Nothing brightens up the patio like a collection of hanging baskets full of vibrant annual blossoms and cascading foliage. They’re perfect for trying out exotic new varieties of flowers and playing around with different color schemes. While the spectacular blooms of annual flowers only last for one growing season, you want to make sure that they really flourish during the time that you have them. Taking proper care of your hanging baskets will make a huge difference in the volume and growth of your flowering plants, so follow this helpful guide to ensure they’re in top-notch condition:
First thing’s first: Make sure your basket has at least one drain hole to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. Hanging baskets tend to be a little more shallow than other containers, so if the water stays stagnant, this could damage the root ball of your plants. A packaged soil blend made especially for container gardening should help improve drainage too.
Take note of what the specific watering needs are for the selected plants in your containers. If you’re putting a mix of different flowers in one basket, try to pair up plants with similar water needs so they all receive the proper amount they need. Most flowers will typically need to be watered every 3 or 4 days during cooler months like spring and autumn, but once the scorching hot temperatures of summer arrive, you may need to water them nearly every day since the sun evaporates water much quicker.
The addition of fertilizer into container soil will help increase the health and size of your container plants. It’s really amazing what a difference a little plant food can make. We particularly love Jack’s Classic Petunia FeED for hanging planters. The fast-dissolving powder formula is rich in nitrogen, iron, and other vital plant nutrients that help thicken your plant’s foliage, and increases the production of bright, healthy blossoms. Apply it by mixing one tablespoon into a gallon of water and using this solution to water your baskets. Repeat every 7-10 days for lush plants that are still flaunting their stuff well into autumn!
As temperature increases, prepare to watch your containers explode into beautiful blossoms! Sometimes they get so full, that they start to pour out of the basket and hang over the sides. Some people love this aesthetic, but others prefer to trim it back for a more polished look. If your plant is especially lopsided, grab some small pruning shears and snip some of the excess flowers off. Don’t take out more than a third— that’s just enough to encourage fresh regrowth without hurting the plant. When you notice any dead flowers on your plants, gently pinch them off and dispose of them. This makes room for new healthy flowers, and it ensures your plant isn’t wasting any energy on dying blooms when it could be creating fresh ones.
There are so many stunning blooms that look stunning in hanging baskets, but there are a few tried-and-true favorites that continue to be wildly popular year after year. If you want a foolproof hanging flower basket that’s sure to impress, opt for some of these beauties:
Geraniums: These ultra-vibrant flowers have frilly petals that smell just as amazing as they look. If you bring these baskets indoors once it starts to cool down, you can overwinter them and keep them again for next year!
Petunias: The quintessential hanging basket flower! These bright beauties will keep growing and growing until they spill out the sides, with trailing vines of colorful blossoms that never fail to impress all summer long.
Impatiens: These are the ultimate low-maintenance container flower because they deal with their old blooms themselves and keep producing new ones with ease. They do pretty well in the shade, so if you hang them underneath an awning or shaded patio outside, they’ll still stay bright and bushy.
Verbena: Little clusters of purple flowers make this container-favorite a softer, subtler option for backyard décor. It’s seriously heat-tolerant, withstanding even the most scorching sunny days without wilting, so long as you water it regularly.
Begonias: The thick ruffled petals of these colorful container flowers are famously stunning, but their foliage is pretty eye-catching too. Some varieties boast bright green leaves with vivid green borders and a swirl of dark magenta in the center. Mix a few different colored varieties into one basket for an outdoor display that’s sure to turn some heads.
Hanging basket plants bring so much energy and vibrancy to your yard. When your patio is surrounded by luscious blooms suspended from above, you’ll be searching for excuses to entertain outside. Whether you’re throwing backyard barbecues, birthday parties, or sharing a few cold ones with the boys, lounging around a decked-out patio surrounded by flowers instantly adds that carefree vacation vibe everyone enjoys.