Reviving a Dried Out Hanging Basket
Even the most attentive gardeners will sometimes forget to water their
hanging baskets. The good news is that unless the plants are completely
dead, they can usually be revived.
Begin by clipping off dead flowers and browning leaves. See! It looks
better already. Now cut back yellowing stems and stems with a good many
yellowing leaves to encourage the plant to send out new shoots. If your
plant has trailing stems, you may have to detangle the stems first to
determine which are worth keeping.
If you're like me, you may find it hard to clip off buds that will be
opening soon, so use your own judgment to determine if this is
necessary. A plant with a lot of damage will have more trouble
recovering if it's trying to support buds during the recovery period,
and the buds may eventually fall off without opening anyway. If the
damage is mild, leave the buds that are on undamaged stems in place.
Watering a dried out hanging basket can be difficult. You may find
that as you pour water into the hanging basket it simply runs out
without wetting the soil. The best way to overcome this is to run a pan
of tepid water, and add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. The
dishwashing liquid acts as a wetting agent and allows the water to soak
into the soil. Set your plant inside the pan of water and leave it for
at least an hour, or until the hanging basket is saturated, and mist the
plants a time or two while they soak. If there are heavy chains or ropes
attached to your basket, support them with a stick so that they don't
lay on top of your plants. When the plants are dry, it doesn't take much
weight to break the stems and leaves.
At this point we want to do everything we can to help our plants get
back on their feet, but it's best to avoid feeding them for about five
days. This gives them time to overcome the shock before trying to send
out new shoots.
Watch your recovering plants closely for signs of insects or disease.
In their weakened state, they are more susceptible to pests and fungus,
and they should be treated right away if you suspect a problem. Before
you know it, your hanging basket will be bursting with blooms again.
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