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Wildflowers too tall and laying down

jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
Just wondering if anyone growing wildflowers has had this problem ... the bees aren't put off but it makes lawnmowing a bit awkward and I'd rather they stood up more straight, even 45 degrees ... anybody have any ideas?


  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Tie them up with a bamboo cane mate. Have you had and of these downpours we've had this week ?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,852
    The cause is often down to the soil being too rich.
    Wildflowers grow short and strong on poor soils and stay upright. On good soil they make the most of it and grow quickly then when we get strong winds and rain they collapse.
    Probably not much consolation, but my cornflowers are almost in the same situation
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    Ok thanks + I might get out there with some canes but there's a fair few of them ...

    The soil is very dry and I didn't enrich it at all, but we're on clay here in Sussex and I think there are a fair few nutrients in there.

    Would chopping them to half encourage any new flowers, just out of pure curiosity?
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,572
    edited June 2019
    I would suggest you invest in / make some low hurdles or hoops to edge the wildflower patch.

    I have some 8" high metal ones which I bought years ago. When they're pushed into the ground they are about 6" high and are just enough for plants to flop against and keep them off the lawn. You can't see them once the plants grow over them.

    Put them in (set about 4" from the grass) when the plants are about 6" high. You can also put them further into the bed to stop plants at the back collapsing onto ones at the front.

    If you get can get hold of whippy hazel shoots you can make edging hoops for free which do exactly the same job. Just push both ends into the ground at a distance which gives you the right height of hoop (which you can vary according to the plants you're growing.. They look attractive and quite natural. I like to overlap mine so they are more decorative.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,135
    edited June 2019
    Try and get some bendy sticks/branches and try this, don’t tie up to canes, it looks horrible. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    Lyn said:
    Try and get some bendy sticks/branches and try this, don’t tie up to canes, it looks horrible. 

    that's a great idea will try that :smile:
  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 905
    Lyn those look great.
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,310
    I had the same problem with my Comfrey @jamesharcourt and I put it down to early weak growth in that hot spell with short days, followed by torrential rain and high winds. Don't know how it's been further south   :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    I'm surprised no-one's pointed the accusing finger yet at that dense dark hedge behind them.  Plants that normally grow in fields and meadows are adapted to having sunlight all day long and from every direction.  In a situation where they get light only on one side for part of the day, they will grow taller and lean towards the light to make the most of what's available.  This makes for top-heavy plants on weak stems, so they often end up falling flat on their faces.  If you could move them into a more open situation, they should do better.  

    There are plenty of wild flowers which will thrive in this situation, they will be the species that are found in hedgerows, such as wild roses, native primroses and foxgloves.
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    Thanks @josusa47, sadly i'm limited for space.  I am however going to increase the wildflower area as I love the way they look and the pollinators love it too.  Hopefully with more growing in that area (which is south facing) they will get sun for most of the day.
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