Hanging Baskets

Friday, May 25th, 2012 by Jenny Watts
    • Rhododendrons are in full bloom now. Choose plants now for spectacular blooms in your shade garden.
    • Earwigs are out and about and hungry. Control them with the new “Sluggo Plus”, or diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the plants, or go out after dark with a flashlight and a spray bottle of Safer’s Insecticidal Soap. One squirt will put an end to the spoiler.
    • It’s time to plant tomatoes. Choose from the many varieties available now so you can enjoy delicious home-grown flavor.
    • When you plant your vegetable garden, why not grow a little extra to donate to the food bank this summer.
    • It’s time to put out oriole feeders. You can also attract them with fresh orange halves.

Hanging Baskets for Summer Beauty

Hanging baskets filled with colorful flowers bring outdoor living areas alive and make them a welcome retreat. Whether you have a sunny porch or a shady patio, you can brighten it up with hanging containers.

For a sunny spot, petunias, Million Bells and verbenas are perfect. The Wave petunias, Purple Wave, Pink Wave, Blue Wave, Tidal Wave and Misty Lilac Wave are ideal for hanging baskets. They grow in a horizontal habit, hanging down over the edge of the pots. Their bright colors are very eye-catching.

For the traditional colors, in red, pink, purple and white, Supercascade Petunias produce unending blossoms all summer.

Million Bells Calibrachoa makes a beautiful hanging plant. It is covered all summer with colorful flowers that resemble miniature petunias and they shed cleanly when the flowers fade. They come in bright cherry, red, rose, violet, blue, orange and yellow and grow very well in full sun.

Ivy geraniums grow well in morning sun and afternoon shade. They have a light, airy charm and come in red, pink, lavender, purple and white flowers. Their glossy ivy-like foliage is a handsome background for the bright colored flowers.

Several new Verbenas are now being used for hanging baskets. Tapiens Verbena makes an excellent flowering groundcover or hanging basket plant. They are fast growing with feathery leaves and bright-colored flowers on a neat, multi-branched plant. This is a very tough plant that is heat and drought-tolerant, thrives in full sun and even holds up well in windy conditions. Verbenas come in bright pink and purple.

Fuchsias are popular for shady areas. Their lush foliage and bright hanging flowers are frequently visited by hummingbirds. The flowers come in many shades of red, pink, purple and white and they bloom all summer if the seed pods are removed, and the plants are fertilized regularly.

Impatiens make lovely baskets for the shade, though they don’t really hang. You can plant them on the sides of a moss basket, though, to create a sphere of color by mid-summer. Add begonias and coleus for a riot of color all summer long.

You can create your own hanging gardens with combinations of colorful annuals. Impatiens, lobelia and violas provide summer-long color in shady areas. Petunias, alyssum and verbena give lots of color in sunny locations. You might also look for combination baskets already planted and blooming.

Hanging baskets should be fertilized weekly and watered daily in hot weather. Pinch off faded blossoms for continuous color all summer. Add a lovely color boost to your house or garden with hanging baskets.