seed and no leaves.

Thumbnail by claypa
McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Next spring, I will find out if it was asters yellow or eriophyid mite. If it's just mites, it should be fine in the spring, but if it still looks funny, then out they go!

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

Ditto for me!

(Zone 7b)

Is there a link for aster yellows i had a cone flower with strange green flowers last year? I was going to toss it but just moved it to a different part of my garden and it looks just like the others now.
I have never really known when to deadhead mine and they are beautiful when they first bloom. But the second blooming the flowers are small and not very pretty is there a reason for that?

I just got this one this spring and i don't know the name of it but i love it.

Thumbnail by Harmonyplace
Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

this is probably one of the better pictures showing the tell-tale witches brooms formations on the flowers:

(Zone 7b)

Thank You mine didn't branch out like that the blooms were just green and small.

Do all cone flowers bloom beautifully in the spring but the second blooms are small and less colorful?
When is the best time to deadhead and what fertilizer is prefered for cone flowers?

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

Mine look like what Harmonyplace described. They were small green buds. The stem also stayed very short. I left it. I am going to see what it looks like in the spring. First sign of odd - out it goes. I am a conie lover. I think I have 15 or so in my garden and a bunch more coming from the perennial co-op in the spring I would hate to lose them.

Late summer I got tiki torch from GreenThumbsTN. I can't wait to see it bloom. I've got it heavily mulched this winter. I'm hoping it helps it survive the bitter winters we can sometimes get. It's just a baby! I hope Old Man Winter remembers that!!

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

the small green buds and the round brown tops that don't open properly (without witches brooms) are with 99% certainty Eriophyid mites.
Many people have never heard of them and are very quick to call any malformed flower head 'aster yellows'.
once you have seen these two different diseases, it's very easy to tell them apart. if you are unsure and it's your inexpensive coneflowers, go ahead and rip them out if you want.

for the more expensive varieties, i suggest waiting unless you see the witches brooms and/or the deformed foliage. i have not found any clear pictures on the internet that show the deformed and discolored foliage.

second sets of blooms can be smaller, in doubles or pompom forms they can be more flattened. from my personal experience, i think it's possibly more a response to daylighht hours and temperatures. In my garden, the earliest blooms and the latest blooms seem to be very similar while the ones during the hottest and driest part of the summer tend to look a bit 'off' regardless of when i have last deadheaded. i will hunt around and see if there are any scientific studies.

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

Thanks Belle, I think mites are more my problem then yellow asters. Is there a way to get rid of the mites, should they come back next year?

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

from what i have read, the best thing to do is to cut the plants back really short. mites overwinter in foliage. cut all those in areas where you suspect mites and leave only some in unaffected areas for the birds. if you suspect mites during the growing season - cut back - you may be surprised wehn plants regrow normal and healthy.
important: do not put those cuttings in your compost - they should to go to the trash as most home gardeners do not monitor the temperature of their compost to make sure that it gets hot enough to kill bad bugs. better safe than sorry!
sevin or permethrin might be labeled for the mites - check label. i don't use either product so i can't say for sure.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Just posting and re-posting a few times , conversation while I deal with this ?

Well first of all I will say I know there is suppose to be no cure , and Antibiotic treatments are being tried by research professionals
Well to begin with not wanting to throw my Coneflowers and dealing with a microbe I decided to argue some to see if I could learn something ,( going the hard way seems to be it with me. lol )

I lost most of the original blooms and stems this season but have been trying Ammonia x Listerine to destroy a microbe , First I did Cider x spoiled Fruit juice Be careful when you mix this with Ammonia x Listerine as it odors like manure being sprayed on crop fields , Those of you that live in the country or near commercial growing fields are well aware of what I am talking about , (odor is overpowering )
And should disclaim as to anyone that might try something like this remember,, this is only an experiment and this is the web (you know , me too lol)

Well the first pic early this season , in the background blooms you can see the yellow's disease developing .
Aeriation to older stems and the microbe hollows out the bloom stems , from solid stem cutting back and keeping air around the plant is where I have been starting my treatment program ..
It seems usually about half way up the bloom stem is where the disease attacks the plant with vigor , so Ammonia as an osmotic with an Antimicrobial would be the place to start
This is in progress and if there is any interest I will post more results as time goes along ,
Last pic is a bloom today after a little more than a week of the spray program no symptoms on bloom , only very few on the plant ..

I should add that the formula sprayed also "rotted off or through" infected larger stems , so it seems it may function .. ( from note to self).
And thank you for reading this ,, pics are at the link

Read more:

This message was edited Aug 13, 2013 2:33 AM

This message was edited Aug 13, 2013 2:34 AM

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