We love them. But, we are not sure if we can look after one. Should we just make our own? Buy one ready to go? And if we do decide to “get one” – what should we buy and then – how can we keep it alive?? Yes, yes – the many angles of the “hanging basket” dilemma!! I am going to shed a little light on the subject…
No difference if you build your own or buy off the shelf, you still need to consider some facts such as:
Light Requirements: Sun? Shade? Most importantly, the time of the day for sun or shade. All plant love the morning sun; some plants will not grow well in the hot afternoon sun; some plants will live in the total shade and some plants do much better in the full sun. So how to figure all this out?? Well – ask us!! …or take a look at this link for some information.
Just to mention, when a plant is calling for “full sun” this means that it needs a minimum of six hours of sun a day.
Location: Do you want to have it hanging high up? – then chose trailers in the design. Close to the door? – you will be able to maintain it easier. Try to avoid a windy area if you can (sorry to my Cheticamp friends!!) – the wind is your worst enemy in a hanging basket as it dries it out so fast.
Water Requirements: The most common question is “how much water does my hanging basket need?” – there is no definite answer to this because there are many factors at play: number of plants in the basket, location (sunny or windy = much more water required), type of plant, size of basket and probably most important – what is the weather doing? Even on a humid day without rain, the basket needs little water but on a hot windy day, maybe you will have to water it twice. Learn what the weight of your basket is when it is fully watered and then let it dry out before watering again. Think about the full weight being a “5” and totally dry to almost wilt stage as “1” – then water the plant at stage “2.” A trick: put a diaper in the bottom of your hanging basket if you make it yourself – it helps to preserve water.
Maintenance: Dead heading (if necessary) makes your basket look and be more healthy. This video gives a great tutorial about deadheading and shaping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY_Q3FQaBM8 . Don’t be afraid to give your plants a “haircut.” Regarding fertilization, be sure to give some regular fertilizing and simply follow the instructions on the package. We give our plants a low dose of fertilizer almost every time we water (once a week, we use just water). The fertilizer that we carry and recommend is one that promotes bloom. You can also use a slow-release pellet fertilizer that would be good for up to 4 months – very convenient (yes, we do sell that as well in small amounts). Also, use a container mix – you do not want to use a garden soil or anything that will become compacted in that small space.
If you choose to make your own basket, do not crowd the basket with plants. It may look a little sparse starting out but will fill in much better. We recommend using 3 – 4 plants in a 10 inch basket and no more than 5 – 6 in a 12 inch basket. As for what to put in the basket – use your imagination and personal preference.