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3 Simple Tips To Keep Your Hanging Baskets Blooming Big – All Summer Long!

Looking for a few secret tips and tricks to keep your hanging baskets healthy, strong – and most importantly – blooming big all summer long this year?

Growing flowering baskets is one of the easiest ways to add huge color to your landscape. Unlike growing annuals in flowerbeds, there is never a worry for having to constantly weed hanging baskets. Nor do you often have to worry about animals or other pests bothering them either.

But there is one issue that seems to plague gardeners when it comes to their hanging baskets – and that is how to keep them healthy and blooming longer for more than just a month or two at most!

keep hanging baskets blooming
With just three simple tips you can keep your flowering baskets thriving all summer this year!

Unfortunately, by mid to late summer, a large majority of hanging baskets begin to rapidly fade. What was once a bright bouquet of foliage and blooms often turns into an eyesore filled with brown leaves and a sparse collection of struggling flowers.

It can be frustrating for sure. Especially when you consider how expensive they can be to purchase or plant. But here’s some good news. Actually – some great news! By following just three simple tips – not only is it possible to keep your baskets thriving, gorgeous and blooming – but you can do so all the way through summer and deep into fall!

3 Simple Tips To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming

As crazy as it sounds, keeping your baskets blooming really does come down to three simple chores.

The first is knowing how to feed your plants to give them the nutrients they need. The second is making sure to give your plants the water they need – and when they need it. And the third is to consistently remove the flowers from your plants to keep all of the plants energy focused on strong foliage – and more blooms.

Here is an in-depth look at each of the 3 tasks – and how to do them to perfection to keep your plants thriving!

hanging baskets blooming
By mid summer, without proper fertilizing and care, many baskets begin to fade – with less than ideal foliage and far less blooms.

Fertilizing Hanging Baskets For Big Blooms – How To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming

Hanging basket plants, just as with any plant growing in a container, have a limited amount of nutrients they can pull from the soil. Even if you use the best planting mix, plants will eventually run out of power. Because of this, fertilizing is a must for long term success.

But, and this is key – not just any fertilizer will work! All too often gardeners hit their plants once a month with an all purpose fertilizer hoping it will perk them up.

Unfortunately, all purpose fertilizers usually end up causing more harm than good. They might help green up the plant with a big boost of nitrogen. But ultimately, they end up causing the plant to outgrow it’s container way too soon with all of that growth. And even worse, cause it to bloom even less.

Fertilizing Hanging Baskets With A 2 Prong Approach!

The best way to fertilize is to use a two-fold approach to keep a steady supply of nutrients on hand. We have been doing this for years at the farm and it works like a charm! First, we apply a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of worm castings to the top of the baskets soil every month. Affiliate Product Link: Worm Castings Fertilizer

Worm castings are the perfect slow release fertilizer. Every time you water, the nutrients leach down through the soil and absorb into the roots. And not only do they help feed your plant, they also help absorb and hold moisture too.

fertilizing transplants
100% Worm Castings are one of the best fertilizers you can feed your hanging baskets for steady growth.

This helps to keep the plant’s leaves green and strong – all without overpowering it. I can’t stress enough how much this monthly fertilizing application does for our hanging baskets at the farm. It is the first big building block of nutrition for our plants. It’s the second feeding below, however, that then really supplies the blooms!

Powering Blooms With Liquid Fertilizer – How To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming

In addition to the low and slow fertilizing of castings, we also water with a liquid fertilizer every seven to ten days. But again, the type of liquid fertilizer you use will make a huge difference in how your plants bloom.

For these feedings, it’s important to use a liquid fertilizer that has far more phosphorous and potassium than nitrogen. Nitrogen serves to green up your plants and help it grow – but it does not play a big part in blooming. For that – phosphorous and potassium are the winners!

Although you can feed your plants every two to three weeks with a full dose, we like to feed every seven to ten days with a diluted mix. Affiliate Product Link: Farmer’s Secret 2-15-15 Fruit & Bloom Booster Fertilizer

We mix our fertilizer at half the recommended rate to feed more consistently. This keeps blooms coming on strong without overpowering the plant. Unfortunately, too much fertilizer all at once will result in the plant becoming root-bound quickly.

Watering For Success! – How To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming

Without a doubt, consistent watering is one of the 3 biggest keys to keeping your hanging baskets in tip top shape. In fact, the quickest way to shorten the life of a flowering basket is by either overwatering, or underwatering.

Too much water will swell and flood the root structure of any container plant. When that happens, the swollen, water-logged roots become unable to absorb nutrients.

With infrequent or inadequate watering, baskets suffer as well. Without enough moisture, plants struggle to grow. As leaves and roots wilt and shrink without water, the plant is unable to produce new growth or blooms – and the stress can be highly damaging to its long term success.

The key to watering success is consistency. Get in the habit of checking and watering your baskets at the same time every day. Not only does it help the plant with regular watering, it helps you to remember to do it!

secrets to hanging baskets
Proper watering is one of the biggest keys of all to strong, healthy, long-lasting baskets

Always check the soil for moisture before adding water. Use an inexpensive soil probe instant meter to tell if your soil is dry at the root level, or check by sticking your finger into the soil about an inch or two down to see if there is any moisture. Affiliate Product Link: XLUX Long Probe Deep Use Soil Moisture Meter, Water Monitor Indicator Sensor

If plants have moisture at the roots, hold off on watering until needed. As for when to water, the best time is early in the morning. Morning water helps plants hydrate quickly and prepares them for the long, hot day ahead.

The Importance Of Deadheading – How To Keep Hanging Baskets Blooming

Finally, to keep your plants flourishing with a continuous supply of new blooms week after week, deadheading spent flowers is a must!

This simple practice of removing old and fading blooms helps the plant to send and spend its energy where it matters most, on new blooms. Take a few minutes when watering to remove blooms that are past their prime. This little act will pay off big in keeping new flowers coming on continuously!

It is amazing how simply clearing old blooms off a plant one day can mean hundreds of new blooms just a few days later.

Here is to getting the most from your hanging baskets this year – and to keeping them blooming all the way late into fall! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

Old World Garden

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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