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#94980 Jul 22nd, 2007 at 11:22 AM
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I have a purple coneflower that increased greatly in size this summer. I went out of town for 3 weeks and when I returned I found the plant sprawled out from the middle with most of the stalks lying down. What can I do to help this plant or should I leave it alone? I know I need to deadhead this plant to prolong the flowering season, but it is hard to tell which ones are dead. Thanx, Cindi


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Collegegirl2007 #94983 Jul 22nd, 2007 at 11:42 AM
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Welcome, Cindi. It sounds like a little TLC and water will help your plant the most. If any part starts browning/dying do cut it off. Let it put it's energy into recovery of the parts that will.


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Tina #95387 Jul 22nd, 2007 at 09:08 PM
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Cindi,

If it looks messy or if it's smashing another plant, you would want to stake it up. To do this, you can buy some half moon stakes at a good garden center and just prop those stems back up. If your plant is big, you'll need 3 and they can run $7.00-8.00 each. It won't look good, because the flower stems have bent, but it will work and can be used from year to year for various plants like Peonies.

Or you can get a stout stake (not a little flimsy bamboo stake, but something substantial) and run it down beside the crown of the plant. One by one, gently get the stems to a more upright position and tie them using a figure eight -- one 1/2 loop around the plant and one 1/2 loop around the stake.
This is time consuming, and also, the flowers will be facing the wrong direction, but they might straighten up. The other peoblem with this is the length of twine you use will be very visible and none too attractive.

Alternately, you could cut the stems down so you have the crown of the plant, with some short stems, saving as many leaves on the stems as possible, by cutting down the flowers with the longest stems possible. You'll still have to stake the plant if it throws more stems. To do it this way, you can use the flimsy bamboo stakes (the ones they sell in 3 or 4 foot lengths in a pack of 10) and make a sort of ring, or corset. Or you could tie each stem to a bamboo stake.

I don't know why some Echinaceas do this and some don't. I drive by houses that have huge beds of this stuff maybe 10 feet x 20 feet and it's obvious they don't garden at all and the flowers are standing straight up. Come to my house, where I slave away on my garden daily and I have a huge 'Magnus' coneflower that sprawled like yours. Is it too much love? (Water & fert) or Not enough sun? Or just the habit of the plant? I don't know,, but would love to hear from anybody else who has this problem!

You could also do nothing and leave it alone. :)


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PartyGirl #95399 Jul 22nd, 2007 at 09:44 PM
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i have some that do that and some that don't. until last year all the coneflowers were in one spot - some years they would get really tall, others not as high and sometimes (regardless of height) some parts would be bent over and others weren't.

i started dividing/moving them to other areas last year and some didn't grow too well at all...guess they didn't like being moved.

this year, all those bunches that i moved last year came back with a VENGEANCE!!

i've got one group that is 3 feet x 4 feet and it was just a half dozen or so plants last year! there are over 25 flowers (as opposed to about 8-10 last year) in that one section.

so, location, soil and water do make a difference. as does the weather conditions.

as for them leaning over, i'd put that off to some animal traipsing through your lovely gardens on a midnight stroll!! also, if you were away for a bit and it didn't rain much while you were away, that could also be part of the problem - not enough water for them to bounce back after being walked on.

to make it look nicer and quickly, some staking is in order, as the others suggested. if they are near a fence, you could just run a piece of twine around them and tie it off on the fence. i do that with the gladiola's every year - yes, the twine is a bit visible...that's not that big a deal tho as no one looks at it because the flowers are so pretty. and this year, the twine won't be visible at all because i put a bunch of the coneflowers in front of the glads and they're going to block the view of the twine :wink: actually, the coneflowers are SO tall this year, i'm not sure if the glads will top them or not!


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Joclyn #95560 Jul 23rd, 2007 at 06:19 AM
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Welcome Cindi!

My coneflower "hedge" sprawled out wide on the ground this past week during the heavy rains we had - I was so disappointed. After my husband weed-whacked a good deal of the flowers that were on the ground :mad:, I asked him to help me tie the rest of it up yesterday. I put in 2 stakes - one in the front and one in the back, and we ran a cord around the entire area. It's not as pretty as it had been, but at least I'll be able to salvage it for the rest of this growing season. (It's raining pretty hard as I type!)


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plants 'n pots #95974 Jul 23rd, 2007 at 08:30 PM
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I "fence" mine in by placing those plastic garden edging, (its about 8 inches high after you stick it in the ground?) in front & along the sides of my condflowers. they stand straight & tall that way.--OH--my bed is up against my house so the are in effect supported on all 4 sides. But it works well.


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