Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Watering and caring for container plants
It’s been hot, it’s been humid and our containers are looking a bit bedraggled. Don’t be afraid to pinch those petunias. Right about now they’re getting a bit leggy, you can pinch them back and watch for more growth.
We should be fertilizing our annuals now as all the watering we’re doing leaches out any fertilizer they had when planted.
For overall health, use an all-purpose fertilizer. Soluble fertilizers are easy to use and are a good choice for container plants, where rooting space is at a premium and nutrients are often lost through frequent watering.
Over fertilizing can damage the plant, browning the leaves. However, Drammatic organic fish fertilizer with kelp will not.
Soluble fertilizers are easy to use and are a good choice for container plants, where rooting space is at a premium and nutrients are often lost through frequent watering. BE SURE TO READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PACKAGE!
Large, fast-growing plants may need more nutrients than slow-release fertilizers can provide, so keep an eye on your plants and supplement if needed. Think WAVE petunia!
Right now, we’re watering at a minimum of once a day, sometimes two and three times a day, in particular those plants in small pots.
Another suggestion comes from the University of MN Extension – mulch your containers!
Not only does mulch minimize water loss from evaporation, but it also moderates soil surface temperatures, keeping plant roots a bit cooler in the hot summer sun. Furthermore, mulch prevents soil from splashing onto plant leaves during rain or watering. Anne Sawyer said she’s amazed at how much the mulch has cut down on her watering!
Be careful about OVER watering too…. here’s an example:
This was an experiment in this pitcher. There was really no drainage, the few rocks I put in the bottom didn’t work out that well! It needs holes in the bottom. I transferred the plant but it looks pretty bedraggled now! PS, hummingbirds really love cuphea!