Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
I have forgotten my password
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Perennials in borders often put on strong lush growth that makes them vulnerable to collapse, especially after heavy rain or strong winds. Staking them early in the season will help avoid disaster. In particular; tall plants and hybrids with large flowers require additional support.
Staking plants in borders is done for various reasons:
Growing perennials on nutrient-rich soils or overfeeding can exacerbate the problem as it encourages soft growth that is more likely to need additional support.
Plant supports should be ideally inserted in spring, before plants have made too much growth. The plants will then grow through the support and hide it from view. Later staking is difficult as plant growth is more advanced and can easily be damaged. It may be necessary to continue tying the stems or raise the level of the used supports as the plant grows.
However, emergency staking is often necessary. Badly bent or snapped stems should be cut off cleanly. Regrowth may follow and the cut flower stems can be enjoyed in the vase. Otherwise, make-shift supports should be set up as soon as possible to minimise further damage and prevent flopped plants smothering neighbouring plants.
Some points to consider when staking
Prevent physical damage to plants during the staking process by inserting supports starting early in the season when the growth commences.
Tying stems too tightly to the support can lead to stem damage.
Secure growing stems regularly or add another tier of string or netting to prevent the plants outgrowing the support and subsequent damage.
Make sure that supports for tall plants and large clumps are well anchored in the ground to prevent the support with the plants to be blown over.
Cut flowers: cutting and conditioningHerbaceous perennialsOrnamental grassesPerennialsPerennials: cutting backPerennials: dividingPerennials: planting
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
LindyG on 05/05/2014
what are link stakes and back to back border restrains?
Guy Barter (RHS Staff) on 11/09/2014
Link stakes are easy: http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/the-original-link-stakes-plant-supports-pid7646.html but 'back to border restraints' is unclear - we will try to phrase this better - basically tying to stakes etc at the back of the border.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.