May 3, 2022
How to Care for Containers and Hanging Baskets
Know your light
Shade: 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-out this blog for container garden ideas for sun and shade (more recipes coming later this week!)
How to water
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 and Feed
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. 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. Check out our guide to fertilizing outdoor gardens and containers!
Pruning and Dead Heading
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.
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. Read more here!
Share your success
Send us photos (or tag us on social media) of your containers when they are at their peak. firstname.lastname@example.org, @tonkadale