Hanging baskets filled with cascading flowers and pretty shrubs can make a home look more presentable.
The pretty, floral displays often contain bedding plants for a quick splash of colour or herbs, shrubs and perennials for a longer-lasting display.
Hanging baskets are usually planted from April onwards but can also be planted in September and October for autumnal displays.
Gardeners often opt for fuchsias, pelargoniums, salvias, pansies and tobacco plants for a summer basket.
For those looking to keep their hanging baskets thriving throughout, summer gardening experts at Phostrogen® have shared some simple tips to keep your hanging baskets blossoming for months.
READ MORE: ‘Worst’ watering mistakes to ‘avoid’ that are ‘detrimental’ your plants
The experts said “one of the most overlooked elements of hanging baskets is the location of the basket itself”.
When planting flowers and other plants, it is important to consider their requirements.
A hanging basket of fuchsias or begonias that prefer shady conditions placed in direct sunlight will quickly wilt.
Putting sun-loving petunias in the shade will also see them quickly fade.
The weather and other elements will also impact how successful a hanging basket is. Protecting plants from strong winds and putting them in a sheltered position is key.
The experts continued: “Not only will protecting flowers from strong gusts reduce the risk of the basket falling 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.”
Hanging baskets also need to be rotated frequently to avoid plants growing unevenly. The experts also advised gardeners to “deadhead” their hanging baskets regularly to “encourage repeat blooms and allow your plant to flourish all throughout the summer”.
Plants in hanging baskets and containers dry out more quickly than those in beds and borders so they need to be watered regularly in the summer months.
Hanging baskets need to be watered when the soil starts to look dry and feels lighter in weight compared to normal. Plants in smaller baskets will dry out more quickly.
During particularly dry and hot spells, hanging baskets need to be watered even more regularly than normal – once or even twice a day.
The experts said: “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 for water at a deeper level, and instead becomes dependent on the surface water provided.”
Feeding plants with good quality fertiliser is essential and will ensure they thrive for longer. Potting compost contains nutrients but the compost is depleted as the plants absorb what they need.
To help plants thrive, the plants need fertilising regularly with nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium iron and magnesium.