Urban Garden Denver Blog

Stand Tall

Why is it that plants which naturally grow tall don’t have strong enough stems to stay upright? If I were in charge of evolutionary botany, any plant that grew over 2 feet tall would have very sturdy stems. Some plants to live up to their tall promise. Daylilies have great stems that push up high and stay upright even in the midst of wind and rain (which we have had lots of lately). I put a tomato cage around my peony plants each spring, so the foliage can grow up through the cage and the huge blossoms don’t end up bowed to the ground. A peony can’t naturally hold up its amazing blossoms.

One way around this is to plant short varieties of plants. For example, Shasta daisies always seem to fall over, so I planted a dwarf variety several years ago and my daisy section has survived the crazy weather the last couple of weeks, including several torrential downpours.

Dwarf Daisies

But a garden of plants all under 2 feet tall isn’t very interesting, so I have some taller plants mixed into my perennial garden, and right now the coneflowers are laying on the ground.  Even in years with less wind and rain they don’t seem to have strong enough stems to stay upright. The problem is they are spread through the garden, so it is hard to stake up each individual blossom, and now it’s probably too late, since they are all laying on the ground. I did stake up my lilies, but they are all close to a fence, so it is simple to tie them up to the fence.

Top-Heavy Coneflowers

Meanwhile I am thankful for the rain, since it means I don’t have to water my yard. And I’ll look around for more plants that can stand tall for future plantings.


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