The Coneflower Dilemma
I love Echinacea, also know as Coneflower. When I see them, I have to have them, and with all the new varieties coming out, it can turn into a bit of an investment. When I heard last year that very few of the new varieties seemed to survive the winter here, I went online to do some investigating. What I found was that they are susceptible to crown rot, especially the first year. One study concluded that in order to have a better success rate, growers needed to start offering 2 year plants to the public. According to what I have found, they need their crowns dry and the roots moist. My solution, which so far this winter has been working, is to cover them with plastic plant pots, which are slightly tipped to allow plenty of air flow, while also keeping the crown dry, but still allowing enough moisture to surround the plant. Not a pretty picture, but hopefully a big pay-off in the coming years.