Caring for Your Outdoor Container Plants

hanging basket

Hanging Basket, Patio Pot or Window Box care is not difficult, but it is specific.  Your arrangement is “contained” so it requires you to provide water and food to nourish.  Unlike plants in the ground which can send their roots deep in the earth looking for water, container plants need your diligence to keep them healthy, growing and blooming.

Assess when your plant requires water; in most cases container arrangements in the sun will require daily watering. Shade arrangements may man gardener watering viola flowers in gardenneed water less frequently.  Water thoroughly and deeply and until the container feels heavy and water drips from the drainage hole in the pot.  If the plant is too dry, water will run out quickly.  In this case the soil is stressed and shrunken form the side of the pot allowing the water to run out quickly.  Water it then re-water again a short time later when the soil has relaxed and expanded.  It should feel heavy with water weight.

If using liquid or water soluble fertilizer, fertilizer is required at least every two weeks.  If using slow release pellets, reapply mid-summer.  Be sure to not fertilize when the soil is dry as the fertilizer may burn the roots. Dampen first with clear water, then use fertilized water.

Environmental factors providing intense extremes like frosty nights, cool, whipping winds or relentless heat can damage your arrangement.  Be aware of weather conditions and set down out of wind or sun or inside overnight if needed to protect.  Most outdoor container arrangements cannot, however, live in your home permanently in the summer.  They require the sun and outdoor environment to properly thrive.  Some, like ferns, may be happy in a screened-in porch as long as there is ample light and air flow. Seek professional advice if you wish to carry over specific outdoor arrangement indoors for the winter.

By Vikki Whitney, Owner of Griffins Greenhouses
705-652-8638 or 1-877-647-4334

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