Hanging Gardens

Monday, July 18th, 2011 by Jenny Watts
    • New Guinea impatiens have variegated foliage and giant, impatiens flowers. These striking plants will take more sun than regular impatiens and will bloom all summer.
    • Pepper plants should be fertilized when the first blossoms open.
    • Feed camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons with an acid plant food now. Remove dead flowers and mulch to keep the soil cool.
    • Check roses for black spots on the leaves and treat immediately to prevent defoliation.
    • Check young trees and fruit trees for suckers and water sprouts. Rub suckers off as they appear and cut water sprouts off apple and pear trees.

Hanging Gardens

Hanging baskets are an easy way to dress up your home and add character to your landscape. 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 baskets.

Wave Petunias and Supertunias are two recent, popular varieties of the petunia. Both types of petunias are vigorous growers that produce fragrant blooms from spring until frost in sunny locations.

For all-summer color you can’t beat the Wave petunias. They come in bright pink, purple, magenta, as well as soft lavender and white. They are ideal for hanging baskets as they grow in a horizontal habit, draping down over the edge of the pots, sometimes reaching 4 feet long. Their bright colors are very eye-catching.

New Supertunia® Raspberry Blast has sweet two-toned pink blooms edged in violet. It is a smaller plant than the Waves but can trail up to two feet long. Million Bells® looks like a mini-petunias and come in bright pink, purple, orange and yellow. They love hot sun all day and make a very attractive hanging basket.

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

Tapien® Blue-Violet Verbena makes a fine hanging basket. It has delicate, feathery leaves and blue-violet blooms all season that attract butterflies. Heat tolerant and compact, it grows beautifully in full sun.

For very hot exposures, a hanging basket filled with multi-colored moss rose or portulaca makes a very colorful statement. Flowers come in bright red, orange, yellow, purple and pink that glow above glossy green, succulent leaves.

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.

Lovely hanging begonias are ideal plants for the shade. Their bright colored flowers are produced in profusion from mid-summer to frost. The bulbs can be stored and grown again and again.

You can create your own hanging gardens with combinations of colorful annuals. Impatiens, begonias, lobelia and coleus provide summer-long color in shady areas. Petunias, alyssum and verbena give lots of color in sunny locations.

If you like the mossy look, you can create a hanging basket using a wire basket and some green moss. With flowers growing out the sides as well as the top, it makes a spectacular lobe of color. For an easier, but similar, look use a coconut liner and slit holes in the sides for plants or just plant the top with trailing plants.

Hanging baskets should be fertilized weekly and watered daily in hot weather. Pinch off faded blossoms for continuous color all summer and enjoy the beauty of summer flowers all around you.