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Problem with plant with very weak stems :(

New Contributor

Problem with plant with very weak stems :(

I have a few gypsophila plants in a rectangular garden pot.

Problem 1: They all have very weak stems and are falling over, without my sticks and toothpicks they would just be lying down on the soil. Some of them do have part of their stems that are a bit sturdier up top, but they are still weak near the base. The bigger/taller ones show evidence of growing at angles, every new growth is at an angle to the previous section below, so the stalks are not straight even if they were sturdy and able to support themselves. I have used a few sticks to give them some support. For most of them I've taken to burying the weak-ass stringy stems under the soil and hope that the upper sturdier stems would keep growing and that'll be that. Did I make a mistake with that move?


Problem 2: For the bigger/taller ones, their leaves are so brittle! Just bumping into one of them while tending to a nearby seedling caused the leaf to bend and break. Like when you snap the palegreen/whiteish part of a boy choy, you know?


None have flowered yet. The smallest is around 7cm above the soil and the tallest is around 20cm above soil. They were sowed in the first month of Winter. They share the same pot with violas. I've taken care not to over-water them, at least I hope so. I know gypsophila doesn't like too much water. I've drilled extra holes under the pot for drainage. They have been in direct sunlight most of the time but I always move them to a shelter during rain or wind.


Can someone help me understand why they're like that and what I should do please?


Super Contributor

Re: Problem with plant with very weak stems :(

Hi Lexicon. Can you add a photo or 2? 

My first impression is that you have some sort of root disease that is stopping the plants getting any strength. If the roots aren't going well then the plant won't thrive. It could also be a stem rot which would block the nutrients and water from moving up and down the plant stems as they would normally. If this is the case then likely some sort of fungal disease. Add a photo. 

Re: Problem with plant with very weak stems :(

Thanks Rob!

I'm now fearing stem rot :unhappy: I shouldn't have stuffed the weak parts under the soil. I've attached some photos:


full on.jpgleft 1 stringy stem.jpgleft 2.jpgleft.jpgmiddle 1a.jpgmiddle 1b.jpgmiddle tall 1.jpgmiddle tall 1b.jpgmiddle tall 2.jpgmiddle tall 2b.jpgright most.jpg

I forgot to the label the second last photo but you can see the growth angles in the tallest one.

If it's overcrowded I can get more pots to repot them or toss a couple of the goners but I hope they're still possible to be nursed back to health.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Problem with plant with very weak stems :(

Hi @Lexicon,


It's great to see you've received a helpful reply from @robchin, hopefully, now they can elaborate since you've included the requested pictures.


A few notes about Gypsophila plants- too much water can cause soft growth, keep the soil on the dry side and provide a light application of a balanced fertilizer in the spring, the fleshy roots are fragile and easily damaged so it’s best not to disturb them and they naturally have thin stems so having to stake new emerging plants is normal.


What type of soil are they growing in as it looks to have a high content of bark in it? Poor soil condition and insufficient nutrients can be a cause for legging and weak plants.



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