From the desk of Lisa Graf…
How to Prop Up your Plants
It’s time to prop up your perennials as they come into bloom. Droopy stems are often the case with perennials when the flowers are large and the stems are weak especially after a storm. It is easy to use plant props to hold them up without a lot of tying. Just slide the prop into the ground and then slip the stem into the ring at the top. You can also use other plant supports such as a ½ circle shaped support or a peony ring. Plant supports are relatively inexpensive so I bought a few every year until I had a good collection of them to use as needed. The other benefit of plant props is they are painted green so they are very inconspicuous.
Every year after the first hard thunderstorm in June my ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas lay over into the grass. The stems are just not strong enough to support the weight of the flowers. I love the big white flowers that fade to green and it’s a great plant for the shade garden however I hate when they droop. This year I decided to create a cage around them with wire fencing in April. It was not very attractive until the leaves covered them about a month later however now you can’t see the fencing at all. I would also mention that I tried this once before with marginal success because I waited too long and the plants were too big so the fence was not supporting the stems. If your ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas are drooping after the storm put it on your calendar to cage them early next spring.
We’ll help you keep your garden looking good all summer. Stop in to learn various ways to support your perennials and prevent droopy stems.
By the way…
Do you have your tickets yet?
Each year I take a few minutes to tell you about the Tour of Gardens hosted by the Master Gardeners of Summit County. I attend the tour every year and always find it inspiring to see the work of other gardeners. Sometimes I enjoy or relate to the gardens better than other times, however, every time I take away a few new ideas, see a plant in a different way or learn of a new plant for my garden. It is a short drive-it yourself tour with at least 6 stops (sometimes more) I encourage you to invite a friend and plan to attend. This year the tour is on June 25 and tickets must be purchased in advance. They are available at Graf Growers and other garden centers. Be sure to pick them up early as they always sell out fast. Enjoy!