yr02701
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Help! My coneflowers are dying!

I just bought some purple cone flowers a couple of weeks ago. I transposed them into a pot and put on my front porch, which faces east and gets the longest sunlight. I have been watering when I feel the soil is getting too dry. There have been new buds appear, but now the stalks are drooping and some of the leaves are dying. I don't know what I am doing wrong. Please help!

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Kisal
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How large is the container? Could they be root bound?

Does the container have drainage holes, and did you use a rapidly draining soil? Coneflowers don't need much water and are quite tolerant of drought.
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yr02701
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My container is about medium size (10-12 inches deep) and I just read my soil bag and it is moisture control potting soil.

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Kisal
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You may be overwatering them. I honestly don't know what "moisture control" on the label of a bag of potting soil actually means. It could mean that it helps the soil retain water, or it could mean that it drains rapidly. You can tell by looking at the soil itself. Is it kind of sandy/gritty, with a lot of perlite? That would be a rapid-draining soil. Does it contain a lot of largish pieces of organic material, like bark? That could indicate a soil with a lot of peat moss, that would retain a lot of water.

What is the diameter of the container, and how many plants did you put in it?

A good way to tell what's going on would be to gently remove the plant from the container. If done carefully, removing the plant from the container will do it no harm. You will be able to see if the pot is too full of roots, or if the soil is too wet. :)
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yr02701
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The container is about 12 inches in diameter and it is the only plant in the pot. The soil does have a lot of organic material. Maybe I am over-watering it. How often should you water? It said to water more frequently until established and if is wilting to water more often. I did remove the plant and the roots are still in a ball with plenty of root for growth.

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Kisal
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One possibility is that the water you're giving it is just running down through the fresh soil and not penetrating the original root ball. It might help to water the plant once by submersion to get the entire thing thoroughly watered. After that, you can water from the top again.

You'll need a watertight tub large enough to accept the new pot with the plant in it. The tub should be taller than the plant's container. Place the plant, in its container, in the tub, then fill the tub with water up to the top of the plant's container. You don't want the water to go over the rim of the plant's container, just up the side almost to the top. Then, wait until the soil has become completely wet on the surface and you no longer see air bubbles breaking the surface of the water.

Just a suggestion. This has worked for me several times. :)
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yr02701
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Thank you so much for your time I really appreciate it!

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Kisal
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Let me know if it works for you. I remember a member who was having a similar problem with his tomato plants a few years ago, and I suggested that he submerge them in water this way. It solved the problem for him, and I hope it does for you, as well. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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I think the moisture control potting soil has polymers in it that hold water and give it back when the soil starts to dry. That means you probably need to water less often.

But kisal's submersion idea is a good one. Sometimes potting soils with peat moss can be difficult to wet. The peat actually repels water (like running off a dry sponge), so the water goes through without actually wetting the soil. Once you get it thoroughly wet, you shouldn't have that problem again unless you let it totally dry out again.

I accidentally used the moisture control potting soil this spring for seed starting and didn't like it very much.
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