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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 conditioningOrnamental grassesPerennialsPerennials: cutting backPerennials: dividingPerennials: planting
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