Hanging baskets make a wonderful gift for Mom on Mother’s Day, or any occasion really! Container gardening is easier than you think, and hanging baskets make a lovely addition to any porch or patio. Whether you plant your own from the start, or simply purchase a ready-to-go basket, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to keep your hanging baskets blooming all spring and summer long.
WATERING: Hanging baskets may need more watering in comparison to plants in your garden or containers on the ground. Because they hang in the air, they tend to dry out more quickly. Check your baskets daily for moisture level. If they seem dry to the touch, it is best to water in the morning rather than later in the day or evening. Foliage and stems may dry as the day goes by, especially if they’re hanging in an area that receives a lot of sun.
FEEDING: Just like people, plants need to eat too! Using a good quality, organic flower food (available in liquid or granular forms), feed your baskets weekly to maintain strong, healthy plants. Shade-loving plants don’t need to be fed quite as often, whereas petunias and other sun-loving plants are heavier feeders and can tolerate more frequent feedings 2-3 times per week.
CUTTING: If you find that the plants in your hanging baskets are getting too long and spilling out, it is fine to trim them back. Cut overgrown stems back as far back as you can near the bottom, using a pair of sharp pruning shears and cutting on a slight angle. Thinning out overgrown baskets will help rejuvenate your pants and take off extra weight that can pull on healthy plants.
PESTS: Just like any plant in a garden or ground container, hanging baskets aren’t entirely pest resistant. The most common pests that can damage baskets are spider mites and mealy bugs. There are a variety of great products available on the market today that specifically target these pests and help protect your baskets from damage. Keep an eye out for new varieties of disease and pest-resistant plants to try in your baskets, too!