Floppy Stem problem

Ive spent a day working in the garden today, and I noticed that alot of the plants which I have seen elsewhere standing tall and proud (eg verbena bonariensis, ammi amongst others) are, in my garden, rather too floppy.  And then tonight, watching Gardeners World on the internet, Monty's cosmos were pert and upright whilst mine droop  Am I lacking Pottasium in the soil as I have read somewhere?  Or something else?  And if there is a lack in the soil, when should I be treating it - can I do it now in the autumn?  I usually mulch every spring with home made compost, but dont add much beyond the odd bit of liquid feed during the summer.  Also we've been overseas for a few years and this is my first season back, so it might be that our tenants simply didnt manage the soil the way I would have done.  Any ideas would be welcome, thanks 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,892

    Maybe they just need some support - put some bushy twigs in during the spring http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=672 .

    Also, I once had a north-facing garden where some plants got a bit long and leggy  - could this be a problem for you?

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,110

    Also, Monty's show was filmed about 3 weeks ago I think, so maybe your flowers have just come to an end, for this season at least, the cosmos wont grow again but you will be inundated with little verbena bons next year!.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Thank you.  I did support the verbena and it still went lazy on me!  But I do take your points about it being late in the year, and as the plants went in new this year after I returned it might be that they didnt properly 'bed in'.  I'll see how they go next year. 

    I do appreciate the advice!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    All the advice sounds good adam - just another thought- are they a bit dry? Those plants are usually in sunny spots so if the soil's sharp and free draining they may just need some extrs watering. Some of my taller plants have been a bit droopy as it's been very dry here recently.

  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,121

    Think they do like to be kept watered,  I have some, - mine aren't floppyimage

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