My Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and my spring poppies just cannot hold themselves upright. They are laying all over the ground like someone sat in the middle of the stems. Any idea why? Is it time to divide the clumps?
We are assuming that you are referring to the large, Oriental poppies. After blooming, Oriental poppies tend to decline and go dormant for the hot summer months. They will flatten out as this process occurs. If it does look unsightly, you can stake them as they grow early in the season, and the growth will hide whatever you use to support them.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ will get very heavy toward the tops of the stems as they go into bloom. Water collects there when it rains, and that is generally when most plants tend to “flop.” Growing the plants in a location that remains fairly dry (or very well-drained) and receives no less than about six hours of direct sun should help the plants remain somewhat shorter, and more able to support themselves. Staking them is also an option; doing so before they get too large to hold themselves up is best.
Also, most perennials benefit from being divided every three to five years, depending on the growth rates of the individual plants. So if your clumps are large, it may be time to divide them. This tends to work rather well in the case of the Sedum.