The Q&A Archives: Kim's Knee High Flower Heads Wilt

Question: This wonderful plant, which I planted last year in its full sun location, grew this year to about 2 feet and has numerous flower heads readying themselves for bloom. Over the last week or so, I noticed that the flower heads and the top 3 - 4 inches of stem droop forward, perk up by the next day, and then droop again. No discoloration or other sign of disease. Could this be from under or over watering?

Answer: I would suspect underwatering first, then possibly some type of root/vascular problem caused by root damage due to overwatering -- this plant does great in a well drained soil that is evenly moist meaning damp like a wrung out sponge, never saturated but also never bone dry. Feel the soil with your finger and see, if it is still moist then don't water. When you do water, apply it slowly and thoroughly at the roots so it soaks in deep where the deepest roots should be. After watering wait a few hours and then dig down and see how far it went -- sometimes this is surprising. Also, remember you are watering if needed to supplement rain -- in your climate you do not need to water all the time. On the other hand, it may be that it is suffering heat stress since it is recovering by morning. Sometimes a plant with a less developed root system will do that, although this plant is very heat tolerant. Generally it would only wilt if very dry. If it is ever still wilted in the morning then it needs water desperately. I hope this helps!

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