Wildflowers are charming, from their radiant colors, easy maintenance, and their support to pollinators. When you plant wildflowers, you will improve your soil and prevent erosion. Unfortunately, despite the benefits, wildflowers sometimes fall over.
When your wildflowers are falling over, you can stake the flowers if they occupy a small area. Avoid fertilizing, and regularly prune to promote compact growth. Plant sturdy perennials or prairie grass around wildflowers to provide support. You should also avoid overwatering wildflowers.
Wildflowers often fall over because of weak stems. Several factors contribute to weak stems. I’ll discuss them, including what you can do to ensure your wildflowers don’t fall over.
How To Revive Wildflowers That Fall Over
Wildflowers usually fall over when they grow too tall, or their stems may be too weak. They fall over when it’s too windy or when there’s heavy rainfall. However, sometimes the care you give sunflowers is responsible for their inability to stay upright.
You can do the following to revive wildflowers that fall over:
Stop Watering for Some Time
Wildflowers need plenty of water to thrive. However, when the soil retains too much moisture, the roots are denied oxygen and other nutrients vital for proper growth. When this happens, the stems become weak and fall over. Stop watering for some time to allow the soil to dry, and you will find that your flowers will straighten themselves once more.
Shield the Flowers From Excessive Heat
Sunflowers can withstand high temperatures. However, sometimes they too fall over and start to droop when the heat is excessive. You can also shield the flowers with shade cloth to protect them from the wilting effects of extreme heat or choose a place to plant your flowers that offers shade in the peak midday heat.
Deep Water Wildflowers if They Lack Water
Wildflowers are drought resistant because, as the name suggests, they grow naturally in the world with no one to care for them. However, wildflowers will show signs of dehydration when neglected, especially in summer. Water wildflowers regularly until you quench their thirst.
Add Compost To Improve the Soil’s Drainage
Soils with poor drainage retain water and expose the roots to rot. The effect is the same as overwatering, where wildflowers fall over because the roots are suffocating. Compost will improve the drainage and add nutrients to the soil.
Avoid Using Overhead Sprinklers
Gray mold, aster yellow, mildew, and stem rot are diseases that affect wildflowers. The impact on wildflowers varies. For example, mildew causes the leaves to wilt, the flowers to droop, and the buds to fail to open. Overhead irrigation causes wildflowers to remain damp for too long and vulnerable to diseases.
Add Fertilizer Sparingly
Wildflowers don’t need fertilizer to grow. However, if the soil lacks the necessary nutrients, specifically nitrogen, the flowers will not develop strong stems. Wildflowers rely on a strong root system and stem to remain upright. Low nitrogen fertilizers, such as 5 -10 -10 can help revive weak wildflowers.
Stake Weak Wildflowers
Some sunflowers grow too tall, and the flower gets too heavy for the plant. They usually start falling over when the stem cannot support the weight of the flower. Tie tall flowers to bamboo and any other stick for support.
How To Keep Wildflowers From Falling Over
Wildflowers fall over for various reasons. Their height makes them susceptible to falls due to heavy rain and strong winds. They may also fall over due to overwatering, underwatering, or attacks from pests and diseases. Fortunately, you can take measures to keep wildflowers from falling over.
Stake Wildflowers When You Expect It To Get Windy or Rainy
Avoid zip ties when tying the wildflowers to a cane, bamboo, or fence. They will cut through the stalk and create an inlet for insects and diseases. The damage to the stem may also kill wildflowers.
From my experience, using garden ties that you can cut based on the required length is a better choice. They have a soft side that doesn’t scratch or damage plants and are pretty sturdy.
Avoid Starting the Seeds Indoors
Avoid starting the seeds indoors before transplanting them. Wildflowers suffer transplant shock and will fall over. You should instead wait for the weather to get warmer so that you can sow the seeds outdoors.
Use Plant Support for Wildflowers With Heavy Heads
Remember to set up supports, whether cages or a bamboo stick, early in the growing season to avoid damaging the plant’s roots.
