Why Do Hanging Basket Plants Go Through Troubles

Dan Nursery Crops, This Land of Ours

How to figure out why your hanging baskets are going through some struggles. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Hanging baskets of tomatoes in Alaska.
By nega/Shutterstock

Saving a struggling hanging basket means taking swift action before it’s too late. But it’s easier to fix than you might think.

The first step is to make sure your plant is not suffering from a simple lack of attention. Whether that be too much or too little water, or a lack of nutrients. Those issues can easily be remedied, simply by applying the right amount of fertilizer, and watering on a regular, regimented schedule. Hanging baskets need to be fertilized regularly to keep producing blooms. But in many cases, even the most well cared for hanging baskets begin to fade fast by early summer. And for these plants, no amount of water or fertilizer is going to help.


When a well-cared for plant suddenly begins to lose its luster in early or mid-summer, the cause is almost always overgrown roots in an undersized container. When a plant becomes root bound, it is hard for it to absorb any nutrients or water. When this happens, water simply runs right through the basket. As do any fertilizers applied to the plant as well. Unfortunately, at this point, no amount of soaking will allow the plant to absorb enough of either to flower, let alone survive for the long term.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.

Why Do Hanging Basket Plants Go Through Troubles