If you're like most people, your houseplants aren't the most important things on
your to-do lists. Even the most attentive gardeners occasionally forget to water their hanging baskets.
But the good news is that unless the plants are completely gone, they can usually be revived.
Begin by clipping off the dried-up flowers and browning leaves. See! It looks better
already! Now, cut back the yellowing stems and any stems with a good many yellowing leaves to encourage the plant to send out new shoots. If your plant has trailing stems, you may
need to untangle the stems first to determine which ones are worth keeping.
If you're like me, you might find it very difficult to bring yourself to clip off buds that will
soon be opening, so use your own judgment to determine if it is necessary.
A plant with a lot of damage will have more trouble recovering if it's trying to support buds during the recovery period, and the buds
will probably fall off without opening anyway. If the damage is mild, leave the buds
on the undamaged stems in place.
Watering a dried out hanging basket can be a little difficult. You might find that as you pour water into the basket it simply runs
on out without really wetting the soil.
The best way to overcome this is to run a pan of tepid water, then add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. The dishwashing liquid acts as a wetting agent and allows the water to soak into the soil.
Set your plant inside the pan of water and leave it for at least an hour, or until the basket is saturated, misting the plants a time or two while they soak. If there are heavy chains or ropes attached to
the basket, support them with a stick so that they don't lay on top of your plants. When the plants are dry, it doesn't take much weight to break the stems and leaves.
At this point you'll want to do everything you can to help your plants get back on their feet, but it's best to avoid feeding them for about five days. This
will give them time to overcome the shock before trying to send out new shoots.
Watch your recovering plants closely for signs of insects or disease. In their weakened state, they are more susceptible to pests and fungus, and they should be treated right away if you suspect a problem. Before you know it, your
hanging basket will be bursting with blooms again.
About the author:
Jackie Carroll is the editor of GardenGuides.com, a leading internet destination for gardening information and ideas.
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