cardinal flower problem

Asked August 24, 2017, 4:16 PM EDT

Some of my plants wilted and then went brown despite the fact that I water my plants frequently. I have not noted any insects/snails. Thank you for your help. Bob

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

These are biennials, but normally die after flowering and seeding the second year.

If any of the plants show spotting or disease symptoms, please send photos. Once plants are dead, we cannot diagnose the cause.

Cardinal flowers like moisture and can live in marshes and tidal areas. Their foliage is not normally wet all the time, however. Be sure to water at the base of plants, not by sprinkling foliage with overhead watering, which encourages fungal disease. (They do not have to be in soggy, saturated soil all the time.)

Cardinal flowers do not tolerate mulching. If you need to mulch the bed for weed control, keep the mulch away from the base of the plants.

ECN