Soak Those Baskets!

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20150113Houseplants in hanging baskets suffer more from underwatering than other houseplants. This is partly because they are more exposed to drafts, so lose a bit more moisture to transpiration, but mainly because of the design of the pots in which they grow. Most hanging baskets are equipped with a ridiculously small saucer that doesn’t hold much water. Now, since you don’t want water to overflow from the mini-saucer and drip onto your floor, you end up being less generous in your watering than you should be, pouring just a little water into the pot. So even after a “normal” watering, the plant still remains drought-stressed and unhappy.

To water a hanging plant correctly, change methods. Unhook the pot from the ceiling and plunge the pot into a bucket or sink full of tepid water (never use cold water!). Allow the pot to remain submerged for a minute or so, until no more air bubbles rise up from the submerged soil, a sign that the rootball is now thoroughly soaked. All you have to do now is lift pot out of the water, let it drain (you still don’t want water to drip onto your floor!) and hang it up again. After a few weeks of proper watering, your hanging houseplants will look better than they ever have!

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