Hanging basket mistakes to avoid that ‘cause stress’ and results in ‘root rot’

Homebase details the best way to prepare hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are a favourite among gardeners, as they are space-saving and can prevent pests and diseases.

They are a happy home for many plants that thrive and grow gracefully, draping along the sides and climbing along walls from within the planters.

However, there are several mistakes that can bring down hanging basket plants and ruin the time spent tending to them.

Bryan Clayton, CEO and co-founder at Green-Pal has shared five common mistakes that people often make when maintaining their hanging baskets that should be avoided.

1. Selecting the wrong plants 

Choosing plants ideal for use in hanging baskets is essential to the health of the flowers. The expert urged gardeners to “think about it” carefully as “not all plants are cut out for life in a hanging basket”. 

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Bryan explained: “Some may grow too large, while others might need specific conditions hard to meet in a basket. In my years of working with various plants, I’ve tested numerous species and found that those naturally adapted to container life and your local climate fare the best.”

Plants like fuchsia, lobelia, and petunias thrive in hanging baskets because of their trailing growth pattern.

2. Neglecting the watering needs of the basket

Gardeners need to be aware that hanging baskets “dry out faster” than conventional garden beds due to exposure from all sides.

The gardening pro explained that this happens as the suspended nature of these baskets allows air to circulate freely, accelerating evaporation and drying out the soil. 

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On the other hand, overwatering can be a problem too, “causing root rot and other unfavourable conditions”. This is why gardeners need to regularly check the soil moisture to ensure “optimal watering”.

3. Not ensuring adequate drainage

Bryan claimed that making sure hangman baskets have good drainage is “equally as crucial” as watering them regularly.

Most people don’t know this, but hanging baskets can “easily become waterlogged”, which leads to root rot. 

The expert said: “Based on the results I’ve seen, using a high-quality potting mix that drains well can significantly reduce waterlogging.”

4. Ignoring the nutrient needs of your plants

Given that plants in hanging baskets rely entirely on gardeners for nutrition, it’s “essential to replace nutrients” lost during watering.

Bryan has experimented with various fertilisers and he recommends using a “balanced slow-release type to keep your plants nourished and blooming”.

5. Incorrect placement

Placement plays a “significant role in the health and vibrancy” of hanging baskets. 

Bryan warned: “Windy or overly sunny spots can cause stress to the plants and dry them out quickly.” Baskets hung too high can also be hard to maintain properly.

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