The Q&A Archives: Falling Phlox

Question: We have a field of flox and daisies that we seeded last year and came up nicely this year, plants are 2 - 2.5 feet tall. After several very hard rains, a lot of the flowers fell over or are bending or leaning. Should we cut the stalks down and regenerate the field... or should we just leave them alone? They started leaning about a month ago, so it's unlikely they will straighten up on their own.

Answer: If you cut back the daisies, they may be able to come back and bloom later in the season, but this depends to some extent on what variety they are. When grown in the garden, phlox are typically staked to prevent them from blowing over in storms or splaying open with the weight of their flowers. In a meadow situation, this probably would not be practical. If you cut them back now, you may sacrifice many of the flowers. Since it is a meadow, it may just be best to let nature take its course. One caution in a meadow planting is to not overfertilize because this can lead to weaker stemmed or less thrifty, less wiry or less sturdy plants. They may still surprise you and stand back up, too. Enjoy your meadow -- it is never the same two years in a row!

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