More tips on reviving a dried out hanging basket
Do your hanging baskets look a little peaked? Are they suffering from
the summer doldrums? A regular diet of plant food and water will
rejuvenate sick hanging baskets in no time.
Fertility is a common problem because plants have utilized all the
nutrients from the soilless media in the hanging baskets. Most hanging
baskets and, for that matter any potted plant, need fertilizer every one
to two weeks. Use a houseplant fertilizer according to the label
directions. In this case, the adage: a little will do, but a little more
is better, does not hold true. Too much fertilizer in a soilless mix
will cause salts to build up and actually pickle the roots. This happens
even faster when the baskets or pots dry out between waterings.
Speaking of water, hanging baskets also need to be watered
How often you say? That all depends on the amount of shade the plant
receives. A hanging basket that receives full sun most of the day may
need watering once in the morning and then again in the evening. A plant
under a tree or awning may only need watering every two or three days. A
good way to check is to lift the hanging basket slightly; a dry hanging
basket is a lot lighter than a wet one. Regardless of how often you
water, be sure to water them thoroughly each time; water should drip
from the drainage holes.
Another way to rejuvenate hanging baskets is to cut the plants back.
Shearing one-half to one-third of the stem length will force new growth
causing the plants to branch out more and flower again. In this
situation, fertilizing is critical because cutting back removes
nutrients stored in the plantís tissues. Petunias and impatiens are two
varieties that respond well to shearing.
Breeders have responded to the popularity of hanging baskets. Newer
varieties are more compact, more blooms, and less maintenance than the
old standbys. Petunias are a perfect example. Older petunia varieties
needed to be dead-headed to rebloom; but some of the new ones like the
"Wave" series (i.e. Purple, Pink) donít.
People like hanging baskets because they are convenient. For $10-$15,
maybe as much as $30, you can get a big, full plant that provides a
splash of color. You donít have to dig a hole or pull weeds. The best
thing is: if the basket starts looking bad, you have the option to
simply throw it away.