Don’t let summer travel plans prevent you from decorating your porch, patio and balcony with colorful annual containers and hanging baskets. With some planning and creative watering solutions, you can maintain your potted flowers throughout the summer. Unlike plants in the ground, containers have limited soil volume and less capacity to hold water, so they dry out quickly and need daily watering. By choosing plants that are drought tolerant and using creative planting and watering techniques your pots can survive a weekend away, a business trip or a short summer vacation.
Before you head to the garden center this spring, consider which pots will most likely suffer from a few days without water. It is usually those that are in the sun or exposed to wind. Planters in the shade and protected areas don’t always require daily watering because of less water evaporation than pots exposed to radiant heat and sun. Make a list of plants that are drought tolerant and shop with purpose. There are edible, succulent, annual, shrub and perennial plants that are drought tolerant. When choosing vacation proof plants, choose ones with less fuss, deadheading and those that thrive on less water. When planning pots, place them together in your basket to visualize what they will look like together in a container. Make sure to consider existing color, texture, and height. Vacation proof plants include:
Vacation Proof Strategies
Despite using drought tolerant plants, long, hot, dry spells and dry winds will desiccate and stress the hardiest plants. If you will be away for more than four days or weather forecasts seem unfavorable, there are strategies to reduce the stress on your plants. Prior to leaving:
To summarize, no matter where you live, you’ve most likely returned from at least one trip to shriveled up impatiens and Gerber daisies in your outdoor containers. And that’s a drag! There are steps we can all take to preserve the beauty of our container plants while we are away for brief periods. Select the right potting soil and amend with polymers if your pots get all day sun. Avoid clay pots. Purchase drought-resistant plants and place in large pots. And use the pointers provided for preventing containers from drying out while you travel. Container gardening offers the chance to paint a different palette every year. Since it’s a view you’ll have all summer, use these pointers to extend their beauty. Enjoy the view!
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