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Purple Coneflower Transplant Help

Jordan Pogorzelski
May 14, 2019


I purchased two purple coneflowers, two asters, and two blazing stars to begin a small native pollinator garden. After adding some mushroom compost and transplanting, the purple coneflowers seem to be struggling. I transplanted approximately two weeks ago and the asters and blazing stars seem totally fine. The two purple coneflowers are pictured below.

I can't imagine it's a water issue... we've gotten plenty of rain here in SE Wisconsin. Is this just a run-of-the-mill transplant shock or something more? What can I do?

Thanks in advance!

Comments (12)

  • Em Dash
    not an expert, but I think that they can be weak their first year. I planted some last year and while they hung in, they didn't flourish. they seem to be growing strongly this year. too early for flowers, but promising.
    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked Em Dash
  • Jordan Pogorzelski

    Em, I believe the nursery told me this was their second year of life! They looked perfectly healthy before I transplanted them.

  • Em Dash
    I suggest seeing if they hang in there. will nursery take them back if they die?
    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked Em Dash
  • Kathleen Smith Zone 4b, Northern MI

    They look ok to me. Keep them moist, and don't let them get dried up by too much sun. I think they will survive.

    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked Kathleen Smith Zone 4b, Northern MI
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I would expect it is the mushroom compost. Echinacea have a very low tolerance for salts and mushroom compost typically rates rather high in soluble salts.

    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • lindahambleton

    Interesting gardengal 48

    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked lindahambleton
  • Jordan Pogorzelski

    Gardengal, any way to combat the salinity? Do you think they will be okay?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Just keep flushing the area well with water. This will dilute the salts to the point where they will have minimal adverse impact.

    And be careful how you use mushroom compost. It is best if used to amend soil well in advance of any plantings. "There are several uses for mushroom compost. It can be used as soil amendment for lawns, gardens, and container plants. However, this product should be used with caution due to its high soluble salt levels. These salt levels can kill germinating seeds, harm young seedlings, and cause damage to salt-sensitive plants."

    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • Jordan Pogorzelski

    Thank you for your suggestions... is it possible my sunflower seedlings (planted elsewhere with mushroom compost) were killed from the salinity as well?! The more you know!

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Yes, it is certainly possible. The tiny, fine roots of any seedlings can be adversely affected, as can seed germination.

    Mushroom compost can be potent stuff!! :-)

    Jordan Pogorzelski thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska

    In central Nebraska my coneflowers are just breaking dormancy, much later than other plants. It may have been a bit cool or wet at the initial transplant. I think they'll do fine with time. They look healthy and of established size.

  • bellburgmaggie
    Perennials generally creep the first year in your garden and leap the second year. It’s not the age of the plant that counts but how long it’s been in your garden.

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