John Wickham jwickham@sbcglobal.net
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:17:24 PDT
Lots of great advice all around, thank you. 

I'm in Los Angeles. I think most everything is planted an inch below the surface, but will check that. My Moraea polystachya don't flop nearly as much as some of the others. I believe drainage is good, but they could be drying out too much. They are not in full sun throughout the day (some morning indirect sunlight, full sun rest of the day), so that might be causing excessive, weak growth.  

Thanks everyone, much to think about.

 From: Michael Mace <michaelcmace@gmail.com>
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org 
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Flop-overs

John wrote:

>> A lot of my Moraeas and species Gladiolus seem to flopping over in bloom.
Do they need a deeper pot, to potted deeper? Or is this always going to be a
problem with these taxa when they're potted?

I think the answers already given make a lot of good points. A couple of

--Although it's natural for some types of plant to flop over, it's not
natural for most of the species in the genera you mentioned to do that, even
when grown in pots. Especially not when they are in flower -- the flowers
need to be held up where pollinators can get to them.

--I grow a lot of Moraea and Glad species in pots. There are many causes
that can make them flop over. Here are some I have done:
     Pot gets too dry and plants wilt a bit, causing the stems to weaken,
plant falls over.
     Poor drainage / pot is too wet. Causes root damage, and plant wilts
     Not enough wind, followed by a severe windstorm. This can cause stem
damage, although often they bend in the middle instead of the base.
     Moisture is correct, but a bad ingredient in your potting soil damages
the plant. I suspect I did that one year. But the first symptom is lack of
vigor in the plants overall; wilting comes later.
     Not enough light, plant grows too tall and spindly, falls over at
blooming time because there's more weight at the top.
     Corms are too shallow. How deep did you plant then, John? If the tops
are an inch below the surface, I doubt this is the problem.
     Too much fertilizer, plants grow too vigorously and fall over. This
happens with Moraea polystachya for me most years, but I do it anyway
because I like all the flowers.

How long are the leaves, and do they look green or yellowish? If yellowish,
 plants may have taken damage from something. If the leaves are green but
very long (over a foot), I'd suspect low light levels.

John, I apologize, but I don't remember where you garden or what the
conditions are there. If you give me more info, I may be able to guess

Good luck!

San Jose, CA
(Zone 9, min temp 20F / -7C) 

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