Echinacea: stunted growth?
Hello, I’ve started several Echinacea plants from seed this year. They started well in the ground, but have all remained about 8-10 inches tall. The attached photo indicates a condition I’m observing with a few large leaves developed and a steady continuation of sprouts shooting up around the base of the plant. I’m wondering if this is a normal condition or if something may be causing stunted, shallow growth. The leaves generally seem healthy, there have been some aphids a few weeks ago, but they’ve been removed and stayed away. Thank you for any insights you can share into this condition. Thank you.
Kings County New York
Hello and thank you for contacting us about your echinacea. There are a few reasons why your plants are not growing taller. If you have been fertilizing with a high-nitrogen fertilizer (fish emulsion or other), the plants may be disposed to creating more foliage rather than growing flower stalks. In that case, cut back on the nitrogen. Echnicacea are not heavy feeders and should do well in any good garden soil without nutrient supplements.
If the plants were transplanted to the garden, they may need time to recover from any transplant shock. Another possibility is simply the recent hot weather which has been hard on many plants.
The leaves appear to be healthy, so I would not worry about the health of the plants. Give them another month and you may see a dramatic difference. I'd be interested to know how and when they do finally flower.