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Phlox problem

WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 349
edited 25 June in Plants

I’ve just popped into the garden and one of my Phlox pan. has almost completely toppled over. I’ve staked it back upright but it feels as though I could almost pull it out of the ground if I give it a really good tug, the crown is very unstable. It has been rather windy today and I did give it a good water this morning so I’m wondering if that combination has led it to topple?

There are two others nearby and they are perfectly fine despite also being watered and hammered by the wind. All three were purchased a month or so ago and are all doing well.

I think vine weevil can cause plants to become pull-able out of the ground so I’m hoping they’re not the cause.

Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated.



  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,955
    I think it is most likely that the weather is the cause. You only planted them a month ago the roots won't have developed enough yet to anchor them. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,539
    Maybe put a load of manure on it to help it stay down. A strong tripod might help.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,422
    Phlox are terrible floppers. Next year you need to put in plant supports - the Monty ones are great - that can be raised as the plants get taller. 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,118
    Most likely is that this plant hasn't yet had time to establish properly, as it's very new.. It may be slightly more exposed than the other two or have been a little smaller/weaker/younger on planting. It was very windy here yesterday and I was watching my plants taking a battering. Some were clearly benefiting from the presence of a larger neighbour and were protected from the full onslaught.
    Make sure that the roots are fully in the ground, firm them in and keep it staked. Don't let it get too dry but be careful not to overdo the water. That will give it time for the roots to get down into the soil to give it stability. My older, large phlox clumps were some of the beefy neighbours :)

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,955
    @Wildlifelover You only planted it a month ago, is it possible that it was pot bound?  Was the pot small in proportion to the size of the plant? If that was the case did you tease out the roots a little before planting, if the roots are going round and round it won't establish. If you think that is the case a month isn't long, I would dig it up tease the roots and plunge in a bucket of water for half an hour. You could remove some of the top growth and replant or plant in a larger pot let it put out new roots. You will then have a plant that has roots that can cope with the top growth. Cutting back some of the stems may mean no flowers this year but with phlox there is a good chance you may get a few later in the season.
    I am a retired gardener I have seen infestations of Vine Weevil but not that many. They don't march around the garden and have a go at all your plants.[What a thought marching Vine Weevils!]
    With your Phlox this is the best thing to do if it becomes a last measure and it is in a bad way. It has been rocking with the wind which has hi lighted the problem. 
  • WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 349
    Thanks everyone. I always tease out the roots when I buy a new plant so I don’t think that has caused it. Hopefully it’s just a case of new plants, watering maybe a bit much and the strong wind. 

    @GardenerSuze are you saying it isn’t vine weevil - if so that’s a relief!

    I’m going to get some steel rods for some supports just like Monty demonstrated on a video I’ve seen online thanks to Posy. 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,955
    @Wildlifelover There is always a possibility, if a plant collapses that is different. If it is responding well to watering and perks up each morning it should be fine.
  • WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 349
    The plant is absolutely fine to look at, it looks just like the other two and. The only thing is it feels extremely loose in the ground, bit like when a toddler has a wobbly tooth!
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