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Whether it’s sprucing up the patio, porch or garden, hanging baskets are very versatile and great for those with little space. However, according to experts at Phostrogen®, many gardeners struggle to keep their flowers thriving throughout summer, especially those that are planted in springtime. The experts have shared three steps to help hanging baskets last longer.
The plant experts explained: “One of the most overlooked elements of hanging baskets is the location of the basket itself. Just as you would with any other flower in your beds or borders, it is important to consider the type of plant and its requirements.
“A basket full of shade-dwelling fuchsias or begonias placed in direct sunlight will quickly wilt, and equally, placing sun-loving plants like petunias in the shade will mean they soon fade, too.”
These elements also play a huge part in the success of hanging baskets.
Gardeners should make sure their flowers are placed in a sheltered area, away from the wind.
The experts added: “Not only will protecting flowers from strong gusts reduce the risk of the basket facing and protect delicate blooms from being blown away, but it will also reduce the amount of watering required.
“Of course, ensure the hanging basket is securely fixed to the wall, fence or hook – baskets can become heavy after a good watering, so it’s important it is safely attached.
“Don’t forget to rotate your hanging basket every so often to avoid plants growing unevenly and be sure to prune back leggy growth for a beautiful display.
“Deadhead regularly to encourage repeat blooms and allow your plant to flourish all throughout the summer.”
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Plants in pots, containers and baskets dry out much more quickly than plants in beds and borders, so it is important to keep an eye on hanging baskets all through the summer.
According to the experts, gardeners will know when the flowers need watering because the soil will look dry.
The basket itself will also feel much lighter in weight.
Phostrogen® experts added: “Don’t forget that smaller baskets will dry out more quickly than larger baskets, so pay special attention to them.
“During hot spells, water your hanging baskets more regularly than you would normally – once a day is usually advisable, but if it is particularly hot or windy you may need to water them twice a day.
“It is best to water early in the morning and late in the evening to prevent water evaporating throughout the warm days. Never water your plants during full sun or in the middle of the day, as strong, direct sunlight can burn them!
“Water hanging baskets generously until it streams through the drainage holes of the container.
“If you don’t water your hanging baskets enough, the plants won’t develop a strong root system which happens when they go in search of water at a deeper level, and instead becomes dependent on the surface water provided.”
Gardeners should also invest in quality fertiliser as they require extra nutrients throughout the summer months.
The experts said potting soil contains nutrients to help plants grow, but this soon becomes exhausted as the plants absorb the goodness they need.
They added: “These need to be placed regularly to help your plants thrive.
“Fertilisers comprise of several key elements to help your plants thrive, including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium Iron and Magnesium, which promotes healthy green foliage and an abundant of flowers, as well as helps plants become more drought resistant and develop a healthy root system.
“There are a variety of fertilisers and forms to choose from, but ideally you would choose a water-soluble fertiliser or slow-release granular fertilisers.”
Phostrogen® has several suitable feeds available to pick up in garden centres.
There are also other brands available for gardeners.
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