How to Keep Your Hanging Baskets Hanging Around Longer
Hanging flower baskets look wonderfully carefree. Overflowing with color, soaking up the sun and swinging in the breeze, they lift your spirits all spring and summer. However, a bit of care is required to keep them looking their best. Pruning, fertilizing and watering are the keys.Â
As you step off the porch in the morning, admiring your flowers, say to yourself, â€śSnip, Snack, Ice Pack.â€ť This simple phrase will remind you of the essentials on your hanging basket checklist.
Snip for New Growth
Everyone needs a fun summer haircut to feel light and breezy! So do hanging baskets. Regular pruning actually stimulates growth and keeps them colorful all summer. Be sure to use sharp gardening shears. Every few days, snip off any wilted blooms. Every week or so, cut back any failing or â€śleggyâ€ť trailing stems. This encourages growth at the center. In early July, give each basket a good all-over trimming, cutting back at least a third of the plant. They will rebound and bloom even more.
Snack for Nourishment Â
Hanging plants get hungry. There isnâ€™t much soil in the basket, and frequent watering flushes out nutrients. They need fertilizer to keep healthy. Traditional â€śonce at the start of the seasonâ€ť time-release fertilizers are often rinsed from hanging baskets over time. The best solution (literally) for baskets is a phosphorus-rich liquid fertilizer, applied as a snack every two weeks or so.
Ice Pack for Easy Watering
A few cubes at a time, that is. The summer sun and those gentle breezes do dry out hanging baskets fast. They need lots of water to stay fresh. Yes, a good thorough watering is required every few days. But thereâ€™s no need to drag out the hose or the watering can every single day. On your way out the door, just reach up and drop a few ice cubes in each basket. Easy!