GardenSMART :: 3 Important Tips for Maintaining Your Hanging Baskets
3 Important Tips for Maintaining Your Hanging Baskets
BySusan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
Want to keep your hanging baskets looking as good as the day you bought them? Watering, feeding and trimming are the three basic tasks you'll want to master. I'll show you how in this simple step-by-step article and accompanying video.
Keep your hanging baskets blooming strong all season by watering and feeding them consistently.
#1 – Watering
The most important step—don't skip this one!
Water often and consistently. The #1 thing you'll need to do to keep the plants in your hanging baskets healthy is to water them. Do your best to water at the same time every day. How about making it part of your early morning ritual? Cup of coffee in one hand, hose in the other. Life is a balancing act, after all. Water them until it runs freely out of the drainage holes in the bottom. If the water overflows the sides of the pot quickly, try watering more slowly so the soil has a chance to absorb more of the water.
If you don't want to worry about watering by hand, set the task on autopilot by hooking your baskets up to a drip watering system like WaterWise® and add a timer. That way when life gets busy, your hanging baskets won't skip a beat.
Plants need nutrients to grow and produce flowers. Help them thrive by feeding them regularly. Pictured: Strawberry Sauce.
#2 – Feeding
Do you like feeling hungry? Your plants don't either.
Add continuous release plant food. When you bring your new hanging basket home from the nursery, give it a special treat by adding granular continuous release plant food to the pot. (If you missed this step this spring, you can still do it now.) Our 6-month formula will provide a base level of nutrients that will be released slowly as the summer temperatures heat up during the peak growing season. A scoop or two scratched into the soil around the base of the plant will do—no need to worry about burning your plants.
Feed with water soluble plant food, too. Think of this kind of plant food like the vitamins and minerals people need to stay healthy. Adding it to your feeding regimen will provide a well-balanced meal for your annual flowers. Our formula includes essential micronutrients and iron that maintains the deep green foliage and keeps the flowers coming all season. We recommend feeding every third time you water or once per week. Set an alert in your phone to help you remember when to feed your flowers.
Help your hanging basket stay full and lush by giving the flowers a haircut midseason. It will bounce back even better than before in just a week or two.
#3 – Trimming
A little haircut will rejuvenate your hanging basket.
Tidy up the spent blooms now and then. The good news: Most Proven Winners annual flowers don't need to be deadheaded (removing the spent flowers) for them to keep blooming all season. The bad news: You might not have all Proven Winners plants in your hanging basket. Also, the compulsion to pick off spent flowers is real—we totally get not being able to resist pulling off a brown flower now and then. Just know it's not necessary for our plants to bloom.
Give your basket a haircut midseason. Plants growing in hanging baskets can start to become open or leggy as the season progresses. About midsummer, use a sharp pair of scissors or pruners to give them a light haircut.
Trim a few inches off the whole basket just like if you were getting a trim at the hair salon. Take care not to cut off more than about 20% of the whole plant. Trimming encourages new growth and more flowers. Support this growth by feeding with water soluble plant food after you're finished with the haircut and your basket will bounce right back into bloom.
Want to see this all on video? Laura from Garden Answer has produced a helpful tutorial on how to keep your hanging baskets looking beautiful all season. Watch it here.