Caring for Hanging Baskets
With a bit of care, you can enjoy your hanging baskets and patio pots right into the fall. Ensure your hanging basket stays in great condition throughout the entire summer by following a few easy steps.
From sun to shade, there is a plant for any location. Although, not all plants like the same location, so make sure you have the right plant for the area you have chosen. The location is usually broken down into 3 categories, Full Sun, where the plants will receive the most of the afternoon heat. This is usually 6-8 hours of direct sun. Geraniums, Portulaca, Osteospermum Daisies and Scaevola are great choices for full sun. Remember that the more direct sun, the more you will need to water. Part Sun, where there is protection given from the afternoon sun and less than 6 hours of direct sun. Petunias, New Guinea Impatiens and Million Bells would do well here. Filtered Sun to Shade, where the plants get no direct sun but mostly indirect light. Begonias, Fucshias and Impatiens are best for shady locations. Excessive heat will stress the plants to their limits, so care should be taken to ensure your plants aren’t exposed to the extreme heat of the afternoon. This will help prolong the flowering time of your plants.
Watering and Fertilizing
Watering your plants should not be taken lightly, just like your plants need a regular supply of water to stay healthy. Ideally, you should water your plants early in the day in the warmer weather and not wait until your plants start to wilt before watering. Baskets hung in a windy or drafty area will need to be watered more often as the wind will dry out the soil. Allowing the soil to dry out before watering is also good for the health of the plant. Constantly wet soil will cause the roots to rot.
Fertilize your baskets every 10-14 days with a liquid fertilizer such as 15-30-15 or similar fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers, like a granular 14-14-14, can also be used in between fertilizing. This fertilizer can feed your basket for up to 6 months. I would recommend using both fertilizers for beautiful, healthy plants.
As your basket continues to grow, it may require pruning and deadheading (removal of spent blooms) to improve its appearance. Simply pinching the spent blooms back at the base of the stem will encourage new blooms. It is also common for plants to get too leggy. Pruning long stems will promote new growth and make your plants fill out.