How to keep hanging baskets blooming throughout summer
Baskets of annual flowers look stunning hanging from porches or verandas and with the right care your hanging baskets can bloom from spring right throughout summer.
Here are some helpful tips to care for hanging baskets and planters.
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HOW TO CARE FOR HANGING BASKET FLOWERS
Choosing the right flowers
Before you plant your flower seeds or buy your seedlings from the garden store, take note of the area where your hanging baskets will be located.
How much sun does it get? Is it exposed to strong winds? Is there protection from hot afternoon sun?
Flowers that are suited to full sun include petunias, calibrichoa and portulaca, while impatiens, lobelia and sweet alyssum are perfect for partially shady spots.
If the area is exposed to strong winds, be sure to check out this article:
Mixed plantings look great but it’s important to choose plants that have similar sun and water requirements.
You’ll also need to choose plants that won’t overtake the other plants.
Choose the right size basket
Many hanging baskets are too small to hold more than a few plants.
It’s best to choose a basket that is at least 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) wide so that the plants have enough room to spread out and grow without becoming root bound.
Watering hanging baskets
Flower baskets need more water than containers on the ground, especially if they’re exposed to winds and hot sun.
During spring your baskets will probably only need to be watered every two to three days but in hot summer weather you’ll need to water them every day or sometimes even twice a day.
It’s best to water in the morning or evening so that the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
To check if your flower baskets need water, press your finger into the potting mix to feel if it’s dry.
You can also test the weight of the basket. If it feels light, it’s time to water.
Fertilizing hanging basket flowers
Watering leaches nutrients from the potting mix so you’ll need to replace these nutrients with fertilizer.
It’s best to fertilize your baskets when the potting mix is moist, but don’t fertilize when the plants are wilting.
As the flowers fade and die, remove them by pinching or snipping them off.
This keeps the plants looking tidy and promotes further flowering.
If you don’t remove the spent flowers, the plant will go to seed quicker.
Hanging baskets are less susceptible to pests including slugs, snails and caterpillars, but they can still be affected by mites and aphids. 
Remove any damaged leaves and hose off aphids if you see them on the plants.
Leave enough space between the plants for air to circulate to reduce the chance of mildew.
If one of your plants is starting to die off but the rest of the plants are still healthy, you can gently ease the plant out and replace it with a new plant.
You can also fill the hole with potting mix and allow the other plants to fill in the gap.
If your plants are beginning to look a bit straggly in mid summer, don’t be afraid to give them a little trim.
Cutting the plants back will help to produce new growth so that the plants look fuller and healthier.
Move the baskets around
If you have flower baskets hanging in different areas of your yard, they may benefit from being rotated occasionally to get a balance of sun and shade.
So there are my tips for caring for hanging baskets.
By following these steps your flower baskets should provide you with a beautiful display from spring right through until summer.
Do you have any questions about hanging basket care? Let me know in the comments below.
I’d also love to hear which are your favorite flowers to plant in hanging baskets and planters.