Provide proper care for hanging petunia baskets to keep them beautiful all summer.
image by DominusVobiscum/Flickr.com
A large hanging basket filled with colorful petunias is one of the most popular ways to adorn porches and decks. These beautiful baskets pop with vivid colors and stay attractive all summer long with minimal care. Whereas earlier varieties required extensive deadheading of the spent blossoms, newer petunia varieties need only a little shaping here and there to keep them looking lovely throughout the entire growing season.
Hang the petunia basket in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day for best results.
Water the hanging petunias daily, especially in the heat of the summer. To determine whether petunias need water, insert your finger 1 inch into the soil of the hanging basket. If the soil feels dry, provide water until it runs out the drainage hole in the bottom of the basket.
Rotate the hanging basket 180 degrees every week so that the petunia plants receive equal direct sunlight and the petunias will not grow in a lopsided fashion.
Fertilize the petunia plants with the liquid fertilizer once every two weeks. Mix the liquid fertilizer with water following the directions on the fertilizer package for the size of your petunia basket. If the soil is dry prior to fertilizing, provide water first and then drench with fertilizer. This will prevent root burning from the fertilizer.
Pinch back the petunias if you want them to be more compact and bushy. Approximately halfway through the summer, petunias begin to get overgrown and leggy. Trim off half of any overgrown stems with the garden shears to bring the petunia back into a more compact shape. Sometimes petunias benefit from a bit of shade for a few days after being pruned in this fashion.
Do not worry about deadheading the petunia blossoms because the new petunia varieties do not require deadheading.