Garden question from JohnOhConnor on YouTube:
I have three mature (2ft x 2ft) Autumn Joy in my garden. By mid summer they have flopped over like a large animal had sat down in the middle of the plant. I guess this is normal for the plant or is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening every summer?
Two things occur to me here. One is that sometimes plants like this get floppy when they aren’t getting enough light. They grow leggy, soft foliage because they are reaching for the sunshine, and then can’t hold up the stems any more when they begin to flower and have all that weight to support.
The other thing I’d suspect is that maybe it is time to divide them. When the clumps get very large, the plant can start flopping just because there is so much of it. The plant holds itself up in two ways – via roots underground that anchor it, and by growing sturdy stems. Plants that need dividing can have issues getting enough water and nutrients to the aboveground portions, resulting in lanky stems, and can also have trouble growing enough anchoring roots because the plant is simply too crowded by its own growth to do so.
So if the plant is getting full, hot sun all day, I’d experiment with dividing a clump or two and see if that helps.
Read more about ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum and how to prune and divide it here.