Why are my hanging baskets not flowering?

Hanging baskets are becoming extremely common in and around the US these days. This popularity can be attributed to the fact that these plants are an absolute visual treat and are also easy to maintain. Beauty aside what stresses home gardeners about these plants is that they sometimes refuse to bloom. Have you ever wondered why that may be?  

Why are my hanging baskets not flowering? The most common cause for hanging baskets, not flowering is the lack of space. When the pots of hanging plants get too small, they start to suffocate the plant and it cannot produce blooms. Another reason is inappropriate growth conditions, this can include the amount of sunlight the plant receives as well as watering and fertilizing inconsistency.

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Why your hanging baskets are not flowering

Here are 8 of the most common reasons why your hanging baskets are not flowering.

1. Hanging baskets not flowering because the planter is too small

The most common cause of nonflowering in hanging baskets is space or the lack thereof. