Are your hanging baskets and containers looking a little bedraggled? The extreme heat and then the rainy and very humid weather we’ve had this summer can take a heavy toll on them, leaving plants looking tired. But we still have a lot of summer left, so we’ve rounded up some midsummer container care tips to help you get them back on track.
Feed your hanging baskets and containers on a very regular basis. These plants are in containers with very little soil and have no other source of food other than what you provide them. They should be fed at least once a week with a liquid fertilizer.
Just a Trim
If your plants are looking long and straggly, it may be time to give them a haircut. Scissors work well for trimming back long, leggy annuals. Petunias especially will thrive with a trim, encouraging them to put out new growth and new buds. It won’t hurt to take half off the length of the hanger if it has become a bit too long. Plants such as coleus that have grown too tall and out of control can be pinched back and will branch and flush out. Have some unruly sweet potato vine? It too can be cut back and will do just fine.
Especially with the rain, you may need to take some time and deadhead your containers and hangers. Geraniums have really taken a hit with the rain and removing those spent blooms not only cleans up the plant, but reduces the chance of disease and encourages new buds to form. Other annuals can use deadheading as well to boost bud development and to clean the plants up.
Lastly, check your plants for insects and diseases. Budworms are out munching and can take all the blooms off your petunias. Japanese beetles are making their yearly appearances and slugs love this muggy weather. All of these garden “friends” can be kept at bay with the use of certain products. Our staff will gladly help you diagnose any of your issues, but if you bring in a sample of the infected plant, please put them in a sealed plastic bag.
The sunny days will return and your hangers and planters will flourish with a little TLC!