The Q&A Archives: Hanging baskets

Question: I have seven hanging baskets which I have hanging from hooks along our wooden fence around the perimeter of our yard. They get sun most of the day and it sometimes gets quite windy. I have tried several different plants but I don't seem to be able to keep them looking good all summer. I water daily and fertilize every two or three weeks during the summer with a water soluble fertilizer. This year I had a mix of geraniums, strawflower, petunias, and sweet potato vine. The strawflowers were dead by early July and the petunias are barely living, I have cut everything back several times and get new growth, but it doesn't last long. The geraniums are the only ones that keep on going. What to do?

Answer: It sounds as though you are giving your hanging baskets adequate care so I think the major problem is the wind coupled with reflected heat from the fence. If you adjust your plant selection, you may have better success. The following plants are heat, wind, and drought tolerant: Moss rose, trailing lantana, verbena, annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus), Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens), Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), Licorice Plant (Helichrysum petiolare), Lotus Vine (Lotus berthelotii), Fan Flower (Scaveola aemula). All are trailing and would make nice additions to hanging baskets.

Best wishes with your garden!

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