Decorative planters and hanging baskets filled with flowers are a fun way to add color to decks, patios and front steps during the summer. They look gorgeous when first planted or when you buy them at the nursery.
|Annual potted plant|
But July and August are tough months for annual potted plants.
By now, your potted plants might look leggy and overgrown, or maybe they’ve stopped flowering and are starting to look dead.
Now is a great time to give your container plants a boost to revitalize them and get them looking beautiful again.
Here are a few general maintenance tips for revitalizing your potted plants:
- Pull out any dead annuals, allowing room for the healthy ones to thrive.
- Trim off any leggy or dead growth.
- Pinch off new growth to keep the plants compact.
- Deadhead the flowers (remove all the dead flowers).
- Unless you plan to collect the seeds, cut off any seed heads that are forming. This will allow the plant to focus it’s energy on forming new blooms, rather than wasting energy producing seeds.
Once you finish tidying up the plants, give them a boost with some fertilizer.
Before fertilizing, make sure the plant isn’t dehydrated. If you fertilize a plant that is dehydrated, you risk burning your plants with the fertilizer. If the soil is dry and the plant is drooping, water it well and allow it to perk back up before adding fertilizer.
You can buy either a granular type fertilizer, or liquid fertilizer for your potted plants. The granular fertilizer is a slow release type fertilizer that you’ll only need to add once or twice during the growing season. The liquid type fertilizer can be used every time you water.
For blooming plants you should buy a fertilizer where the center number on the label is higher. I use a granular type fertilizer for my blooming plants, which has 15-30-15.
|Loosen up the soil before adding granular fertilizer|
To apply the granular fertilizer, loosen up the soil on top of the pot.
This will help to distribute the granules more evenly.
Follow the directions to see how much you should add to your potted plant.
Most labels will tell you how much to use for the size of pot your plants are in.
|Sprinkle granules evenly over the soil|
Sprinkle the granules evenly over the soil and then water well.
Taking the time to follow these steps will have your annual potted planters looking beautiful again in no time.