Annual flowers provide the most color for your garden from spring to fall and unlike Perennials; annuals have a longer blooming period. Here are some secrets for keeping your baskets beautiful all summer long.
1) When selecting your basket, check the tag and place the plant in the proper area with the right amount of light. Annuals such as Vinca, Petunias, Verbena, Calibrachoa and Lantana require at least 6 hours of sun each day.
2) Rotate the hanging baskets 90 degrees every few days so the plants will grow and flower evenly on all sides
3) Watering is the key to maintaining a healthy looking plant. During the hot summer months the watering requirements are higher and you may need to water your baskets twice a day depending on the amount of light and the heat. Always check the soil before watering, wilting of the plant usually indicates the need for water but when temperatures soar into the 90’s or higher they may also wilt due to heat stress.
Check the first few inches of the soil to determine whether you need to water or not. Water at the base of the plant as wet petals and foliage may develop mildew which kills existing blooms and buds. Watering early in the morning is best so the foliage and flowers have sufficient time to dry.
4) Pinch/deadhead blooms as they begin to fade to encourage a new flush of blooms
5) Fertilize every two weeks with a soluble fertilizer rich in phosphorus to encourage further flower production. Always apply fertilizer as recommended on package.
6) Sit back, Relax and enjoy!
By Marian Parsley – Annual Department Buyer/Manager