Sometimes in the midst of summer fun our flowers get some abuse from the heat. After a few too many times without enough water, our patio containers and flower beds can start to look a bit lackluster. However, there is still so much summer left for pool parties and backyard barbecues. You may be wary to start fresh, waiting for new starts to fill in and get back to the big show of color you had often doesn’t feel like a plausible option. There is another solution that will have you looking like the “green thumb” of the neighborhood. The secret is using 10” hanging baskets for an instantly finished look. They are displayed hanging with a hook but that is not their only use. Simply remove the hook, flip it upside down to pull off the green pot, and then you can plant it into patio containers, landscape beds, or even larger baskets for a huge pop of color. This works especially well this time of year because the warmth helps our baskets reach impressive size for an instant makeover when planted.
Now you might say “I’ve never missed a watering and my flowers still look tired!” The first thing I usually ask is if there’s a chance you’ve been hit with budworms. These naughty little caterpillars can wipe out Petunias, Calibrachoa, and Geraniums in a very short matter of time after they hatch. A tell-tale sign you have them is if all of a sudden, your plants have hardly any flowers and lots of little black dots appear on the green foliage. These little black dots are the droppings and there’s usually a decent amount of them because they eat a lot quickly. The safest solution is to use a product called “BT.” It stands for Bacillus Thuringiensis and is a naturally occurring bacteria that specifically is problematic for these pests without harming other mammals or beneficial insects. It is safe to use for organic gardening and a very cost-effective solution. It is what we use on our Calibrachoa baskets that we sell here to keep them big and blooming. Don’t want to spray? I don’t blame you, it gets a bit tiring at times. There are many flowers not susceptible to these caterpillars. We have special mixes of baskets without any of their favorite foods specifically for this reason. Trailing annual Vinca, Scaevola, Lantana, Angelonia, and Potato Vine are all great choices that the caterpillars don’t care to eat. Come out to the greenhouses and take a look at all we have thriving in this hot weather. See you soon!