Why Do Coneflowers Flop Over? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Flopping plants are common in new gardens and happen in existing flower beds. Some tall plants tend to fall over.

Plants shouldn’t fall over, if certain conditions are met. No one enjoys a gorgeous flowerbed one day, but all the plants have flopped.

The purple coneflower, or Echinacea purpurea, is the most often planted native.

Flopping petals encircle the blooms’ cone-shaped cores, named for this characteristic. However, there are numerous reasons why coneflower buds may flop before flowering.

What Does It Mean for Plants to Flop?

Why Do Coneflowers Flop Over

Floppy plants are those whose leaves and stems cannot develop into the beautiful upright form you expect because of a lack of sunlight and vigor.

It might also be the weather, the soil, and the amount of water that the plant receives. This can be a factor.

Plants with large, waxy leaves are more likely to collect household dust.

The presence of dust on your plant is more than simply an eyesore. It can disrupt the plant’s ability to maintain a healthy state.

Dust reduces photosynthesis by blocking light photons from reaching the leaf’s surface. In addition, the plant’s ability to regulate its moisture content is compromised when the dust settles on its leaves.

Depending on the specific species, a plant’s ability to expel water through its leaves might be slowed or facilitated by dust.

Because water loss is the principal method of pulling water up through the plant’s roots, increased transpiration can lead to floppy leaves.

Because of the plant’s ability to transfer water, this is the case. If one cell in the xylem is drained of water, the next cell in line takes up the slack, and so on.

As a result, preventing the loss of water through transpiration is crucial to the plant’s overall health.

Plants with floppy leaves may be suffering from a lack of sunlight for photosynthetic purposes. In plants with pale spots, this is more common.

Chlorophyll is absent from the pale parts of the leaves. Hence they are unable to perform photosynthetic functions.

Since the plant is more sensitive to light, it demands a brighter environment than its non-variegated counterparts.

A lack of water or an abundance of water might result in flopping leaves. Check your plant’s watering needs to see which is more likely to happen.

A lack of water or humidity could cause flopping leaves in ferns, which are known for their need for water and humidity. Keep the soil moist but never soggy by watering sparingly but frequently.

Over-watering can cause flopping. Soil air pockets are destroyed when there is excessive water in the soil.

When this occurs, the roots lose their ability to take nutrients. Adding coir or gravel to the soil may be necessary to improve drainage.

Examine the roots if you suspect overwatering as the reason for flopping. Squishy roots and an unpleasant odor can identify root rot.

Roots that are in good health will be solid and white in contrast.

It is possible that your plant’s leaves are flopping because it needs more air humidity. Tropical rainforest species, including Anthurium, Alocasia, and Fittonia, are especially at risk.

There will be more water evaporation from the plant’s leaves if there is not enough moisture in the air.

A lack of moisture will cause the plant’s leaves and stems to become sad and limp.

If the problem is humidity, you should place the plant in a tray filled with pebbles and half-filled with water. Then, at least once a day, you should spray the leaves.

Here is an article I wrote on do coneflowers attract bees?

Why Do Coneflowers Flop Over?

Heavy, clay-rich soils are not ideal for growing coneflowers.

Flower buds may wilt before they begin to blossom if clay soils are overwatered.

A water shortage can also lead to flopping buds in full sun, but they tend to recover in the evenings.

Do Coneflowers Need To Be Staked?

Coneflowers don’t need to be staked because their stems are sturdy enough to support the weight of their large heads.

However, if the plant fails, this might become a reality. Purple coneflowers only need a stake when they’re planted in soil that’s excessively rich.

Purple coneflower turns floppy when grown in these conditions.

As a result, insert a solid stake into the soil towards the plant’s center (but not through the plant) and then wrap twine loosely around both the stake and each plant stem.

A circular stake designed for clumping flowers is also available. It doesn’t matter which method you use.

The ultimate effect should appear natural rather than as though the plant is wearing a tight belt around its midsection.

Why Are Flowers Falling Over?

Because of their growing habits, some plants need to be staked.

For example, staking may be necessary for a plant whose natural growth habit is to become taller than broad.

The stems of some plants, such as yarrow, asters, balloon flowers, baby’s breath, and bachelor’s button, are weak or floppy because of their shorter length.

While in bloom, plants with long flower spikes or enormous, heavy flower heads need to be supported by stakes—the staking of plants like crocosmia, delphinium, gladiolus, foxglove, and dahlias.

More luxuriant vegetative growth with weaker stems can be produced by plants cultivated in rich soil rich in fertilizer and moisture.

There may be a difference in the need for staking between plants growing under these conditions and others.

Preventing damage from storms or windy conditions by staking plants early in the season can help direct plant growth.

Do Coneflowers Need To Be Cut Back?

Yes. Pruning or cutting down coneflowers is crucial for plant maintenance since it rejuvenates the plant.

When dead blossoms are removed from many perennials, including purple coneflowers, new flowers grow, extending the flowering season by many months.

Coneflowers self-sow readily. By eliminating dead blooms and developing seeds in the spring, you can significantly minimize the number of volunteer seedlings. 

By leaving the season’s final flowers on the plants, you give food for the small sparrows and other seed-eating birds in your garden during the fall and winter.

In addition, it promotes new growth and flowers and keeps the plant from becoming overgrown or messy.

Pruning is a crucial chore for all gardeners since it helps maintain the health of their plants and the beauty of their landscapes. 

Will Deadheading Coneflowers Produce More Blooms?

Deadheading coneflowers results in more blooms. Stems are severed right above a leaf node or at their origin.

Energy is diverted away from reproductive growth and vegetative growth, resulting in lateral expansion and eventually more buds and blooms.

Cutting wasted stems and redirecting energy into increased flower production can assist in bridging the natural gaps generated by natural blooming lulls that occur during the growing season.

Additionally, some people snip the growing tips of stems earlier in the growing season, losing a potentially enormous bloom to stimulate lateral growth and a bushier, more flowering plant.

And in the hottest zones, plants in a summer dormancy are frequently not just deadheaded but also trimmed back by up to half their height to promote a late-season flush of growth.


Various factors contribute to the flopping of coneflowers.

When the soils are too wet, the buds of the flowers begin to flop before they can bloom.

A water shortage can also lead to flopping buds in full sun, but they tend to recover in the evenings. 

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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