Hanging baskets can bring life and colour to outdoor spaces throughout the summer months. However, maintaining their constant flowering can be a challenge for many gardeners.
Larger Hanging Baskets
This is something that is often overlooked when it comes to hanging baskets, but something that I feel is very important.
The larger the hanging basket you choose the more your plants will grow and flower.
The soil will have more nutrition and room for strong root development, so go big!
Choosing the Right Plants
One of the biggest decisions you will make when creating or buying a hanging basket is the flowers contained within. This decision will also greatly impact how long your basket flowers.
Some flowers bloom much longer than others; it’s as simple as that.
Some Good Choices
Some popular flowering species that perform well in hanging baskets include:
- Begonias: Available in various colours, begonias are popular flowers for hanging baskets that will bloom all season long. They provide a full, drooping effect, making them an excellent choice for a lush, overflowing appearance.
- Verbena: These flowering plants need full sun for much of the day to thrive, but the result is a beautiful display of colourful blooms throughout the summer months.
- Petunias: Known for their wide variety of vibrant colours and trumpet-shaped flowers, petunias are a popular choice for hanging baskets. They require regular watering but are generally low-maintenance and provide continuous blooms from late spring to autumn.
- Geraniums: These plants are suitable for hanging baskets, offering a wide range of colour options and an extended blooming period. Preferring sunny conditions, geraniums require moderate watering and occasional deadheading to encourage new growth.
Planting and Soil Preparation
When preparing your hanging baskets for a successful blooming season, choosing the right potting mix is essential. Garden soil is not ideal as it’s too heavy and dense.
You could buy in a high-quality potting mix, but you can also make your own. In fact, I document how I make my own potting mix right here.
There are many different slow-release plant foods specifically designed for hanging baskets. The idea is you pop them in the soil at the beginning of the season, and they feed your plants all summer long.
There are so many, in fact, that I am testing out some of the more popular ones this year to see how they differ. Sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date.
To maintain hanging baskets flowering throughout the summer, it is essential to water them consistently.
Inconsistent watering stresses a plant’s roots, stems, and foliage, weakening the plants and reducing flowering. It is recommended to water your hanging baskets at least once a day, especially during hot weather or when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Over-watering can be just as harmful to hanging baskets as under-watering. To avoid over-watering, follow these tips:
- Check the soil moisture: Before watering, ensure that the soil is dry to the touch. If it still feels moist, wait another day before watering.
- Drainage: Ensure your hanging basket has adequate drainage to prevent water pooling at the bottom. Well-draining soil mixes and baskets with drainage holes can help.
- Self-watering planters: Consider investing in self-watering planters, which provide a consistent water supply to the plants without the risk of over-watering. These planters release water slowly as the soil dries out, helping to maintain an optimal moisture level.
- Monitor weather: Be mindful of the weather conditions. It is necessary to water the hanging baskets more during hot and dry days, while avoiding over-watering during periods of rain or high humidity.
Maintenance and Care
Deadheading refers to the process of removing spent or withered blooms. This encourages new flower growth and contributes to a longer flowering period for hanging baskets. To properly deadhead:
- Pinch off the wilted flower head, being careful not to damage the stem.
- Use a pair of clean pruning shears for larger blooms or if the flower head is difficult to remove by hand.
- Remove flowers that have turned brown or have started to lose their petals.