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If you’ve planted coreopsis, a flowering plant with blooms resembling daisies, you might notice that it’s leaning and falling over as the plant grows. Unfortunately, struggling to support itself damages the plant and indicates that it may not be getting proper care. So, how do you keep your coreopsis from falling over?
You can keep your coreopsis from falling over by staking it to remain upright and erect. Also, ensure the plant receives plenty of sunlight to prevent legginess, and avoid overwatering to keep stems strong. To encourage strong and healthy growth, provide nitrogen-balanced fertilizers when needed.
In this article, I’ll explain more about these ways of preventing your coreopsis plants from falling over. Keep reading to learn caretaking tips to ensure your plant stays strong and standing tall!
1. Prevent Your Coreopsis From Becoming Leggy
Coreopsis plants become leggy because they stretch to reach the light source. Plants encounter this common problem when they don’t get enough light they need. Legginess can cause the plants to flop over, become spindly, or produce fewer blooms.
To prevent this, be sure to provide your coreopsis with enough light. Generally, these plants prefer full-sun conditions. Notably, they can tolerate some shade during the day, but this will reduce how many flowers grow on the plant.
Moreover, when grown in the shade, coreopsis plants become leggy and attract mildew diseases, such as powdery mildew.
When growing coreopsis plants in pots, be sure to place them in a sunny window, so they receive enough light every day. Also, to encourage uniform growth, take the time to rotate the pots so that all sides of the plant receive light.
2. Don’t Give Your Coreopsis Too Much Nitrogen
Nitrogen fertilizers have many benefits for plants. They encourage faster growth, stronger plants, and healthy flowers and stems. However, too much nitrogen has the opposite effect on plants: it can cause their stems to become weak.
So, even though the plant’s flowers and leaves will grow and thrive, their stems won’t be strong enough to support them, leading to the plants falling over.
Feed your coreopsis with a 50-100 ppm nitrogen-balanced fertilizer (source). However, you should only give your plants fertilizer if your soil is poor, as they don’t perform well when planted in heavily rich soil.
A great solution is Down To Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer (link to Amazon). It blends nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to keep your plants healthy, happy, and thriving. It also encourages them to grow beautiful flowers. I love that it’s organic, with ingredients such as fishbone meal and alfalfa meal.
It’s also beneficial to the plants to mix some compost into their soil at the start of spring.
However, do this sparingly. Too much compost makes the soil rich, which is overwhelming for your plants and can cause them to struggle to grow instead of thrive. You’ll see this by how the plants fall over.
3. Don’t Water Coreopsis Plants Too Much
Giving your coreopsis too much water can lead to weaker stems that won’t support the plants and keep them upright. When planting coreopsis plants, provide enough water so that their soil remains moist without being too drenched.
After the plant’s first year, you want to water the soil only when the surface inch (2.54cm) is dry. To check the soil’s moisture, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, then it’s time to water your plants.
For outdoor plants, it’s best to water coreopsis early in the morning so that the water can dry throughout the day instead of leaving them soggy throughout the night. Generally speaking, avoiding overwatering is important because coreopsis is susceptible to root rot and mildew.
Coreopsis will thrive in dry soil, so it’s essential to move the plants into a dry area of the garden. This will help to prevent the plants from sprawling, which is when the plants fall over and open in the center.
4. Support Coreopsis With Wooden Stakes
You can use wooden stakes to support your coreopsis plants to prevent them from falling over. Typically, the best time to do this is at the start of spring when the plants don’t require them yet. Stakes will make it easier to train the plants and encourage them to grow straight and upright.
Stakes should be around six inches (15.24cm) shorter than the plant’s mature height, anywhere from two to three feet (06-0.9m). This size ensures support from the stakes without causing them to interfere with the plant’s flowers.
For more established plants, you can use string to connect the stakes of the plant to help it remain compact and upright. Here are some tips:
- Tie a string around one of the wooden stakes and attach it to the next stake.
- Add layers of string as the plant grows and stems get taller.
- Ensure the string is tight, so all leaning stems are kept upright.
- Remove the string and stakes before winter. This is to prevent the stakes from rotting. Replace the stakes with new stakes before the next growing season.
If you need stakes, many people recommend using wooden stakes like these Hopelf 50-Pack Wooden Stakes (link to Amazon). These quality yet inexpensive stakes are made with bamboo and come with 65 feet (20m) of hemp rope, which makes them easy to use.
Plus, since they’re 16 inches (40.64cm) in height, they’re ideal for supporting the mature size of coreopsis plants, which can be about 24 inches (60.96cm).
Since coreopsis plants grow as tall as they do, it’s natural for them to start to fall over as they grow. Unfortunately, leaning, weak stems in coreopsis are worsened by inadequate sunlight, water, and nutrition.
Yet, you can help protect and strengthen their stems to prevent your plants from falling over in a few easy ways, including:
- Giving the plants enough light to avoid legginess.
- Not overwatering the plants.
- Avoiding feeding them with too much nitrogen fertilizer.
- Staking the plants to keep them upright.