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How to Maintain Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are a great way to add colour and take advantage of a vertical space. They're also easy to maintain if you follow a few simple steps.

How to Maintain Hanging Baskets
The key is to select the right container and potting mix, water wisely and keep up with care and repair.
Consider basket size and weight

Consider basket size and weight

Big containers have the advantage of accommodating larger, lush plants and more soil. They also help keep roots moist longer, so you don't have to water as often as you would with small pots. But consider the weight of your container when you're deciding where it will hang. Heavy pots, such as pottery and clay, need a lot of support and big hooks since they can weigh anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds when filled with soil and plants.
Go for a quality potting mix

Go For Quality

It's important to use a lightweight, soil-free potting mix specially formulated for container plants. Look for a mix that includes water-holding crystals, like Scotts Premium Potting Mix, or add the crystals yourself. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer like Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix to help ensure your plants receive an ongoing supply of nutrients.
Water your basket wisely

Water wisely

Once your hanging basket is planted, keep it moist—not dripping wet. Water only when your plants need it. To assess if water is needed, put your index finger two knuckles deep into the centre of the basket. It's a good sign if the top of the soil is dry but there is still moisture inside the basket. If the centre feels as moist as a damp sponge, don't water. If it feels only slightly moist, water it thoroughly, right to the rim, until water runs out the bottom.
Prevent overwatering your plant

Troubleshoot

Common symptoms of overwatering (besides soggy soil) include yellowing leaves on the lower and inner parts of the plant and wilting leaves. To check whether the roots show rot, remove the plant from the pot. Tip the basket upside down and gently tap out the root ball. If there is no damage, you will see a nice network of plump, white roots, which should resist pressure if you pry on the root ball. If the root ball is shrunken, return it to the basket and, rather than watering, try an hour of soaking to rewet the root ball. This will return the plant to health.
Deadhead and feed plants to promote growth

Deadhead and feed to promote growth

If you don't deadhead (remove dead flowers) regularly, the developing seed heads will prevent new bud growth. Trim back the plants to remove all seedy growth. A balanced liquid fertilizer applied on a weekly basis also helps with plant development.

Four great blooms for hanging baskets

Lantana - With pretty red, orange, yellow, blue or white scented flowers, trailing lantana is a great addition to a hanging basket.

Angelonia - Angelonia is a heat-tolerant bloomer with apple-scented flowers.

Verbena - These pretty, sun-loving flowers grow rapidly and are easy to maintain.

Impatiens - With plenty of colourful options available, impatiens help brighten up and fill out a hanging basket.

Be sure to check out our Plant Library for more details on plant varieties, including bloom time, features and care instructions.

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