Caring For Hanging Baskets
There’s no doubt that gorgeous hanging baskets really make a statement and are one of the best buys you can make when it comes to kick-starting your spring and summer outdoor decorating! But there’s nothing more disappointing than having your botanical eye-candy fail to thrive once you bring it home, so here are some tips for keeping those baskets just as beautiful as they day you hung them up! It’s not hard—all it takes is some attention and a little TLC!
Hydration—All plants in containers need more water than you might think! Bigger baskets are a little more forgiving than smaller ones, but the fact is that there is very little soil for all those blooms so baskets dry out faster than their flower bed brothers. Hanging baskets can be made out of a variety of materials and the Plastic baskets hold in the moisture the best. How often should you water them? It depends upon the temperature but here a few general things to consider. Be sure the pot has drainage holes so the roots won’t get too wet. Water ONLY when the top of the soil is dry to touch, and then water until you see water coming out the drainage holes, and DON’T allow your pot to sit in standing water. If it’s really hot and/or windy that might mean you’ll need to water every day
Nutrition—Plants have to eat just like you and I, and no matter how good the soil in your basket you’re going to need to feed them, so you’ll need some fertilizer. A slow or controlled-release fertilizer is best and just follow the direction on the package. By midsummer, you might also want to add a water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks as well. Why? Because, eventually the plant will eat up the original controlled-release fertilizer and besides that, hopefully, you’re plants are big boys now and need more food to keep looking great!
Grooming—Towards midsummer, you can trim back some of the longer stems of your plants, sort of a midsummer “hair-cut” if you will. Cutting back some of those long, lanky stems will stimulate the plant to fill in with more compact, tidy growth. And some plants will perform much better if the spent blossoms are removed, a process called “dead-heading”. It can actually be quite a relaxing activity and really does help the plant because when you remove those old blossoms the plant can divert it’s energy to producing the next wave of color for you. However, there are some plants that are known to not need this much attention. One particular knock-out is the “Supertunia” named Bubblegum. One look at the color and you know how it came by the Bubblegum part of the name. The “Supertunia” title is because it grows like crazy AND unlike most other petunias, it doesn’t require dead-heading! Right now, we have lot’s of great hanging baskets, Bubblegum’s included, so stop by Dedrick’s and get yours!