Q: Why are there not any petals on my coneflowers? The plant right next to it is beautiful, full of cones with petals.
A: You have coneflower rosette mite.
Here are the typical symptoms:
> cone has tufts, flower petals, if present, are normal in shape or color
> only affects the cone
>tufts/rosettes usually retain some of the original color of the cone
>looks like fuzzy knots or bumps on the cone
Mites live inside the developing flower buds and suck nutrients from the base of the flowers. As a result, rosette-like tufts of stunted and distorted flower parts will sprout from the tops or sides of the cones.
Cutting and destroying flower heads deformed by mite activity will reduce mite populations.