Container gardening makes great sense

Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 01:10 PM.

Plant ‘grooming’

In order to have show stopping containers remember to water regularly, fertilize often and scout for diseases and insects. To keep my containers looking their best, I deadhead faded blooms. Deadheading redirects a plant’s energy from seed production back into flower production. In addition to faded blooms, you should also remove any dead, diseased or dying leaves and stems. Do not be afraid to look inside, above and below your plantings for problems. Many insects like to hang out under the leaves.

Pruning plants

Some plants grow more vigorously than others. As a result, it may be necessary to cut some plants back to keep plantings in balance. In addition, containers are often overplanted. Removing a few stems or leaves to improve air circulation will help plants stay healthy. 

Some plants may need a total overhaul by midsummer. If a plant is ratty and looks spent from the summer heat, cut the stems back by as much as half their height. Avoid pruning your plants during the heat of the day, which can be stressful. Instead, prune them in the morning or evening while the stems are firm yet bendable.

Learn more! 

To learn more about container gardening, stop by the New Hanover County Arboretum on May 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Chill out with a cold drink or micro-brew and discover how to use color, texture and shapes to plant beautiful container gardens that can withstand the intense heat of our summers. This event will be $25 for Friends of the Arboretum members and $30 for non-members. To register call 910-798-7660.

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