care tips: hanging baskets and patio pots

Here are some tips on how to keep your baskets and patio pots looking their best:

  • For best results, have your baskets and pots connected to your drip irrigation system. Check the moisture level every day. If the container feels light, it is dry. Water SLOWLY until the container is draining from the bottom — not just a drip, but coming from all of the container's holes. This ensures that the entire root system receives moisture. Plants in dry baskets will wilt and are difficult to rehydrate. If this happens, put the whole container in a tub of water for a couple of hours.
  • When hot days come, your hanging baskets may need watering as frequently as twice a day.
  • Fertilize them weekly with a well-balanced fertilizer; look for a 5-10-5 formulation. Soluble fertilizer is easier to use when watering, but dry fertilizers work, too; just use one or the other, not both. Be sure to water right after using dry fertilizer. Follow all package instructions.  Alternatively, we recommend Miracle Gro slow release fertilizer (comes in a pellet form) that only needs to be applied less frequently (read package instructions).
  • To sustain blooms, keep flowers deadheaded (this means take time to pinch off any flowers that are dead/spent).  The more you do this, the more vigorous the new growth will be!!  Don't be afraid to cut the plant back if it becomes leggy.  Your hanging basket plants should never be longer than the bottom of the pot they are planted in. The longer the stem/stalk of a plant, the more energy it takes to get water out to the extremities, therefore the plant will compensate by not getting water to the areas closest to the roots (making them stringy and leggy and not bloom up at the base of the plant).  So trim, trim, trim to keep them bushy and full!
  • Move them to a garage or shed when nighttime temperatures are below 50 degrees, when wind howls or hail threatens.