What is the best way to fertilize hanging baskets to keep them gorgeous all summer long?
That seems to be the million dollar question to the blog these days. And today, we have you covered with our tried and true solutions to that question!
Hanging baskets are one of the best ways to add big splashes of color and texture all throughout the landscape. We use them everywhere on the farm!
They can brighten up a patio and add a burst of color to front or back porches. Or, or add a touch of class to light posts and overhangs.
But keeping them looking great for an entire summer can be a big challenge.
Those gorgeous hanging baskets that looked so big, beautiful and blooming when first brought home, can quickly fade into a mass of tangled foliage with wilted leaves and little to no blooms.
And that is where a bit of proper fertilizing, and a few simple care tips can go a long way to keeping them from going south.
The Best Way To Fertilize Hanging Baskets
Providing Nutrients Slow And Steady
The biggest key of all to keep baskets healthy and blooming is to provide them with a slow and steady diet of nutrients.
Provide too much, and the plant spends all of it’s energy growing lots of roots and foliage. And not blooms!
Over-fertilizing leads to plants becoming root-bound and overgrown within just a month or two.
And before you know it, the plant can’t even absorb water to help keep it healthy.
But not getting enough nutrients can be a big issue too.
Hanging baskets, like all container plants, only have the soil in their pot to work with. And they can quickly devour the resources in it early on.
Without addition nutrients, the plant simply can’t find enough power in the existing soil to conjure up new blooms.
Fertilize Hanging Baskets – What To Use, And When And How To Apply
So what are the best fertilizers to use? And when and how often should they be applied?
We have followed a simple 1- 2 fertilizing formula punch for our hanging baskets at the farm for years. And it simply has worked wonders to keep them healthy and blooming from early May to late September.
Best of all – it’s 100% natural and organic!
We start by applying a 1/2 cup of worm castings to the top soil portion of each hanging basket every month.
Worm castings are the perfect all-natural, slow-release fertilizer.
Every time we water the baskets, the nutrients from the castings slowly release their power to the roots below. Slow and steady. Product Link : 15 lb. Bag Worm Castings
In addition to the “dry” fertilizer application of worm castings, we then apply a natural dose of liquid fertilizer every two weeks to our plants.
We do this with either compost tea or worm casting tea. (See : DIY Liquid Fertilizers – How To Make Compost Tea & Worm Casting Tea)
We water each plant every two weeks with a quarter gallon of the tea to each plant, leaves and all.
The plant then absorbs the balanced, nutrient filled solution via the roots and foliage.
We can always tell just how powerful that liquid solution is when we look at the grass underneath our hanging baskets on the sign posts that line the driveway.
There is always a brighter green patch directly underneath every basket, all from the liquid fertilizer tea that has poured through.
We love it because although it is filled with nutrients, it is balanced enough to provide slow and steady growth.
And If Those Baskets Do Get Too Big..
And finally, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, those hanging baskets simply outgrow their container size.
But all hope is not lost!
You can, of course, always re-pot the plant into a larger container. The larger space, combined with a bit of new soil helps to rejuvenate the plant to keep it strong and blooming.
But there is another quick and easy solution to the problem of overgrown container plants.
Put them directly into your flowerbeds and landscape!
It provides a huge splash of color to perennial bed spaces for the rest of the growing season.
And you’ll be amazed at how big those plants and blooms can get once transplanted! See : How To Rejuvenate Worn Out Hanging Baskets And Potted Plants
Here’s to keeping those hanging baskets looking fantastic all summer long! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary
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