Phlox Is Stunted And Flower Heads Turned Brown And Did Not Open And Thistle Flowers Turned Brown

Question From: Madison, Virginia, United States
Q: For the 2nd year, my phlox is stunted and the flower heads have turned brown and never opened. They don't seem to fit into looking like the typical phlox diseases. Also, my globe thistle flowers never turned blue, but instead are brown. The thistle plants themselves, are very bushy and healthy, not like the phlox which looks sick.

A: Your phlox probably have a virus or a fungal disease. After two seasons it is well established so I would dig them out and dispose of them and replace them with something else. Globe thistle does best in dry weather. Too much rain, fertilizing and poor drainage - any or all will encourage disease which is probably what hit your plants. Best Nancy