How To Maintain Hanging Plants

Observe these guidelines to maintain the health and beauty of hanging basket plants all summer long:

  • Drink lots and plenty of water. Generally speaking, plants grown in containers require more frequent watering than those growing in the ground. Because they are exposed to drying breezes, hanging baskets are a case in point. If the pot seems light when you raise it from the bottom and reach up, it definitely needs water. If the soil is dry after sticking your finger an inch into it, water. Most places require daily, if not twice daily, watering of hanging plants. When you water, water should flow from the drainage holes.
  • Cut back flowering plants. Remove dying and fading flowers by pinching them off at the stem’s junction. New blooms are encouraged to grow as a result. If not, the plant might direct its energy toward producing seed.
  • As necessary, add more plants to a mixed basket. If a plant in a mixed planting has completed blooming, do not be scared to remove it. Replace it with something else after removing it slowly and being mindful of the surrounding plants. Alternately, cover the hole with additional dirt and let the other plants fill it in.
  • Fertilize. The nutrients in the potting mix will soon deplete because you’ll be watering constantly. Use a dry slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer to feed the plants (not both). Follow the recommendations for quantity and repetition. Never fertilize plants while they are wilting and only when the soil is moist.
  • Soak, if necessary. Try soaking the pot for up to an hour in a pail of water if water is streaming from the drainage holes but the soil still appears to be dry. This will rewet the soil completely.
  • Retrim lanky plants. Do not be reluctant to prune the plants back if they begin to look straggly. Verbena, petunias, and impatiens, which are the most popular hanging plants, will have denser new growth.

What is the lifespan of hanging plants?

Even while hanging baskets have many benefits, there are always a few typical issues you could encounter. But don’t worry! I’ll do everything I can to assist you.

This section is jam-packed with good maintenance advice that will help you keep your hanging basket not just alive but utterly luxuriant all season long.

Why do my hanging baskets die?

Typically, annuals—plants that live for only one season and then need to be replaced—are used to fill hanging baskets. After one season, even perennial plants that reseed themselves need to be replaced or severely clipped in order to continue growing in a hanging basket.

A hanging basket is a short-term planter that is used for decoration; it is not designed to produce for many years without care.

The likelihood that the hanging basket will perish can be decreased by having a basic understanding of the growing circumstances.

How often should you water a hanging basket?

The growing season requires regular watering of hanging baskets. There is typically much less room for the soil to hold water because there are numerous plants vying for limited root space in the soil. This, along with the drainage that occurs from a hanging basket, means that you need water your hanging basket considerably more frequently than you would an in-ground garden.

If your hanging basket is in a sunny spot, you should water it at least once a day and sometimes twice during the hot summer months. However, if the hanging basket is in a more shaded area, you might be able to skip watering for a few days.

How to Check if Your Hanging Basket Needs to Be Watered

By inserting your finger into the earth’s surface, you may determine whether the soil is dry. The soil should be watered if it feels warm and dry; if it feels cool, it can wait another day.

Watering should ideally be done gradually to allow the soil to absorb the water. Pour the water over the top of the basket so that it sparkles but does not pool on the ground. The soil is saturated when water begins to leak out of the bottom of the basket.

The soil needs to be rehydrated if it has become dry by soaking it in water for a few hours.

Set up a kiddie pool or large tub with a few inches of water and place your hanging baskets in them before you leave if you’re going on vacation or won’t be able to water them for a few days. By doing this, you may take a break from watering your hanging baskets every day while they continue to keep hydrated.

Should you line a hanging basket with plastic?

Your baskets’ correct drainage will prevent over-watering and root damage. If you’re lining the basket with something to keep in water, though, it might be a concern.

Although some hanging baskets have plastic liners to keep moisture in, most annual plants need free-draining soil to maintain strong roots. Additionally, there are hanging baskets that automatically water themselves by holding a small reservoir of water below the basket that the roots can access as needed.

In order to assist in gathering the water and holding it below, you can also use transparent plastic trays that hang on a hanging basket.

All of these methods may allow you to skip watering for a few longer days, but they all call for extra care to prevent the roots from sitting in standing water, which might destroy them.

What is the best fertilizer for hanging baskets?

A handmade mixture from my book Garden Alchemy is my preferred fertilizer mixture for hanging baskets.

This soil mixture has great moisture retention and is very nutrient-rich for the flowers in your hanging baskets. If you do this every two weeks, your flowers should flourish.

In the recipe card at the bottom of this post, you can find the instructions for my fertilizer mixture.

