Ask a Question forum: I want to redo a hanging pot

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Name: betsykins
Portland, OR (Zone 8b)
May 11, 2017 6:13 PM CST
Hi Friends,

I am new to Oregon, living in Portland now. I saw hanging pots that had "trailing Lobelia" in them. I thought they flowered all summer. I guess they don't. I had planted some hanging pots about 12" wide. I put a wave petunia in each one, and then about 3 lobelia. Well, unbeknownst to me, the Lobelia had already bloomed at the nursery. It's just getting bushier and bushier (the Lobelia) and overwhelming the Petunias. I'm not happy with it. So, my question: will I hurt my Petunia plants if I take down the hanging pots and redo them by taking out the Lobelia? Or will they go through some sort of a shock. This is Zone 8b. I'm from Idaho, and our plants don't get quite as lush as these Lobelia plants. I mistakenly thought that were going to be sparser and trail over the sides. They are thick and bushy and growing taller than I wanted. What can I do?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 11, 2017 7:03 PM CST
Here's what I would do (oh, wait, I've done it Smiling ). Gently pull up the offending plant while holding the soil in place with your other hand. No need to dig up the petunia. Then add more plants. You can gently move the petunia to the side without bare-rooting it.

The thing that makes the professionally done hanging baskets and garden pots look beautiful is that the plants are jam packed wall to wall into them. The plants are all annuals (well, treated as annuals) so don't need the root room to grow. In a 12" basket, I would put at least 6 (and maybe 7) 4" pots.

Choose plants with different textures and colors. Add some that stand up and some that will trail. Some of the really full looking baskets have holes cut in the sides just below the rim to add more plants. The smaller the plant start you can find, the better. I always look for 6-packs then plant two plants per pot of each kind I find. My favorite baskets have Million Bells, green and purple sweet potato vines, lobelia, (before they are bloomed out Smiling ), bacopa and petunias.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 11, 2017 7:53 PM CST
Hi and welcome! How about a picture of your hanging baskets? I've had lobelia bloom all summer for me in Salt Lake City. Maybe it depends upon the variety.

I'd be willing to bet if you just give them a haircut, and wait until your weather warms up (and gets sunnier), you'll have lots more bloom from the lobelia in that pot. It's only the first half of May. If it were August, maybe they'd be bloomed out. No need to yank them and re-plant, I don't think.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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