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  • Snow's Home and Garden

Happy Hanging Baskets

The only thing better than bringing home a beautiful new plant? Knowing how to care for it – so your investment brings you the longest amount of enjoyment possible.


First in a series on plant care, we thought a few tips on caring for flowering hanging baskets was in order. These blooming beauties are the perfect way to welcome spring to your porch, deck, or entryway. A properly cared for flowering basket can look beautiful all season long!

Here are four essential steps for caring for your flowering, hanging basket:


Water

Hydration is key – the #1 reason hanging baskets die out is from a lack of water.

Hanging baskets require more water than most plants because they dry out faster, are subject to drying wind. You know it’s time to water when the top soil layer is dry to the touch – and you want to add water until it streams from drainage holes below. You can also tell by lifting the pot from below – if it’s light, it needs water. Water often and thoroughly. In the peak summer heat, this might mean two times per day



Pro tip: Soaking If necessary, a good soaking can revive a very dry plant. If water streams from drainage holes but soil remains dry, submerge pot in a bucket of water for up to 1 hour to re-moisten.


Fertilize

Plants in a hanging basket get little to no nutrient value from the soil they’re planted in. So, fertilizer is needed to keep them healthy and full. Frequent watering means nutrients leave soil quickly. Feed plants with liquid fertilizer OR a dry, slow-release fertilizer (not both)Follow individual directions for frequency. Feed when moist, never when wilting


Deadhead

Deadheading is essential when it comes to prolonging the life of your hanging baskets.

The purpose of a plant that produces flowers is to make seeds and reproduce, so when a flower dries up and seeds are generated –  it’s life cycle is over. When this happens, remove dead blooms by pinching off at the stem. By removing spent flowers regularly before they can go to seed, the plant is forced into making new flowers…and your basket remains lush


Cut back

If plants become leggy or straggly, don’t be afraid to cut them back. Even with hanging flowering baskets, cutting back when needed will produce denser new growth.

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