Staking Tall Flowers in Your Garden

Tall flowers lean, flop and fall for a variety of reasons - whether it's rain, wind or simply a combination of weak stems and overgrown flower heads - making them susceptible to an early expiration. Depending on the variety of flowers you're growing, staking might be the best way to preserve their health and strength. 
Flower supports come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can serve specific purposes for a wide range of flower species; however, staking is typically either preventive or corrective.
Learn which flowers in your garden need staking, and how to properly support them with these tips:


Preventive Staking

Preventive staking requires diligent planning and timing before flower stems collapse or fall. If your garden has known fallers - like peonies, hollyhocks, delphiniums, meadow rue or blanket flowers - you'll need to rely on preventive staking to keep them from falling. 
Grow-through supports like plastic-coated wire cages, tomato cages or grid stakes work well for preventive staking. Grid stakes offer sturdy support for heavy-headed bloomers and multi-stem perennials, like peonies or tall daisies. With this method, it's best to be early, so you don't disturb existing growth, or damage any emerging flowers. With grid stakes, flower stems weave through, and effectively mix in and hide the grid from view. For single-stem flowers, traditional vertical stakes work best.


Corrective Staking

Corrective or remedial staking is typically more reactive, and often saved for flowers that have fallen due to high winds, strong summer downpours or animal disturbances. The best part of corrective staking is that it doesn't require nearly as much planning or timing, as long as you check in on your garden frequently to notice fallen flowers. 
You can use tree and shrub prunings, or branches that have blown down from trees for corrective staking; however, flowers that are particularly less susceptible to falling can be corrected with twine or plant ties. 
In general, the top end of the support should fall somewhere between the midpoint of plant and its peak growing point, which is why having a variety of prunings or branches can be handy for corrective staking.