When the heat of summer really kicks in, some planters and hanging baskets start to look a little winded. Here’s how to refresh them quickly.
Inspect. Examine your plant to see whether it’s worth saving. If at least 50 percent of the plant is still green, it should bounce back quickly. (You can resurrect plants with a lower percentage of living tissue, but the process takes longer and you may be better off replacing the plant.)
Trim. With sharp hand pruners, cut out as much dead material as possible. With petunias (pictured), much of the dead material is underneath the live portion. Once the dead material has been removed, trim the remaining live growth by one-third to encourage branching.
Feed. Give your plant some extra nutrients for increased growth. You can use one application of a slow-release fertilizer labeled for flowers (pictured). Or, treat plants with a water-soluble fertilizer twice a month for the rest of the growing season.
Irrigate. Water the container well. When hanging baskets dry out, irrigation water may run down the sides of the basket and out the bottom without seeping into the root ball. If that happens, soak the basket in a tub of water for 30 minutes to re-wet the root ball. After that, water daily so the roots don’t dry out again.