‘Easiest test’ to find out if hanging baskets need water for ‘healthier’ flowers

Homebase details the best way to prepare hanging baskets

Hanging baskets and container plants are notoriously thirsty, but careful watering will save water and allow plants to flourish, especially during hot weather.

Compared to garden plants, watering hanging baskets is a more frequent project because the ambient air dries out the container quickly.

It can be tricky to know when to water hanging baskets because they are often out of convenient reach and their requirements are very different.

According to the gardening pros at Hozelock, ensuring hanging baskets are watered “correctly” can give “stronger and healthier flowering plants”.

However, to be able to water these plants correctly, gardeners first need to know when they need watering.

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Luckily, gardening expert at West Coast Gardens Jason VanderMey, has shared how to find this out.

He said: “The easiest test to find out if your hanging baskets need water or not, is to put your hand on the bottom of the pot and lift it up slightly. 

“You can feel from the weight of the pot, whether the soil is dry or still wet. If it lifts easily, you probably need to add some water to make sure your plants have enough moisture.”

Once gardeners have established when these plants need watering, they need to know how much water is required.

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Hanging baskets typically need watering until you see water coming out of the drainage holes. Gardeners should see at least 10 percent of the water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

This ensures the entire root ball is adequately hydrated, especially during hot weather. However, avoid overwatering as it can suffocate the roots and lead to root rot.

With UK temperatures reaching over 30 degrees in the coming day, gardeners will not only have to water every day, they might have to water twice a day.

Just like with garden plants in the ground, there is a preferred time of day to water hanging baskets.

Jason explained: “The best time of day to water your hanging basket is in the morning, preferably between 5am and 9am. 

“This ensures that your plants have enough moisture and can stay hydrated through the hottest hours of the day. 

“Watering in the evening is definitely not appreciated, as plants hate going to bed with wet roots.”

If it’s an “extremely hot day”, and gardeners need to give their hanging baskets a second watering, try to do it between 4pm and 5pm, but “not any later”.

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