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Plants mysteriously falling over

Hello THP friends!

First off, Ive missed yall! Been awhile since Ive been on here between career changes, moves, etc. but youll be happy to hear Ive continued to grow 2 or 3 plants each year. This year though, I have encountered a problem that in my several years of growing I have never run into before.

It first happened when I went away on vacation last week, upon my return I found that in addition to being (understandably) very thirsty, two of my three potted plants had just decided to mysteriously fall over while I was away. Not the pots, just the plants, right at the base of the stem where it hits the soil. I propped them up with some supports and they seem to be doing ok now, despite having a bit of a lean towards one side.

This morning, about a week later, I stepped onto my balcony to find that the third plant was on its side just as I had found the other two previously. I was able to stand it up and prop the plant up with another support, but I have no idea what could be causing them to simply lie down like that. The main stem on all of the plants appears to be a perfectly normal size compared to the rest of the plant, so that shouldnt be an issue causing them to bend under the weight of the plant itself... I think for now the solution is going to be to add more potting soil to put more of the stem under the dirt which hopefully will stabilize it.

Im on the third floor balcony of an apartment complex, so I doubt the issue is mammalian in nature, does anyone know what else might be causing this??
 
I would ask two questions....
 
1.) Are the main stems bending? If yes, do they seem thick enough to support plant size/weight? Are they soft?
2..) If everything fine and the plant just "flopped over" at the soil line this would indicate a root or media issue not supporting the plant. What are you growing in? 
 
The main stems dont feel soft at all, and are proportionate to the rest of the plant so I dont think thats the issue. The plants are all in ~10in pots, there is a bottom layer of perlite, and the primary medium is just miracle gro potting soil with a little bit of vermiculite mixed in.

Im thinking that just over time since I pitted them up, the soil has still compacted a little. Hoping a fresh layer of potting soil on top will provide the needed stability, so long as there arent any other external factors that Im not aware of.
 
I have a similar issue in my raised bed every year.
 
The reason is; the plants become top heavy, especially when loaded with pods, and the soil in my raised bed is quite loose.
 
A garden stake and large UV resistant cable ties quickly remedy the situation.
 
alkhall said:
I have a similar issue in my raised bed every year.
 
The reason is; the plants become top heavy, especially when loaded with pods, and the soil in my raised bed is quite loose.
 
A garden stake and large UV resistant cable ties quickly remedy the situation.
 
This is great advice that I should have recommended early on but asked about the growing media instead.
 
skullbiker said:
I think photos are needed to diagnose this properly.
Agreed, and normally Im guilty of over-posting pictures! Didnt think to take any at the time was just focused on fixing the immediate issue. Imagine if you will, a horizontal plant in a pot haha!
 
The_NorthEast_ChileMan said:
 
This is great advice that I should have recommended early on but asked about the growing media instead.
Good points both of you! There are quite a few pods now, I just didnt think it was enough to topple the darn things over. I also think the medium could play a factor - I wanted to make sure the soil drained well, so maybe I added a touch too much vermiculite?

Ive since added some temporary stakes to support, and they all seem to be doing better now. Cant wait to get these into my new house and the nice raised bed Ill be building for them!
 
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