Getting the Hang of Hanging Baskets
What's So Great About Hanging Baskets?
- Are beautiful!
- Last a lot longer than cut flowers
- Add visual impact by bringing plants up to eye level
- Are moveable and add interest in unexpected places
- Can be purchased ready-made – just hang ’em.
- Don’t require digging or weeding
Choose a basket
Think size, strength and style. Look for a pot/basket that fits your space appropriately. Smaller ones can dry out quickly in the hot sun. Make sure you use a strong hook – wet baskets can be heavy.
You'll need to evaluate your hanging location. Tall, upright plants aren't usually the best choice, unless you like looking at the undersides of leaves and stems, or you're planning on hanging the basket about waist high. Most folks prefer to hang plants a bit higher, so plants that “spill” over the sides of the container are a better choice for that purpose. Here are 5 of my favorite candidates for hanging baskets:
Verbena – Long-blooming annual in the pink-red-purple spectrum.
Fuchsia – Unique flower shape and striking color (just like the name says) with a bit of tropical flare
Petunias – With flowers that come in almost every color but blue, petunias are prolific bloomers all summer long
New Guinea Impatiens-Bright colors and interesting foliage and a mounding habit
Combination baskets-The best features of the others altogether. Usually have wave petunias, bidens, verbena, million bells and /or some other plants provide a eye-catching combination.
Come Heck or High Water-Don't Forget to Water!
Since many hanging baskets are porous and drain very well, they also dry out quickly, especially in the outside air. Stick your finger in the soil about one inch down to check the moisture level. The soil down there should feel moist, like a wrung-out sponge. If the soil feels moist, your plants in that location don't need watering today.
- Tips You Can Hang Your Hat On
- Location, location, location: Always match the plant to the location - sun-loving plants for sunny spots, etc.
- Keep watch over them: Be on the alert for wilting or discoloration. Wilting probably means you need to water. Yellowing can indicate the need to feed. Brown spots, sticky residue or chewed leaves usually indicates a bug problem.
- Food for thought: Nutrients tend to leach through hanging baskets faster than other containers. Feed plants every other week.
- Keep things tidy: Because hanging baskets tend to be right in your face, pinch off dead flowers to keep the basket looking good – and to encourage more flowers. Snip off unsightly or unruly stems Now that you know the basics, there shouldn't be anything to get hung up on. It's high time you got started!
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