Cutleaf Coneflowers: These plants were bushy and short when they first start growing, but then became about six feet tall in their second year. Coneflowers are perennials, though they will appear to die in the winter. When the plant starts to appear dead, cut the stems down the the base of the soil. We have been studying ozone damage on coneflowers since 2014. Coneflowers have yellow flowers that grow near the top of the plant, and attract bees.
Milkweed: This is another perennial that we have grown and studied since 2014. Milkweed grow shorter than coneflowers. These plants attract a complex ecosystem of bugs, including aphids, ants, and lady bugs. The plants can live with some aphids, but the number of aphids can overwhelmed the plant if you do not squish some every once and a while. The aphids love a white milky liquid that drips out of the plant when cut. In the second year of growing milkweed, the plants began growing small flowers that eventually turned into large seed pods. Like coneflowers, milkweed stems appear to die as winter approaches, and must be cut down to the base of the soil.
Snapbeans: Snapbeans are the shortest of our ozone sensitive plants. These plants grow green bean pods of which the plants are named after. The bean pods are edible raw or cooked. Snapbeans have been hard to grow, since they attract multiple types of damage other than ozone. In 2014, spider mites killed our snapbean crop. The following year, something else killed them. We also grew snapbeans that were bred to tolerate ozone. Snap beans are annuals.
Potatoes: Yes, potatoes are ozone sensitive! However, there are potatoes that have been bred to tolerate ozone. Click here to read a post we wrote about growing and harvesting potatoes. Potatoes are annual.