I recently bought 2 potted coneflowers in April. One already had 2 fully bloomed flowers when i bought the container. They would wilt during the day and get better in cooler evenings/overnight. I thought it needs to be transplanted, so I planted them on the ground. They still stay too much stressed during the day. The leaves edges have started browning and drying. The flower wilt as if it is going to die soon. The entire plant droop/sag. But overnight they get better and upright. I am in Toronto Canada and the weather is not too bad. What is happening to my coneflowers? Did I get a bad batch to begin with? Please help.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Coneflowers, Echinacea spp., are generally fairly resilient plants. They like sun and sufficient water but will grow in a variety of conditions. There are several pests that can affect Coneflowers and I have attached a resource below. However, based on your photo and explanation, I wonder if the problem is more straightforward. It is possible your plants are getting too much heat in the daytime and possibly not enough water, as the plants wilt in the daytime and perk up at night. Some sun-loving plants will droop a bit in extreme heat and we have had a few days of that in Toronto this season. Water regularly and deeply at the plant base. You are aiming for the dampness of a well wrung out sponge – not water-logged soil.
Do you recall what the condition of the roots was when you planted the Coneflower? If the roots were “pot bound” – many roots tightly encircling the base of the plant – they may need to be loosened up to better enable them to draw moisture and nutrients from the soil. If you suspect this to be the case, you could replant the flowers, gently loosening the roots in the process.
If none of this is helpful, you may want to reach out the Nursery / store where you purchased the plants to see if they will consider a replacement or refund.
Best of luck!