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Floppy plants



We have a border of achillea, stipa tennuisima, verbena, saliva. It has all gone very floppy. We have had some heavy downpours this summer but wondered if there was anything else that could have contributed and what can we do about it. We have put some plant supports in along the border but the plants will just flop over the top. Thanks 

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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,299
    Welcome to the Forum. 
    I have to say, I rather like the floppiness. The trouble is , if you try to prop them up now, they might look a bit " corseted" .
    Put some supports in place next spring , but I'd just let them be this year. 
    Devon.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,991
    @Hostafan1 is right - get some supports in quite early on so that they become invisible by the time the plants get bigger. The plants will then look naturally upright. They don't need to be posh ones - canes and string will work just as well as expensive shop bought ones, although not quite so attractive early on.
    The grasses look better if allowed to do their own thing though, but it's harder to get the right look with them in a very narrow border, rather than in a bigger one where surrounding planting will help support them, while still allowing a certain amount of 'floppiness'  :)
    When you cut the grass, it's worth putting something in at the edge to avoid chopping bits you don't want chopped! Not that I speak from experience or anything....
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Hostafan1 said:
    Welcome to the Forum. 
    I have to say, I rather like the floppiness. The trouble is , if you try to prop them up now, they might look a bit " corseted" .
    Put some supports in place next spring , but I'd just let them be this year. 
    Thanks for that. My husband isn't that bothered by the floppiness either! Yes, the supports don't do that much really, they just flop over further up. We'll try that next year. My husband also says he might do a Chelsea chop to keep them abit shorter and bushier. 
  • Fairygirl said:
    @Hostafan1 is right - get some supports in quite early on so that they become invisible by the time the plants get bigger. The plants will then look naturally upright. They don't need to be posh ones - canes and string will work just as well as expensive shop bought ones, although not quite so attractive early on.
    The grasses look better if allowed to do their own thing though, but it's harder to get the right look with them in a very narrow border, rather than in a bigger one where surrounding planting will help support them, while still allowing a certain amount of 'floppiness'  :)
    When you cut the grass, it's worth putting something in at the edge to avoid chopping bits you don't want chopped! Not that I speak from experience or anything....
    Thanks for your advice! 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,299
    @Fairygirl
    I love it when folk say I'm right, tee hee. ( doesn't happen often though  ;) )
    Devon.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,535
    I think that looks lovely! Young Achillea tend to flop, I have found, but strengthen and straighten themselves up over time. Non of those plants like a particularly rich soil, they prefer a gritty, free-draining medium so it could be that as well, combined with the excess rain. You may find they sort themselves out next year, but I agree with getting plant supports in early, just in case - my heleniums have now outgrown their supports and trying to prop them up later with taller ones means they now look a bit trussed up.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,850
    and grow them 'hard' they don't need water once established, or too rich a soil.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    The grass are small clumps, so will flop at this stage. Once they mature and everything thickens up, they will grow more stout. Agree with the rest, don't need to feed any of the plants, keep the soil free draining and they will eventually thicken out and support each other.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,991
    I agree - none of those need additional food. 
    In a more densely planted area, the other plants provide support, especially if you have a couple of shrubbier, tougher specimens. Harder in a small space though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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