back from holidays to almost dead hanging baskets

musicalmommy(Canada 3)July 8, 2005

I'm new to gardening. My pride and joy were 3 hanging baskets of trailing supertunias. I just returned from holidays and most of my flowers fared well with the plant sitter.

However, I had left instructions that the 3 hanging baskets would be taken down and left under the deck. But, they must have misunderstood as they took them down but left them under the trellis from which they were hanging from and under the scorching South facing back yard. The hanging baskets look almost dead. The blooms are all brown and shriveled. I touched a few of them and they are not totally crispy to the touch and so my best guess is that the plants wilted due to high heat and lack of water. It probably happened in the last few days as some of the dead blooms are not totally crispy to the touch. I don't really want to ask the plant sitters what happened since all the other plants fared well and I don't want to make them feel bad.

I'm guessing that maybe the baskets went for over 2 days with no watering. The foliage is still green and I see a few blooms now that I've watered them and fertilized them. Does that mean that the baskets have a good chance of recovery since the foliage is still rather green and I can see some blooms? I plan to cut back the stems and hopefully "start over". Should I deadhead?...but there are masses of dead blooms now.

I wanted to double check that I was on the right track with cutting the stems back before getting out the shears.

The baskets are now sheltering under my deck.

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albertar(z7 LINY)

Sounds like you revived them by watering them which is all good, :) don't leave them in the shade though, they will need sun again. Pick off what ever is dead, and keep them well watered. Fertilize when you see NEW growth. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 7:15PM
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That happened to me but my adult son was the sitter. He said that he did his best. I had tidal waves. In two containers they were still green but terribly wilted and faded floweres. I started to water. If the soiled dried out too much the water will go right through. Make sure that the plant is getting wet from the water. I also took off all the faded floweres. It took a good week for the green leaves to perk up and the flowers started to bloom. However, my two hanging baskets were crispy except for green stems. I watered and waited a week. The one did nothing but the other started to green up at the very bottom. I decided that this late in the season, it would be like starting over so I replaced the flowers with ones that I had in the ground. I put the struggling one in the ground and it is slowly growing new leaves at the bottom of the stems.
I agree with you--don't blame the sitter, be glad that you were able to find somebody or you could have lost them all. Next time, I will leave all plants in partial shade.

p.s. my sister's plant sitter thought she did a good job because none of the plants were dead---but in truth 1/3 were very wilted , she did have to cut them back to get them going again. She just paid the sitter and said nothing too.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 9:52PM
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musicalmommy(Canada 3)

Oh, the deck is not a low deck. We have a walkout basement so the deck is very high above ground and underneath the deck we have a brick "patio" and this is where the rest of the plants that fared well spent their time during my holidays. So, there is definitely sunlight underneath the deck. I should have put the baskets there myself...but there was rain in the forecast for the first couple of days of my holiday and I thought if I left them hanging that they could enjoy that extra moisture and then be moved under the deck once the rain stopped. I guess I was trying to hedge my risks but I didn't anticipate that the person would put them in the wrong spot. Thanks for the input. It's nice to know that they have another chance. I don't have trailing petunias in the ground or I would trade them too.

Should I deadhead? But there are masses of deadblooms and it will take a few days to do them all but would it be worth the effort?

Thank you again for all the great help!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 3:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Personally, I would give the plants a very serious haircut and let masses of new, healthy growth come back and knock your socks off.

I had a six inch container of Wave sit too long before I got around to incorporating it into a mixed container planting. It looked like crap! After a severe haircut, it has now tripled its size and is almost touching the ground where it hangs over the 22" pot. That took all of 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 1:59PM
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I would soak each one in a bucket of water with fish & seaweed emulsion, & I'd cut them back like rhizo says: better to get rid of all that brown junk & let the new green emerge.

Best luck.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 8:59PM
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magazinewriter(z5 Mich)

This is why I gave up on hanging planters year ago. Instead, I have mostly perennials in the ground and wind chimes hanging from hooks. Also in the ground are nasturtiums -- they like hot dry weather -- and impatiens in big pots in very shady places.
Then you can go away and you have a better chance of coming back and seeing everything in the same condition as when you left.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:39PM
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Next time, put them under the deck yourself before you leave, and you'll avoid the problem of miscommunication.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 1:52PM
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How are your hanging plants doing now? Did they make it?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 10:14PM
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