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Hanging Baskets!

Judy Wagley
Janice Jenkins takes care of many beautiful hanging baskets at Elm Creek Garden Center in Farwell, Michigan.

Everyone loves to see the colorful displays of blossoms that cascade down from hanging baskets, but keeping those flowers looking their best can be a challenge. Janice Jenkins, along with her husband Mike, has owned Elm Creek Garden Center in Farwell for 36 years. She gives us practical advice.

Janice recommends four steps for caring for hanging baskets:

One: Make sure we have the correct plant for our chosen location—sun or shade.

Two: Water the basket daily, using about one quart of water poured into the soil. More frequent watering may be required on very hot days.

Three: Janice advises weekly feeding with a balanced fertilizer. Plants confined to containers need plenty of nutrients to keep those flowers vibrant and abundant!

Four: Janice says that the last important step for keeping baskets beautiful is pinching and pruning. She advises pruning back one-third of the plant’s growth three times during the season to keep it from getting “straggly.”

Now that your hanging plants are looking gorgeous, what if you must be away for a few days?

Janice recommends taking the plants down and getting them out of the direct sun. To keep up with watering, try a wicking system, find a helpful neighbor who will water for you, or—take your basket with you if you can!