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Why do most all of the flowers in my garden flop over?

Even one’s that don’t require staking. Is it possible my garden soil is lacking something? I have mostly drought tolerant plants, like purple coneflower, butterfly weed, shasta daisy etc. I don’t hardly ever water because, last year I thought too much watering was what made them flop. My garden gets about six hours of sun light.

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4 Responses to “Why do most all of the flowers in my garden flop over?”

  1. lana s

    I would like to know that too. I am in southern Oklahoma and we have had plenty of rain and if dry I water. I added the right soil first and planted petunias, zinnias and marigolds. They have gotten too tall and are flopping over.

  2. gardengallivant

    Weak stems that do not stand up well when the blossoms are out indicates either a weak stemmed variety, a phosphorus deficiency, or the plant is in too much shade.

    Often plants fail to stand because they receive to much nitrogen so produce rapid green growth. Fertilize with a balanced, high-phosphorus fertilizer. That is the P of N-P-K. Give the plants bone meal and kelp meal or other low nitrogen, complete 5-10-10, slow release fertilizer. The larger amounts of P & K will give the plants stronger stems and less top growth but more flowers.
    Keep in mind that nitrogen is readily leached (washed through soil) but phosphorus and potassium are not, meaning they require less frequent application. Look for water insoluble nitrogen (WIN) on the label. The higher the WIN number, the longer lasting and the safer for the environment the fertilizer will be.
    Fertilizer application needs to be more frequent in sandy soils, but with lower rates each time due to leaching potential of sand.

    You say only 6 hours of light and that is pushing it on some plants if the shade is in the afternoon when they would receive the strongest light normally. Coneflowers don’t mind morning shade but afternoon shade will make them reach for light.
    One way to deal with this is to pinch plants forcing them to produce shorter stems. You will get smaller heads on plants like sedum or phlox but this can be very useful in keeping tall plants from flopping.
    There is a great book available byTracy Disabato-Aust on perennial care. She details when, how, and what can be pinched for shaping. http://www.timberpress.com/authors/id.cfm/380
    There are grow through grids that disappear in the foliage as the plant grows. These can be expensive or cheap. i know someone who uses old BBQ grills for this and in England they save small forked branches to push in the soil to act as supports for plants that tend to fall over.

  3. Cloud G

    idk maybe the wait from the tops of them get to heavy and flop over because the stems arnt strong enough

  4. duelly

    you did not say where you lived. lack of moisture with extreme heat {80deg and up} will cause them to flop. six hours of high temp will do that.

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