My 'Tiki Torch' echinacea has developed droopy blooms. The three otherwise...

Asked June 14, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT

My 'Tiki Torch' echinacea has developed droopy blooms. The three otherwise healthy plants produced buds that appear to mature normally, and then just as they are about to open, droop. The sturdy stems have about two inches of brown 'mush' just below the bloom. The stem was open a bit before my husband split it with a razor blade. We could not see the culprit. Ellen thought it might be a corn borer. Now that you have seen the pictures, do you have any other suggestions? Thank you.

Talbot County Maryland

1 Response

Although you did not see it, the best guess would be a stem borer. Unfortunately, since borers feed inside the plant, contact chemicals are of limited value as controls. The best remedy is often clean cultivation, including removal and burning of severely infested plants. Borers can also be removed by pinching the stem of the plant where the borer
is working and disposing of it to prevent further infestation. LW