How to Keep Hanging Plants Blooming All Summer


There are four secrets to a good hanging basket: the right soil, deadheading, water and replacing plants that are not thriving. Soil-less planting mediums are typically used in hanging baskets because they are fast-draining but moisture-retentive and allow the plant's roots to stretch to the bottom of the container. Deadhead regularly or plants will stop producing blooms and start producing seeds. Keep the soil moist. Plants that are water-stressed too often will stop producing blooms. And finally, don't be afraid to replace plants that are not blooming with other, younger plants.

Step 1

Choose hanging baskets or pots with a soil-less planting medium. If you are making your own hanging basket, use a commercially made soil-less planting medium.

Step 2

Place your hanging plants where they receive six to 12 hours of direct sun a day. If you live in an area with hot, dry summers, place your hanging plants where they will receive afternoon shade.

Step 3

Water your hanging plants daily. Keep watering until water runs out of the bottom drainage holes. On hot or windy days you might have to water two or three times. Don't allow the soil to dry out. Use a watering wand or a watering can with a long neck to make watering easier.

Step 4

Use a small pair of sharp scissors or small pruning shears to deadhead (remove dead and dying flowers) plants. This should be done every other day.

Step 5

Fertilize your hanging plants every two weeks with a commercial 1-2-1 fertilizer or plant food. Follow package directions for application rate.

Step 6

Cut leggy (long stems with few leaves and flowers) plants back by half. Once cut back, the plant will put forth bushy growth and flowers. Use scissors or small pruning shears for this.

Step 7

Replace plants that have stopped flowering, are dead or dying. Gently remove the old plant with as much of the root ball as possible. Ease the new plant into place firming the soil around the base of the plant to hold it secure. Choose smaller plants as replacements as these are easier to place among other plants.

Step 8

Turn hanging baskets a quarter turn every two to three days to promote even growth and flowering.

Tips and Warnings

  • High-nitrogen fertilizers will encourage green growth while decreasing the amount of flowers produced. Once a plant has started to set seeds, it will stop flowering. Deadheading removes the flowers before they have a chance to produce seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil-less planting medium
  • Water wand or watering can
  • Small pair of sharp scissors or small pruning shears
  • 1-2-1 commercial liquid fertilizer or plant food
  • Extra plants to replace those that are not thriving


  • Iowa State University; Caring for Hanging Baskets
  • Clemson Extension; Care for Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes
  • Horticulture; Maintaining Hanging Plants

Who Can Help

  • BBC Gardeners' World; Tips for Planting Hanging Baskets
Keywords: caring for hanging plants, keeping hanging plants in bloom, hanging plants