Try these essential care strategies for plants in hanging baskets:
- Before making your plant selection(s) determine how much sun it will receive in the area they will be located. Baskets receiving direct sunshine, such as on a shepherd’s hook or on a post in full sun must contain plants suited for full sun exposure. Lantana is a lovely annual that thrives on direct sunlight and will nicely trail over the sides of a hanging basket. It will also attract beautiful moths and butterflies.
- Sun loving plants require at least six hours of sunlight a day.
- Shade plants cannot tolerate the hot afternoon sun but are well suited for an easterly sun exposure on the porch.
- Plants that can handle partial shade or partial sun are ideal for hanging on the edge of the porch where the roof overhang provides protection from direct sun exposure.
- Trailing plants well suited for planting around the edges and sides of hanging baskets are fuchsia, ivy, ivy-leaved geranium, lantana, lobelia, dragon wings begonia, petunia, sweet potato vine and verbena.
- Bushy annuals well suited for planting in the center of hanging baskets are begonias, fuchsias, impatiens and geraniums.
- Rotate hanging baskets on the porch daily to keep the plants growing uniformly all around. An easy way to do this is to hang all the baskets with the hooks pointing in the same direction, left. The next day, turn each plant so the basket hooks face right.
- Baskets of plants receiving full sun may need watering twice a day in extreme heat.
- Water plants in the morning or evening to avoid quick evaporation.
- To water while hanging, use a watering wand for a gentle, yet thorough soaking.
- To water wire hanging baskets filled with porous materials such as moss, lower the basket into a tub of water to soak up the water. Drain a few minutes before returning basket to its elevated hook.
- Generally, plants should be fed a liquid fertilizer about once every month during the growing season.
- Remove dead blooms and leaves regularly.
- Ferns and Peace Lilies kept indoors in a sunroom or screened porch should be misted daily and watered every other day during the hottest months of the year. Rotate baskets of indoor plants near a window after watering to promote uniform fullness in growth.
What flowers do you love to grow in hanging baskets?
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success. Check out Lowell and Deborah's super sturdy and handsome DIY Gardening Potting Bench Plans.