Ensure that your attachment points are plant-friendly and won’t damage your wildflower stems.
Don’t Keep Seedlings in a Container Too Long
You will avoid transplant shock because wildflowers can easily snap or bend over when kept in containers too long. If you have wildflower seedlings, don’t wait too long before transplanting. If the roots grow too big, they can’t draw water properly as they become rootbound. The result will be a dehydrated flower that will fall over.
Plant Wildflowers Close to One Another
Plant wildflowers close to one another for adequate support against strong winds and rain. However, you need to ensure the flowers do not compete with each other to grow. The flowers will have a weak stem that will fall over easily when overcrowded as they cannot gain the nutrients and space for proper growth.
Grow Wildflower Seeds in Peat Pots
Grow wildflowers seeds in peat pots or biodegradable paper, like toilet paper tubes. The peat or paper containers will break down when the soil becomes warm without disturbing your plant’s root system. Thus, you will have seedlings ready to take advantage of the warm weather and have wildflowers ready to bloom during summer.
Water Younger and Mid-Sized Plants Deeply
Water younger and mid-sized plants deeply to ensure they develop strong stems. By the time they mature, the strong stems will support the weight of heavy-headed wildflowers. Mature wildflowers can survive for long without water [How Long Do Sunflowers Last Without Water] because they have a naturally deep root system when fully grown.
Annual Wildflowers Tend To Tilt Over
Annual wildflowers tend to tilt over when they reach the end of their lifecycle. If the wildflowers are mature and have no fungal infection, they may be at the end of their lifecycle. You can cut the blooms, use them as flower arrangements for your home, and wait for the next season’s growth.
Prune Wildflowers in Spring
Prune wildflowers in spring to encourage the growth of more foliage and support for the flowers. You should also cut down the flowers in fall, especially when they have gone to seed. These dead flower heads still place a drain on the plant’s resources. Furthermore, pruning will allow new growth and promote your flower density in the warmer months.
Plant Different Wildflower Varieties
Plant different varieties of wildflowers. If possible, plant different types of wildflowers. The taller flowers will have support from the flowers with lots of foliage. The different, colorful blooms will also add to your flower garden’s beauty, provided that you ensure the plants will not compete for space.
This video gives tips on how to plant wildflowers in the fall.
Tips for Growing a Wildflower Garden
A wildflower garden will add color to your landscape. The plants support other plants because they attract pollinators. They also attract beneficial pests like lady beetles, sphecid wasps, and parasitic wasps.
These tips will help you have a wonderful wildflower garden:
- Plant wildflowers in full sun. Most wildflowers need plenty of sunshine to thrive, so you need to be strategic when choosing where to plant.
- Consider native flowers. Native wildflowers are more likely to thrive with minimal issues.
- Choose wildflower varieties that are easy to grow, and have lasting blooms. Zinnias and marigolds are examples of wildflowers that grow easily from seed.
- Prepare your garden in the fall. Remove the weeds and, if possible, plant the seeds. Cover them with plastic mulch and cardboard. Some flower seeds sometimes need a little exposure to cold to accelerate flowering. The seeds will have an early start when spring rolls over, and by the time the weeds catch up, the flowers will be sprouting.
- Instead of mixed flower seeds, go for individual varieties. Flowers have different needs, and when you start with the wildflower mixes, they may struggle to germinate or even thrive.
- Weeds are a big threat to wildflower gardens. Cover the garden with clear plastic sheeting and allow the garden to bake for at least eight weeks. You will still have to deal with the weeds, but the flowers will have a head start.
Wildflowers are sometimes inclined to fall over due to their weight. Sometimes it is nature’s way of reseeding the ground when the flowers mature. However, when it happens to younger plants or those that have not reached the end of their lifecycle, It is a sign that something is wrong.
You need to analyze the care you give to the wildflowers, the seed variety, attacks of pests and diseases, and the foundation of the flowers. The wildflowers will be healthy if you follow the proper planting, fertilizing, and watering techniques.