In late May, the Colorado gardener will finally get to be out in the yard, digging in the dirt. If you are a patio or deck gardener, it's time to get out the pots, clean them up and get planting. Choose plants that have the same requirements so that you aren't constantly trying to remember which plant is in need of water or fertilizer. Colorado sits in USDA Hardiness Zones 3a to 7a. With the exception of the petunia, water the following plants weekly, unless there is a particularly dry spell.
Often planted in the early spring, a hanging basket of colorful pansies can get the gardening season off to a great start. Pansies do quite well in Colorado as they can survive brief amounts of snow cover. According to the Master Gardener at the Extension Office of Colorado State University, good varieties to grow in Colorado include the Swiss Giant, Alpenglow, Berna, Giant Orange and Thunersee.
The vinca seems tailor-made to being grown in planters and will thrive on the Colorado patio. This plant is drought-tolerant, prefers sun but will tolerate shade (give it 3 hours of sunlight a day) and requires fertilizer when you feed your other potted plants.
The Double Grandiflora variety of petunia is wonderful in a hanging basket as it will spill over the sides of the pot and cascade with beautiful, bright flowers. Petunias require a bit more water than your other hanging plants, preferring to sit in consistently moist soil. Dead-heading (pinching off dead and dying flowers) will encourage your petunia to bloom.
Ivy Leaf Geranium
The ivy leaf geranium is another plant that will provide your Colorado container garden with lots of summer color. It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade, especially on days when the temperature climbs over 85 degrees F. The Summer Showers variety is especially suited to being grown in hanging planters and comes in a variety of colors, from white to a bright fuchsia.
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