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Master Gardener: Working on hanging baskets

Your hanging baskets are more than likely now showing the effects of vigorous growing earlier in the summer by a profusion of growth at the ends and an apparently dying base. In the case of flowering baskets, where the plant stem is still green and supple, cut growth back to a height of 4”, making sure to leave any leafy growth on. With sufficient watering and application of a water-soluble fertilizer weekly, you’ll have a second show of flowers before you know it.

Spider plant, wandering Jew, German ivy, Swedish ivy, and coleus also become unattractive and scraggy. This is quite natural as the plant is concentrating on producing new foliage and shedding the old. You can take the “plantlets” at the tips of many older plants and repot to produce more hanging baskets. If their young root system is not well-developed, keep base suspended in lightly-fertilized water or in moist vermiculite until sufficient root growth appears, then pot.

Take stem cuttings of the healthy trailers from Jews, ivies or coleus and root in water or vermiculite. Then repot using several rooted cuttings to a container.

Master Gardeners and local garden clubs want to see a lot of junior and senior division entries in specimens, arrangements and horticulture this year at the Fair.

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