When it comes to keeping the plants in your flower pots blooming strong through the long, hot summer months, a few simple care tips can make all the difference!
Flowering baskets and containers are a great way to add instant color to porches, patios and decks. But for many, keeping the flowers going strong all season be a challenge. Especially when it comes to maintaining beautiful foliage and blooms when the weather turns brutally warm during the dog days of summer.
The summer sun and heat can take it’s toll on flowering container plants. Not only can it dry their roots out in a flash, it can also zap the plant’s energy. And along with it, its ability to produce new foliage, blooms and flowers.
But just because summer conditions bring higher heat, it doesn’t mean your plants have to suffer. In fact, by simply following the few simple tips below, you can keep your plants thriving all summer long and right into fall.
3 Simple Tips To Keep Flower Pots Blooming
Make Sure Your Containers Are Big Enough
One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make when growing in containers is selecting a pot that is too small. The more soil a vessel can hold, the better the results will be. Especially as summer rolls around and many container plants have grown to a considerable size!
When growing flowering annuals, smaller pots quickly become root bound. Once this occurs, they are unable to absorb water or nutrients. The result is a plant that begins to fail quickly.
To make it through an entire growing season, pots and containers need to be large enough to allow strong root growth. Anything less for most annual flowering plants simply can’t sustain good blooming.
If your plants are beginning to look tired and worn out, check the roots. If they are bound tightly all around the pot, it’s time to transplant! Select pots and containers that are at least 10″ to 12″ wide and deep. This will allow for enough soil for plants to grow through the summer and deep into fall.
When transplanting into a new vessel, be sure to use a quality, energized potting soil. Adding extra nutrients to your potted plants will go a long way to bringing them back. See : How To Make Homemade Potting Soil
Fertilize For Success – How To Keep Flower Pots Blooming Strong
Simply put, without the addition of extra nutrients throughout the growing season, container plants will not continue to flourish and bloom. No matter how large your container is, the soil eventually loses its power.
There is a limited amount of nutrients in even the best of potting soils. Once those nutrients are gone, plants will quickly begin to suffer from a lack of nutrition. And that is exactly where proper fertilizing saves the day!
When fertilizing plants in pots, small but consistent doses of energy are the two biggest keys to success. Feeding your plants a slow and steady diet of nutrients will keep foliage strong and blooms coming on – but at a regulated pace.
Giving your plants a heavy dose of nutrients all at once can cause a myriad of issues. For starters, it will explode the root growth of plants, causing the roots to become prematurely root bound. Over-fertilizing can also force the plants into growing more foliage instead of blooms.
How & When To Fertilize – How To Keep Flower Pots Blooming Strong
For best results, fertilize the plants in your pots and containers every seven to ten days. Liquid fertilizers are the far better choice for pots as they can absorb freely and quickly into the roots and foliage.
If using a commercial fertilizer, cut the recommended dosage in half. This will allow for a slower and steadier supply of nutrients to your plants. It is far better to give your plants more frequent but diluted power than a big dose all at once. Product Link: Miracle Grow Liquid Organics
Another great way to power plants in pots and containers is with compost tea. Compost tea has the perfect blend of nutrients to energize plants without overpowering them. It can be used at full strength every 7 days to keep your plants thriving all summer long.
#2 Watering Right – How To Keep Flower Pots Blooming Strong
The final key to success to keep your container plants strong in the summer is watering right. Proper hydration is critical to maintain strong foliage, and for the plant to continue producing additional blooms and flowers.
Just as with fertilizing, consistency is the name of the game when watering container plants. In the hot summer months, plants growing in pots can quickly lose their moisture content. And when they do, they begin to fail fast.
Without proper moisture, plants wilt in the arid summer conditions. When they do this, they lose their ability to use photosynthesis to power growth. Even more, as the roots shrivel, they lose their ability to soak in nutrients as well. It is often a fatal combination for plants.
Check your plants daily to see if the soil contains moisture. Not at the surface, but down an inch or so into the soil where roots are growing. You can use a moisture meter or the tip of your finger to check your pots. If they are dry to the touch – it’s time to water! If it is still moist, don’t over water.
Avoid Over Watering – How To Keep Flower Pots Blooming Strong
Believe it or not, many potted plants suffer more from over-watering than under-watering. Even in the hot summer months! One way to help solve this problem is by providing additional drainage for your pots.
Make sure your container has multiple drainage holes in its bottom. If only one is present, drill out a few additional holes before planting. This allows excess water to escape, and keeps roots from becoming water-logged.
In addition to drainage holes, it’s also important to place drainage material in the bottom of containers before planting. Small rocks, gravel, or wood chips placed in the bottom will help to keep drain holes clear. It also allows oxygen to reach the roots, which aids greatly in overall plant health.
Here is to keeping your potted plants blooming strong in the summer heat!
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