The Q&A Archives: My Perennials Lean Over

Question: I have a variety of Perennials planted in beds that border my house. They all seem to lean out , even the ones that are a good 4 feet away from the foundation. The result is a messy, scraggy looking bunch of flowers that actually lay into the lawn. They are watered consistently and mulched. Is there something else I should be doing? Is there another variety of flower that I should try instead?

Answer: Most perennials are self supporting, however some such as peonies, most tall border phlox, hollyhocks, delphiniums and other upright plants may need to be staked in order to stay upright epseically when heavy with bloom. Additional reasons for them to lean would be lack of light and oversupplying them with nitrogen which causes weak growth. Many types of perennials also splay outward if they need to be divided, or if they have not been deadheaded and/or cut back after blooming. You might look back at the basic cultural requirements of your plants and see if you can trouble shoot that way. Alternatively, simply select low growing plants.

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