So just what does it take to keep your hanging baskets blooming big and beautiful all summer long?
There’s little doubt hanging baskets are a great way to add flair to your outdoor space. They brighten up porches, spruce up patios, and bring instant color and texture to any area of the landscape.
But the real issue for many is how to keep baskets alive and thriving for an entire season. Unfortunately, most baskets purchased or planted in the spring begin to wither away by mid-summer.
Before you know it, the blooms have stopped, and soon after, the foliage begins to fade as well. But with a little TLC and the 5 simple tips below, you can keep your hanging baskets in tip-top shape well into fall!
5 Simple Tips To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming All Summer Long
#1 Pick The Right Location For Your Hanging Basket
One of the biggest mistakes made with a hanging basket is to place it in a location that is not suitable for it’s plants.
Putting a basket full of shade-loving Impatiens in a hot, all-day sunny location is a recipe for disaster. So is placing a big ball of sun loving petunias on a shady porch.
Be sure to read basket and plant labels carefully. In addition, be sure to select varieties of flowering annuals that will do best in full sun, partial sun, or shade based upon where you need them.
#2 Fertilize Lightly, And On A Regular Basis
Baskets and container plants are stuck with the soil they are planted in. Unfortunately, they have no ability to expand beyond the basket and find new sources of nutrition.
That means it is up to you to provide the nutrients they need to survive and thrive.
To keep hanging baskets blooming, put plants on a regular feeding schedule. For best results, use a combination of long-term, slow release fertilizers mixed into the top layer of soil – and light doses of liquid fertilizer watered into the soil every few weeks.
Worm castings are an excellent choice for mixing into the top layer of soil in baskets and containers as a slow release fertilizer. Not only do they trickle their nutrients to the soil as plants are watered, but they also help to retain moisture as well. Product Links : Worm Compost – Organic Liquid Fertilizer
For liquid fertilizing applications, you can use compost tea, worm casting tea, or a high quality all-purpose liquid fertilizer. (Product Link : Organics Water Soluble Fertilizer)
#3 Keep Up With Watering To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming
Insufficient or irregular watering is a huge cause of stress for hanging baskets. By their very make-up, hanging baskets dry out quicker than plants rooted in the soil. The wind and sun dry the soil quickly as it sits in the open, exposed to the elements.
Get in the habit of watering plants at a consistent time of day. Early morning is by far the best time to water.
It not only helps plants take on the upcoming stress and heat of the day, but there is less chance of damage from the sun’s rays burning the foliage. You also have far less evaporation than if watering during the heat of the day.
#4 Remove Dead and Dying Blooms
Those old blooms that are slowly decaying on your hanging basket plants are keeping it from it’s full potential!
If left on the plant, not only do old blooms become an eyesore, they use up valuable resources that should be going to new growth and blooms.
Remove dead and dying blooms from plants on a regular basis. Doing this will keep the plant’s energy and resources focused on creating new blooms.
#5 Larger Baskets – Better Success
And finally, to keep your hanging baskets blooming, give them the proper size home! The number one cause of hanging basket failure in mid-summer is that the size of the container is simply too small.
To last an entire growing season, baskets need to be at least 14″ to 16″. Anything less, and the plants will grow root bound inside of the pot within a month or two.
When root system become thick and tangled, they have a hard time absorbing nutrients and water. This combination of low nutrition and water retention quickly leads to total basket failure.
If you have small baskets, now is the time to replant into larger vessels to keep plants thriving. Simply lift the root ball out, and replant using a quality potting soil to fill in the additional space. (See : Homemade Potting Soil Recipe)
Here’s to keeping your hanging baskets blooming all summer long!
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