How do you revive a hanging flower basket?

It can start to look a little overgrown, brown, and straggly for hanging baskets that you hung up at the start of the season. The solution is quite simple.

Pruning basics should be followed to tidy up the basket. Any plant material that is dead, ill, injured, or dying should be removed using scissors. Even if doing so necessitates chopping off half of the planter, you are still removing plant material that is consuming energy from growing healthy plant material, which will quickly bounce back.

To give the plants a good drink, refer back to my holiday rehydration advice and fill a kiddie pool or a tub with water. Leave the basket submerged for an hour or two.

Add a couple handfuls of high-quality compost to the basket’s top and a little extra hanging basket fertilizer mix.

How often should hanging plants be watered?

Watering plants correctly is essential, especially in the heat. Check the amount, frequency, and timing of your recommended irrigation.

When should I give them water? The morning is the optimum time to water your containers so they have time to absorb the moisture before the intense heat of the day. Additionally, plants absorb water more quickly in the morning.

How frequently ought I to water them? You should water your potted plants and hanging baskets every day throughout the summer heat. You might need to water your plants more than once on hot, windy, or muggy days. Additionally, you might not even need to water on wet days.

How much water should I dispense all at once to them? Water your hanging baskets and other containers until the bottoms of the containers start to leak water. Repeat this procedure a few times if the soil is completely dry and the water drains through the bottom fairly quickly.

How can I tell if I am watering my plants too much or too little? Given how similar the symptoms of over- and under-watering are, this can be challenging (yellowing of foliage). Use the finger test before watering since it is the best course of action. If the soil is damp when you stick one or two fingers into it, don’t water. Water it away if it’s dry.

Water Often.

Typically, hanging baskets and flower pots require more water than garden-grown flowers do. The time of year and the weather will affect how frequently you should water your baskets. Throughout the milder spring days, I can typically get away with watering our pots every two to three days, but during the summer, I increase the frequency to once per day. You could even need to water twice a day if it’s very hot or windy outside. For the best water guidelines, remember these suggestions…

  • In order to prevent water from evaporating too quickly, try to water your plants at the coolest time of day.
  • Check your hanging baskets and pots more frequently because smaller ones tend to dry out more quickly than larger ones.
  • Make sure to water the hanging baskets well so that the water drains through the drainage holes. With the added weight of the water, the baskets should feel rather heavy.
  • If you’re unsure whether your planters need watering, stick your finger about an inch into the soil to feel for dryness. If it is, watering is necessary!
  • Never forget that too much water can be bad for you! A root rut may develop if the soil is very damp or the planter is left in standing water. Finding a happy medium is the key!

Dead head.

Make sure to remove the dying flowers by plucking them off at the stem’s junction. This not only improves the appearance of your baskets but also promotes additional blooming. However, some flowers don’t require this, so make sure to read the care instructions for the particular flowers you’re planting. It could help you save a little time!


A little fertilizer can do a lot of good! I only started doing this a few years ago, but it has already had a significant impact on our planters. The fertilizer will restore any nutrients that the watering process has removed from the soil, resulting in fuller-looking baskets. Follow the instructions on the individual fertilizer you’re using, and make sure to fertilize when the soil is moist rather than when the plants are wilting. Your flowers may need more fertilizer as they mature than they did at the start of the season. If your flowers are exposed to a lot of rain, it’s a good idea to re-fertilize because the extra moisture can wash the fertilizer away.

Trim once or twice a season.

By the middle of the summer, planters might start to appear somewhat straggly. Your hanging basket shouldn’t have a mullet-like appearance! If this occurs, give them a slight haircut to promote branching and produce a basket that looks fuller for the remainder of the summer. Use a pair of cutting-edge sheers to clip off at least a few inches. A little bit more may be required for baskets with a lot of drooping flowers. Basically, you just want to make things equal. Be aware that while you could lose a few gorgeous flowers temporarily, your baskets and planters should recover fast and become much healthier over time.

Plant only what you can care for.

Every spring, I look forward to going to the garden center and want to buy everything. Even though it could be tempting to stock up on flowers for planting, make sure you only buy what you can truly care for. Many planters that are wilting and straggly look SO much worse than a few lovely hanging baskets and well-loved planters. You may always add extra if you’d like once you get into the pattern and are aware of how long it takes you.

Rotate your hanging baskets around.

