When your garden flowers droop

Stems of flowering plants may droop from the weight of blooms. When that happens, it is time to give the flowering plant some support. For bushy flowering plants like peony or multi-stem tall flowering plants like iris, set the support just as the plants starts to grow in the spring. Set supports for individual flowers, like the oriental lily called 'Stargazer', as you notice the stem starting to droop. Choose from almost hidden to colorful, eye-catching support for drooping flowers.

Support for bushy flowering plants

Some gardeners never see their peony blooms bow over. I am not one of those lucky gardeners. I found that a tomato cage does the job supporting peony blooms. Place the tomato cage over a growing flowering plant. As the plant grows, encourage the flower stems to remain inside the cage for support. For shorter plants, use wire cutters to remove the lower wire ring plus some length from the wire legs so the cage sits closer to the ground. Better Homes and Gardens has a clever idea to place a plant saucer on the top of a tomato cage. Filled with water, the tomato cage serves double duty as a birdbath.

Chicken wire is comparable in design to a tomato cage and cost effective. Make a ring with the chicken wire using the diameter of the plant's base for the circumference of wire. You may find that you need to imbed the cage into the ground to keep it from tipping over. Pins used to hold landscape fabric in place might also do the trick to hold the ring of chicken wire in place.

Support for multi-stem tall flowering plants

Set a garden obelisk in the form of a teepee over a plant such as iris. A garden obelisk designed with cross beams provides excellent support for stems unable to hold a bloom upright. As blooms develop, direct the buds to the preferred opening on the obelisk.
 
Tall stakes available at your local home and garden center are another option to corral wayward blooms. Paint the stakes dark green or brown, if desired, to help them blend into your landscape design project. Drill holes through the stakes about every 6 inches. The height of the stake can be about 6 inches shorter than the full height of the plant, but remember to keep about 6 inches in your calculations for the part of the stake in the ground. Start with three or four stakes evenly spaced around the perimeter of the plant. Run string through the holes.
 
Support for single stem flowering plants
 
Check your local home and garden center for stakes specifically designed to support a single plant. The stakes may be about the diameter of a pencil (or larger) and perhaps made of bamboo. Push the stake into the ground 1 to 2 inches from the blooming plant. Use a piece of twine 6 to 8 inches long to secure the stem to the stake in two or three locations, such as beneath a leaf and directly under the bloom. Cross the twine between the stem and stake, and then loosely tie the twine in a knot (or bow tie for easy removal). For a more decorative approach, use a lawn ornament or garden art for flower support.

Ensure your peony will bloom
Stargazer oriental lily
Purple coneflower—Echinacea