Summer is full of beautiful blooms and sunshine everywhere you look. I just love this time of year for all its relaxing beauty and nature. When I have someone over to my house, they always ask me how I keep my flowers looking so pretty in the summer?? Because around here, that can be hard to do. I have some important summer tips for potted flowers that I have been using for almost ten years…and that have been a life changer!
Depending on where you live, summer can get REALLY INTENSE weather wise.
In Texas, the heat can get brutal and drought always sets in around July.
This year, we were blessed with some incredible rain all of May. Although it flooded my town, it did start off summer on a nice lush foot. Our grass is actually green and all my plants look happy and healthy.
It is starting to get in the high 90s now, so it is time for me to starting giving some extra TLC to my potted plants.
Potted plants are my favorite type of flower gardening because they are easily moved and have more options on caring for them versus the plants in the ground.
Most of my roses bushes are in the ground, so I can’t do much for them as far as monitoring the sunlight or rain. They do well though, even in the summer. The other plants we have in the ground are all heat tolerant like honeysuckle, crepe myrtles, evergreen bushes, and English ivy.
All of my flowers are in pots, so I can keep them alive through the hot summer months.
These are my tried and true important summer tips for potted flowers that have kept mine alive even during 115 degree weather with zero rain for months.
These are also tips I learned from trial and error since 2007 and tips I was taught when I took horticulture in college.
I have share these tips with many friends who have had issues with their potted flowers, and it has helped them too!
Now, I want to share them with you so you can make sure to keep all your potted flowers happy, healthy, and vibrant this summer!
1. Make sure they are only getting morning sunlight.
Again, this is going to be dependent on your climate, but the morning sunlight is the coolest sun of the day. I have all my potted plants arranged this time of year so they only receive morning sunlight until about noon.
As you can see from the picture above, the morning sun shines fairly bright on this side of our pergola. All my hanging plants get that morning sunshine, but by the afternoon it is shaded. This has dramatically decreased the scorching of the leaves and blooms that they can get in the summer sun.
Don’t forget to read these fun tips to create a dreamy inviting backyard ambiance for cheap!
2. Check the water twice a day.
The reason I say twice a day is smaller pots can dry out VERY easy in the heat. I have all sizes of potted plants, some are massive and take days to dry out, but others are very small. I had this pretty potted flower last summer that I watered everyday just like the other plants, but every morning it looked like it was about it die.
I checked the soil and it was bone dry every morning. I realized that when I was watering in the morning, the pot was so small, by the evening it was dried out. So, I started watering it twice a day in small portions and it immediately perked up.
Again, if your climate isn’t as hot as Texas, you probably will only need to water once a day, but always check the soil in the morning and afternoon. Just to make sure. Potted flowers don’t have established root systems in small pots, so they need more water than usual.
Which leads me to the next tip…
3. Understand how much water your flower needs.
Potted flowers can be over watered just as much as under watered. If the pot is small, it will need less water to prevent root rot. That is why I have had luck watering in small portions twice a day for those sizes, just to keep the soil damp.
If you follow my flower garden on Instagram or snapchat (or add me with username alexisroch), you know I am obsessed with geraniums and hibiscus! I have dozens of each in pots in the back yard! They are totally different when it comes to their watering needs.
Hibiscus is a huge water lover. I have them in LARGE pots and I will turn on the water hose, and just saturate it daily. Hibiscus LOVE water!
Geraniums DO NOT! In fact, they have a tendency to get root rot because of how shallow and fibrous the root system is. I also water these twice a day, but much less at a time. The smaller potted geraniums I make sure to lightly dampen each day without having too much water.
So make sure you check the label of the flower when you buy it to see what type of soil it needs. And make sure to not over water, even in the summer!
4. Be careful with fertilizer.
Here is where being a chemist has helped me understand horticulture! Fertilizer’s typically contain nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. All vital nutrients for plants, but when temperatures are high and the rain is low, nitrogen can easily scorch your plant.
Here is my secret, I do not fertilize potted plants in dry, hot months. I make sure to do so in the spring when it is cooler and rainy, but once the heat happens, I stop. I continue to use a little mix of crushed egg shell and coffee grounds every couple of weeks in small amounts just to add some nourishment. But I have the best of luck stopping all fertilization in the summer!
5. Remove all spent blooms and leaves.
Even if only a portion of the plant is yellowing or the blooms are dead, it can still be soaking up nutrients from the plant. In the summer, it is best to immediately remove any yellow, brown, burnt, or dead leaf or bloom right away. In fact, keeping the potted flower trimmed up will help it stay healthy. It needs all the water and nutrients it can get in the summer!
Even those leaves that are a little brown or yellow, I remove right away. By doing this to all my potted plants, they grow back even healthier during the summer months!
The great thing about these important summer tips for potted flowers, is they will definitely work for all potted plants! Even if it doesn’t produce flowers, following these solutions when it is hot and dry is great for all your container gardening!
Did you get to read my secrets to my big beautiful roses? I have had many readers write in saying they used those tips and they really worked!!
Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any success stories you have too!