Try rotating their location if you can if you observe that one or two of your baskets are doing significantly better than the others. On either side of our front porch, there are two hanging baskets, however one side always receives a strong afternoon sun while the other side is a little cooler. One basket looked fantastic by the middle of the summer, whereas the other appeared somewhat depressing. I’ve been switching the baskets every week for the past two summers, and it has made such a difference.

That concludes my list of recommended maintenance techniques for hanging baskets and planters. I hope that gave you the motivation you needed to buy some flowers this weekend at your neighborhood garden center. By this time of year, there is generally a fantastic selection and wonderful Mother’s Day bargains!

Should hanging plants receive daily watering?

Nothing enhances the appearance of a front entrance or patio in the summer like stunning hanging baskets filled to the brim with vibrant flowers and leaves. You might believe that choosing which one to bring home is the hardest part because there are so many different colors and varieties to choose from! However, after it has been hung and is being enjoyed by you and your neighbors, you must begin considering how to take care of your new hanging basket, particularly when determining how much water they require.

Not to worry! Since I’ve been raising hanging baskets for more than 20 years, I can provide you with all the advice you need to keep it flourishing all summer long.

How Much Water Does My Hanging Basket Need?

Now let’s be honest. Your hanging basket needs a lot of water to survive those sweltering summer days because he is a thirsty little fellow. An established 12″ or 14″ hanging basket will typically require 1 gallon of water per watering. (Better get those arm muscles developing!) You might not need to water your hanging basket every day if the weather is colder in the spring or fall. You might need to water your plants twice a day when the temperature rises to the 25–40°C range, in addition to every day.

Make sure to thoroughly saturate the soil each time you water. To ensure that the water has permeated the soil completely, at least 10% of the water should drain out of the pot’s bottom. Your plants will receive sufficient moisture as a result to withstand the heat of the day. (You wouldn’t put off drinking water until you got home from the beach, would you?) If you don’t want the area around your front doorway to get wet, take your basket off its hook before watering it.

Pro tip Less water will be required for newly planted hanging baskets since young plants need time to establish roots. Instead of flooding the soil, you should only use roughly half the volume of the pot (2 liters for a 12–14” pot) while watering fresh baskets. Why? The roots have to look for water in order to grow. The tops will develop and you will notice the growth of foliage and flowers after the roots have gotten big enough to touch the edge of the pot.

What Time of Day Should I Water My Hanging Basket?

Morning is the optimum time of day to water your hanging basket, ideally between 5 and 9 am. This makes sure that your plants have access to enough water and can remain hydrated even during the warmest parts of the day. Watering in the evening is absolutely not preferred because plants detest having damp roots when they go to sleep. One cannot blame them!

If you need to give your hanging baskets a second watering on a very hot day, try to do it between 4 and 5 o’clock, but not later.

Less water will be required for newly planted hanging baskets since young plants need time to establish roots. Instead of flooding the soil, you should only use around half the volume of the pot (2 litres for a 12–14” pot). Why? The roots have to look for water in order to grow. The tops will develop and you will notice the growth of foliage and flowers after the roots have gotten big enough to touch the edge of the pot.

How Can I Tell When My Hanging Basket Needs Water?

Put your hand on the pot’s bottom and lift it up a little to determine whether or not your hanging baskets need water. If the soil is dry or still damp, you may tell by the weight of the pot. In order to ensure that your plants have appropriate moisture, if it lifts easily, you probably need to add additional water.

Before watering, make careful to take the rain spout off the watering can’s tip, if it has one. This enables you to thoroughly water the soil and get the tip within the plants. To prevent getting the leaves overly moist, avoid watering from above the basket. Otherwise, the flowers and foliage in your hanging basket will develop dark blotches.

Should I Fertilize My Hanging Baskets?

Absolutely! Your hanging baskets require fertilizers in order to grow and thrive, just like all of your potted plants. They require a constant supply of food because they can consume all the nutrients in their soil in a matter of weeks. Because it is simple to use and guarantees that the roots can receive the nutrients, I advise using water soluble fertilizer.

For my hanging baskets, I always use a 15-30-15 with micronutrients. You can either use it every other watering at full power or, in my opinion, every other watering at half strength.

Pro tip Don’t fertilize again until the soil has absorbed enough fresh water to become soft and the plants have perked up if you have neglected to water your baskets to the point where they are bone dry and the plants are wilting. After that, you can carry on with your regular fertilization routine.

The most crucial component of caring for a hanging basket is water. A consistent watering regimen along with fertilizer will guarantee a lovely flowering and flourishing basket all season long. Enjoy your hanging baskets this summer and we hope these ideas and tricks were helpful to your plants!