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5 top tips to keep your hanging baskets healthy

Written by: phs Greenleaf

Hanging baskets are incredibly popular as they are so easy to install and immediately brighten up outdoor spaces. Whether you’re looking to add colour, vibrancy or flair, hanging baskets are an ideal solution.

As with any plant, a hanging basket will need looking after. A basket with dead, brown or withering flowers can create the very opposite impression than what was intended. However, the good news is that hanging baskets are easy to maintain with a few simple steps.  

Here is phs Greenleaf’s guide to looking after hanging baskets:

 

1. Positioning

Hanging baskets are best placed in sheltered, sunny spots so they’re protected from wind. Summer baskets, planted from April onwards, will need protecting from any late frosts. Winter baskets, planted from September, traditionally feature more hardy plants so should withstand a frost.

2. Water often

Hanging baskets will need more water than flowers planted in a garden as they are typically small with less soil to maintain moisture. This means that if the soil is left to dry out, the plants will have no other source of water and will start to suffer. Water every day and even twice a day in the summertime. They’ll also likely need watering even if it’s rained as baskets are often sheltered from rainfall, especially if they’re under an overhanging roof. An automatic watering system can be a huge resource saver.

3. How much water

Keep watering the basket until the water starts to stream through drainage holes at the bottom. The basket should feel heavy with the weight of the water in it. Double check by testing the soil underneath the surface – it should be wet. Conversely, plants can have too much water so make sure it isn’t totally sodden with standing water; you’re looking for the soil to be moist but not soggy. If possible, collect excess water as it starts to drain out for reuse it so it’s not wasted.

4. Water when it’s cool

It was originally thought watering plants on sunny days would scorch leaves but this has actually been disproved. That said, if plants are watered in full sun, it is not as efficient as the water will start to evaporate before being fully absorbed into the soil. It’s better to water plants in the sun as opposed to not at all as the benefits of watering thirsty plants will outweigh the negative but, wherever possible, do so in the cool of the morning or evening to maximise water efficiency.

5. Feeding the flowers

New hanging baskets will benefit from the nutrients in fresh compost. However, these nutrients will quickly deplete so plants will need feeding. Use liquid fertiliser every week, after watering. Always follow the instructions given, including proper dilution quantities and frequency.

BONUS: De-heading

Regularly check hanging baskets for faded flowers and damaged stems, snipping off any found. This not only keeps the display looking good, it ensures the plants’ energy is directed to new growth and fresh flower production. Scraggly plants will also need to be trimmed regularly too, encouraging the plants to fill out.

BONUS: Replace dead plants

If, despite best intentions, a plant within the hanging basket does die or finishes blooming, there is an easy solution. Take down the basket and remove the dead plant either leaving space for the remaining plants to grow or replace it with a new flowing plant.

BONUS: Create a routine

It’s too easy to forget to give hanging baskets the TLC they need – especially if you’re relying on other people looking after them. Create a schedule so watering is a set daily task with reminders for when they need feeding or pruning. Alternatively, phs Greenleaf offers a full maintenance and replanting service along with automatic watering systems so your hanging baskets look beautiful day after day.

 

Where can I get hanging baskets?

Whether you want to brighten up your outdoor space to delight customers, attract visitors or to create a pleasant work environment for staff, phs Greenleaf has a hanging basket package for you. With more than 25 years’ of experience, we have the expertise to design stunning floral hanging displays to your requirements. We offer a large choice of stunning plants in a host of colour themes, each grown and nurtured by specialists to flourish and be long lasting.

Find out more by visiting the Summer Hanging Baskets pages of our website or getting in touch directly. Call 0800 0902325 or email greenleafenquiries@phs.co.uk

 

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