Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 16, 2015

From: North Branch, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Goldsturm Rudbeckia Stunted and Doesn't Bloom
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have Goldsturm Rudbeckia that never flowers nor gets taller than 4 inches. Meanwhile, my phlox does fantastic in the same area. This area is sand top dressed with black dirt. Please help! Goldsturm grows for everyone!

ANSWER:

You are correct, Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' is usually a very reliable bloomer. The Missouri Botanical Garden have the following information about Goldsturm Rudbeckia on their website...

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates hot and humid summers and some drought. Tolerates light shade, but best in full sun. Deadhead to prolong bloom. Divide when clumps become overcrowded. Plants do not come true from seed (must be vegetatively propagated). Some nurseries sell seed-grown plants, however, as Goldsturm strain.

This coneflower cultivar is an upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall. Features large, daisy-like flowers (3-4" across) with deep yellow rays and dark brownish-black center disks. Flowers appear singly on stiff, branching stems in a prolific, long-lasting, mid-summer-to-fall bloom. Oblong to lanceolate, dark green foliage. Good fresh cut flower. Mass in bold drifts in the perennial border, cottage garden, prairie, meadow or naturalized area. Provides excellent bloom and color for late summer.

A common problem of this cultivar is angular leaf spot caused by a bacterium. The disease causes brown or black angular spots on the leaves which can expand to blacken the whole leaf. Infection begins on the lower leaves and moves up the plant. Rudbeckias are also susceptible to septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Rudbeckia, though, are sometimes attacked by a bacteria-like organism called Aster Yellows that is spread from plant to plant by a leafhopper. The University of Minnesota Extension have the following information: Aster yellows has an exceptionally large host range that includes purple coneflower, aster, marigold, goldenrod, cosmos and other members of the daisy family (Compositae). The symptoms that result from this disease are witches' brooms, flowers appearing out of the 'cone', leaves sprouting from flowers, dwarfing and yellows. The pathogen, a phytoplasma, is a bacterium-like organism without the cell wall. It is an obligate pathogen and can be conclusively identified only by laboratory analysis.The phytoplasma is spread by a leafhopper vector. Management options are limited to 'search and destroy'. Infected plants should be removed and thrown away. Early season control of the leafhopper vector and removal of weed hosts may help prevent re-infection.

 

From the Image Gallery


Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Ostrya virginiana Compatible with Juglone
May 17, 2015 - Is Ostrya virginiana sensitive to juglone?
view the full question and answer

Sooty mold on Texas Sage in Heath TX
December 09, 2010 - I have a Texas Sage that has developed a mildew, blight, fungus or (?) condition. Something has attacked the leaves with a black sooty condition. What is this and what can I do to help this plant thri...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Are brown junipers (Juniperus ashei) dead?
November 08, 2011 - If the cedar/junipers in our area are brown, will they ever come back green? Or just clear them out as dead. There are many of them due to the drought. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.