The Q&A Archives: Why are my perennials laying on open on the ground?

Question: I have several perennials that their stems and blossoms have laid down on the ground in a circle fashion. The roots are in a ball shape above ground. One of them started this very early in June. Shortly after the first blossoms appeared. I have watered them on the ground not in the middle of the plant. I may have been over watering, I watered them every day. have also had a very hot summer of a 100 degrees or more, most of the summer. Help!

Answer: Watering every day can keep the soil too wet and essentially suffocate the roots of your plants. So, even in hot weather, you'll want to water deeply but infrequently. It sounds as though your plants were not planted deeply enough if their root systems are showing up above ground. The roots should be under at least two inches of soil. I think the only solution to the problems in your flower bed is to dig out the plants, amend the soil with some organic matter, then replant at the proper depth. After digging the plants, place them on a tarp and cover the roots so they don't dry out in the hot sunshine. Set the tarp in a shady spot in your garden while you amend the planting bed. Simply spread 4-5" of organic matter over the entire bed and dig it in to a depth of about 8". Then level the area and replant your perennials, making sure that the entire root mass is in the ground. Fill in and around the plants and gently tamp the soil down, then water everything well to help settle the soil. When you water, apply water slowly so it has a chance to trickled down and wet the entire rootmass. Once or twice a week should be all your perennials need. You should see them perk up within a few weeks.

Best wishes with your garden!

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