Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Why Does My Fleeceflower Flop?

20150710AQuestion: I have a problem with a plant that collapses every year at the slightest gust of wind or rain: my beautiful giant fleeceflower (Persicaria polymorpha). Is my soil too wet? Even with stakes, I really can’t manage to keep it standing!

France Doucet

Answer: I know this is going to sound weird, but… would it be possible to move your plant to a windier spot? When this plant is constantly moved by gusts of wind since it starts to sprout in the spring, it produces stronger stems. When it is protected from the wind, like with a hedge, a wall or a fence, it produces taller but weaker stems. When a gust of wind suddenly comes barreling through, the weak stems can’t handle it and down they go! Expose it to more wind from the start and your giant fleeceflower will keep on standing tall.

And your soil moist is not a factor as this perennial tolerates both moist soil and dry soils.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

3 comments on “Why Does My Fleeceflower Flop?

  1. Pat Davis

    Just to let you know I grow, Giant Fleece Flower in zone 2b on the Saskatchewan Praires, without any extra cover in Winter.
    It is 4 years old and reaches 6 ft this year,I am so pleased with it as it is my most expensive plant!
    Hope this helps someone.
    Best wishes.

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