Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hanging Plants

Planted About 10 Days Ago
Hanging plants can add a lot of interest to a garden.  However, they are a lot of work - water and fertilizer.  Here are some ideas that may help.

Check every day to see if they need watering.  During really hot and windy times that can be more than once a day.  I just lift them a little from the bottom and if they feel heavy then they still are moist enough.  Sometimes I use a moisture meter (found at hardware stores in garden area) and stick it in a couple of inches to see if they are too dry.   Don't forget to deadhead regularly to keep them blooming.

Potting mix that already has moisture control crystals in it is a huge help or add your own.  These do not disintegrate over time.  They absorb water and gradually release it as the soil dries.  Read the directions and don't get too heavy-handed with it.  It really does expand and can make a mess when it gets wet.  

One problem with hanging plants it that they only get sun from  one direction.  Here's a handy way to help rotate them without killing yourself.  Use dog chain swivel connectors!  Then swivel your pots around every few days and they will grow more evenly.  Just remember to swivel 'righty-tighty' or you'll undo the hook holding the plant hanger to the patio roof.  Yes, that is the voice of experience speaking.
 Another cool way to add height to your garden is to try one of these new plant stand stakes.  At least they are new to me.  Just push it firmly into the ground and add your pot to the cage on top.  

When watering hanging plants (or container plants) water until it drips out the bottom.  Then you know that you have water all the way down to the roots.  If you can put another plant underneath and it will benefit from the overflow. 

This colander planter drips onto the container plant on the table below.  It's an old colander that I had, spray-painted and added the chains.  I put a coconut fiber liner in it to hold the soil.

Hanging plants and container plants need regular fertilizing.  Either a liquid like 'Miracle-gro' or long lasting granules will work.  But you do need to use them more often than if they were in the ground.

Portulaca in Full Day Sunshine
For me it's always an experiment to see what will work in different areas.  I really like portulaca for hot, windy places.  They are really tough and just a little water will totally revive them.     


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