Container plants that can take the heat
Zinnias attract butterflies
I may have some volunteers from my daughters work cone to clean up our yard, plant my containers, etc. I need some recommendations for low maintenance, heat tolerant bloomers for medium pots that sit on our full sun patio and hanging baskets that get full sun.
I am strictly prohibited from doing anything with flowers and dirt, so it will be nag and beg for the rest of the family to water, deadhead, etc. Suggestions. I also have an old wheelbarrow we have planted, but didn't do so well last year.
Here's the wheelbarrow..it sits in full sun...we filled it with marigolds last year...I'm thinking adding some purslane for trailing.
Pots are 10-12 inches..also have some square white plastic pots about the same scale. All faces southwest, full afternoon sun. The bed has a couple of knockout roses and if they survived, some carpet roses and a coreopsis or two...I try to add some perennials every year.
Do you buy ready made hanging baskets or design you own?See results without voting
Pink, yellow and lavender flowers
Good News - all these plants are low maintance. No pruning or deadheading needed. That is called self cleaning. Of course, if the Queen is coming for tea, any plant would benefit from the occasional trim and a spot of fertilizer. But you dob't have to deadhead flowers to have continuous blooms this summer.
You can't grow wrong with pastels like pink, yellow and lavender flowers. You can see the colors across the yard. It is calming, and relaxing to look out at pastels.
Calabracoa - you probably never heard of these, but you have seen them. They are troopers in hanging baskets or containers. plants can tolerate light frost and thrive in sun or semi-shade
Petunias – Not your momma's petunias. These are superior to the old varieties. You will have color until first frost. Beautiful tumbling over the hanging basket.
Geraniums – pink geraniums, like Martha Washington pink geraniums. Good ole geraniums. Like hot, dry environments and require little or no attention.
Plant a geranium in the middle of the pot for height. Plant two or three petunias on the outside.
Zinnias Cherry Profusion series
Best pink flowers for containers and baskets
Profusion Zinnias are in this edition of 'Becky's Flowers
*Becky Funke is busy battling with cancer and does not get to be outside much. Plus there should not be any flowers indoors either.
So, not to be deterred, I send flowers on Pinterest. You can stop by her CaringBridge site to leave well wishes and get updates. Her 3 tireless daughters help keep the site up to date.
Choose tried and true 'Old Faithfuls'
Whatever your choice, pick two or three colors and stick with them. Use your three color choices in all the containers.
Consider bigger planters, hanging baskets and containers. Larger containers and baskets hold more water and give roots more room to grow. More information - Why are my superbells dying?
Pay now or pay everyday this summer. Bigger containers will cost more now. The advantage is, you won't have to water every day. In August or in a drought, you will have to water twice a day.
You will have healthier plants with better root systems. Healthy plants have more and bigger blooms for longer.
Boost potting soil mix with peat moss or coir to increase water holding capacity. Moisture holding potting soil costs more money, but your volunteer gardeners/waterers will thank you.
Buying filled hanging baskets will look good early on. Chances the pots are already root bound. There is not enough soil to hold a useful amount of water or fertilizer.
Container plants and baskets are totally dependent on you for fertilizer and water. Plants in the ground can draw some nutrients and water from the soil. To prevent under watering or over watering and to much or too little fertilizing, have a routine or plan. A schedule will help the plants and help the volunteer garden team.
Consider some non blooming plants either with the flowers or a collection of non blooming plants.
Look for varieties of coleus and sweat potatoes. Flowers are not the focus but you will have color all season. Calibrachoa and Coleus are excellent container choices.
Buy smaller plants, don't over-crowd them. The containers will look sparse at first, but the plants will have room to grow and establish their roots. Over crowding is often the biggest problem in hanging baskets. Superbells® Calibrachoa are fadeproof and self cleaning.
Bigger is better
Buy bigger containers or water the little ones twice a day.
- Splurge on three bigger containers. The 3 pots will hold moisture yet drain away excess water.
- Drill small drainage holes in the bottom.
- Fill with light and airy potting soil. Mulch will hold in the moisture and regulate temperature.
- Add flowering annuals.
- Lightly cover the soil surface with grass clippings once a month. Add a little more every month. (It is free fertilizer.)
- Fertilize with half-strength fertilizer every two weeks.
- Empty pots in fall, tun upside down put them in the garage or under the house.
You will be able to use these pots for years.
When word gets out about how you treat your plants, Happy Plants everywhere will wish they lived at your house.
Use what you have
Turn it over on it's side, and plant petunias to look as it they were spilling out of the wheelbarrow and flowing in a wave of flowers.
Or, drill tiny holes in the bottom for drainage. Buy potting soil with moisture holding crystals. Set you old watering can beside the wheel barrow, fill with soil and flower seed, Or just keep it handy as a reminder to water the wheelbarrow flowers.
This is a hot, shallow, metal container. Don't let the plants completely dry out.
Grow 'Profusion' Zinnias, lots of colors, start from plants or seeds. They can take the heat! Always look good. Just water them.
These bushy plants, 12 inches high and 15 inches wide, are simply smothered nonstop all season with cheerful, 2-inch daisy-formed blooms. Let them tumble over the edges of the wheel barrow.
More by this Author
This shasta daisy will bloom and bloom again. Give this much-improved variety a place in your landscape or container garden. Low maintenance, easy care. Add a little sunshine with Banana Cream.
Petunias are a hanging basket staple. Try this new Black Cherry Petunia, a Must Grow for your patio. Learn container garden planting techniques. Look for bold new colors in the garden center.
Keep sidewalks and driveways weed-free all summer. Try these simple and safe remedies as weed and grass killers.