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4 Best and Easy to Care For Container Plants For Summer

New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens Hybrids)

Impatiens are also known as “Busy Lizzie,” they come from the Latin word that describes the way its seeds shoot out of its pods when ripe. Generally, Impatiens like shade and moisture. Most of the newer hybrid New Guinea impatiens will also tolerate some some. An added bonus- they drop their spent blooms without any deadheading from you.

The most important thing to remember about New Guinea impatiens is to keep them watered because their fleshy stems and leaves droop when the soil gets dry. Although they’ll perk back up as soon as they get more water. Having the soil too dry will stress them, causing fewer flowers and sparse foliage.

TIPS:

  • Plant impatiens transplants after the last spring frost. 
  • Impatiens prefer humus-rich, moist, and well-drained soil. Make sure the plants have some shelter from the wind.
  • The closer impatiens plants are, the taller they will grow, so space accordingly.
  • You can mix in compost or a slow-release fertilizer before transplanting to help the plants.
  • If you have containers, like window boxes, use a sterile or soil-less growing mixture to ensure better drainage for the plants.

Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea Batatas)

Known for their lovely heart-shaped leaves. They are not a tuber but a fleshy root native to Central and South America. Depending on what kind, they can have dry or moist flesh in colors ranging from white to yellow, orange, red, and even purple! Occasionally snip the tips of the stems back a couple of inches to keep the vine under control. It grows quickly, so you can start with a small plant and reap big rewards in no time. They are very pretty trailing vines and look beautiful companion planted with brighter blooming flowers. 

​​​​​​​They are usually grown as annuals. Blooms in the shade of burgundy, brown, gold, green and variegated leaves spring through fall Light Full sun to part shade.

Geranium (Pelargonium Hybrids)

Geraniums are a longtime favorite of gardeners. They are easy to grow, colorful, and emit a lovely scent. These plants love the heat and don’t mind getting a bit dry, which makes them fantastic container plants. Plus they come in a wide range of flower colors

Geraniums may be grown as houseplants or as annual flowers. During the warmer months of the year (between your local frost dates), they can be kept outdoors in a sunny location. 

Look for newer hybrids in vivid hues of pinks, white and varigated reds! One of my personal favorites is the Martha Washington variety.

TIPS:

  • If you want to keep geraniums as houseplants, be sure to bring them indoors in late summer or early fall.
  • When buying geraniums, check the color and size. Healthy leaves will have no discoloration on or below them and stems will be sturdy, not straggly. 
  • Place plants in pots with drainage holes to avoid root rot.
  • Use a well-draining potting mixture (not heavy, clayey soil) when planting in containers. Geraniums do not like to sit in soggy, compacted soil.
  • For maximum bloom, place the plants in an area where they will get 4-6 hours of sunlight.

Petunia

Often grown as annuals, petunias are one of the most popular flowers because of their long flowering period. As with most annuals, they get leggy by midsummer, so you’ll want to prune the shoots back to about half their length. 

Petunias need full sun or they will become spindly. They don’t tend to flower in the shade.

They are quite versatile, growing in different types of soil, but it is important that the soil drains well and doesn’t stay wet.

TIPS:

  • They may grow from seeds, but it is easier to grow them from transplants. If you are going to grow from seeds, start them indoors about 10 weeks before you want to set them outside.
  • Petunia seeds are very small and needs huge amount of light in order to germinate. Remember to water them. When the plants have three leaves, they can be placed outside.
  • It’s best to buy young plants from a nursery which often sells petunias in flats. Look for plants that are short and compact, not leggy and not yet blooming and they’ll settle in faster.

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