Gardeners around the world relish the idea of adding a variety of plants to their gardens. It is equally exciting to design the garden's landscape and look. Use of hanging flower baskets is a clutter free option to make your garden look pretty with bountiful flowers in summer and spring. Plants in the hanging flower baskets however, tend to bloom with ample flowers initially and then suddenly they seems to wither away. Here are some secrets to properly care for your hanging flower baskets and to recreate the 'Hanging garden of Babylon'.
Right Spot for Hanging the Flower Baskets
Every plant requires different proportions of sunlight. Some may need a lot of solar exposure while some tend to thrive in semi shady corners. So it is really important for you to find the right spot for hanging your flower baskets. Plants hung in the western side of your home tend to receive excessive sunlight for longer duration during summers. So one should not forget to shift the hanging plants to shady areas for their protection during summers.
Potting the Plant for the Hanging Baskets
This crucial process usually involves lining the pot that is to be hung with a wiry moss. The moss not only makes the basket look attractive, but it also helps the plant to retain moisture for longer time. Avoid using soil readily available in your backyard. It may have lost all the nutrients essential for plant growth. It is ideal to buy new fertilized soil for the hanging baskets from a nearby garden store. The other option is to prepare a mix of organic fertilizer and soil in your backyard and use the same for your hanging baskets.
It is to be remembered, that hanging flower baskets are without any base support. Hence, one cannot load the basket with excessive quantity of soil. The soil quantity should be just enough for plant growth.
Watering the Hanging Baskets
Watering is a key to maintain a healthy looking plant. Water seems to seep away easily from hanging plants than the regular potted plants in your garden. Ensure that you routinely water your plants.
During summers, water requirement is higher, so plants may be watered at least twice a day. An ideal way to find out if your plants need water is to check for hardening of soil in the pot. If water levels are low, the soil tends to have cracks on its surface and is not stuck to the edges of the pot. Ensure that you pour just the right quantity of water so that it reaches to the roots. Over watering can lead to rotting of plant roots. Make sure to pour the water near the visible base of the plant and not at the top of the plant. If you ever need to water your plants in the evening, make sure to water in lesser proportions than the regular quantity. This is because, plants require lesser water during night times. An alternative way to handle this situation is to temporarily unhook the baskets and place the pots within a water filled deep dish. This helps the roots to directly absorb water from below.
Apart from the regular watering exercise, it is advisable to use a water spray to clean the leaves of the plants. It not only gives a fresh look to the plant but also clears the dust from the surface of leaves to enhance the photosynthesis process.
Some of the key nutrients that keep your hanging flower baskets blooming are copper, iron and manganese. These nutrients tend to drain away from the soil over a period of time with the water or through plant's consumption. Flowering plants ideally require these nutrients in the proportion of 2:1:1 respectively in their growing season. A can of premixed liquid fertilizer is readily available at any local gardening store. Make sure to dilute the liquid fertilizer with water as per the prescription given with the fertilizer bottle. When fertilizing the plants, ensure watering them first before you use the diluted fertilizer solution. This helps to save the roots from chemical burn. As an alternative, you may even opt to use the organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers can be made by mixing dried leaves, flowers and other natural gardening waste along with the soil in the hanging flower basket.
Cutting and Deadheading
It is suggested that one should regularly cut faded and wilted flowers from hanging flower baskets. This helps blooming of new flowers. Similarly, it enhances the process of branching and budding. An ideal time to carry out this operation is mid summer. The other advantage is that it helps make the plant look fresh and clean.
All the above tips, if rigorously followed, will help keep your hanging flower baskets looking fresh all round the year. After all who wouldn't want to see blossoming garden in every season? Wishing you many happy gardening moments!