The Q&A Archives: Flooded Flowers

Question: We've had some flooding in Pennsylvania, and yesterday my stream gardens went underwater. The Shastas took a heavy hit. Beautiful 18 inch plants were budding, but now they are flat and refuse to respond to my gentle propping up. Should I consider cutting them back, perhaps as low as 6 inches? Ditto the Black-eyed Susans?

Answer: Your plants are showing stress due to root suffocation (lack of oxygen in the soil). How long they were flooded will make a difference in their recovery rate. I'd give them another week or 10 days to recover. If they still look wilty then you can cut them back. Plants can be quite resilient so give them a chance to recover on their own. You might be surprised. If not, you can always prune them back. Best wishes with your landscape!

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