How to Care for Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets

How to Care for Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets

Posted by Jessie Jacobson on Apr 17th 2024

How to Care for Containers Gardens and Hanging Baskets

Tonkadale is known for planting the most gorgeous hanging baskets each spring. We want you to be successful all season long so we put together a guide for caring for container gardens and hanging baskets. Read to the end to download our care card!



4 hours or less of direct, morning sun, dappled light, or intermittent light throughout the day. Usually in a covered area or the North side of the house. Indirect light.

Part Sun

 4-6 hours of morning sun, or late day sun. Not the heat of the day. Usually the East side of the house.

Full Sun

6+ hours of direct sun. Usually in an exposed area or the West and South sides of the house.


  • Check pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets daily until you are comfortable with the rate at which they dry out.
  • Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry or if plants show wilt.
  • Planters, boxes, and baskets in the shade will require less water while those in the sun will require more.
  • Wind can be very drying. Do not count on a rain event to give good watering coverage. Best practice is to water long and deep to provide adequate moisture.
  • Extreme heat will increase watering needed. Check twice daily during the heat of the summer.


  • Fertilize your pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets at least 1x per week to encourage robust blooms and green growth. Combination planters in deep shade will require dramatically less fertilizer.
  • At Tonkadale, we recommend an all-purpose liquid fertilizer like Miracle-Grow Bloom Booster. For containers planted with petunias, calibrachoa, hibiscus, and mandevilla, use an acidic fertilizer such as Mir-Acid.
  • For containers that are difficult to reach, use a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote.

Prune and Dead-Head

Your containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets will enjoy some extra love and care. Make sure to dead-head spent blooms, pinching back all the way to the stem - petunias, calibrachoas, geraniums, and begonias. Prune and pinch foliage of vining plants to encourage fullness and a shapely appearance - vinca vine, sweet potato vine, ivies. Pinch back taller plant such as coleus to keep their height in check and to create a fuller plant.

Outdoors In

Many of the containers planted at Tonkadale include what are traditionally used as indoor plants. These can be re-potted and enjoyed in the home when the season is over. Simply wash clean,

cut back if needed, and treat with insecticidal soap to avoid possible insect populations.

Share Your Success

Send us photos (or tag us on social media) of your containers when they are at their peak.