Adequate watering is the most important aspect of caring for your hanging baskets and potted plants. Improper watering can lead to wilting/curling of the leaves, reduced flowering, or death of the plant. To determine if a hanging basket or potted plant needs water, either lift the basket to see if it is light, or place your finger in the soil to a depth of 2 inches. If it feels very moist it is adequately watered. If it feels dry it needs water. When watering, give the plant enough water so it starts to drip out the bottom of the pot, this ensures the roots receive the water also. Wind and hot temperatures are two factors that increase the need for adequate watering of your plants. Proper watering will lead to healthy and long lasting plants.
Plants grown in containers need to be fertilized. Fertilizer provides plants nutrients and gives the plants energy to maintain healthy green leaves, aids in reblooming and promotes new growth of the foliage. There are two kinds of fertilizer. The first is slow release which is a granular form sprinkled on top of the soil. Over time through the watering process, the nutrients are slowly released into the soil of your container. We add this type of fertilizer to all our hanging baskets when planting. You will need to reapply the fertilizer by mid June. The second type of fertilizer is water-soluble which is in a powder or liquid form that you mix with water and apply once every week. Keeping your plants adequately fertilized will keep them looking beautiful and healthy.
Most plants will bloom much better if the flowers are removed when the blooms have expired. You may pinch these dead flowers with your fingers or use a scissors. If plants get too long or stringy you may also use the scissors to cut them back. This would also be a good time to fertilize the plants to encourage new growth. It may take up to two weeks for the plants to bloom again.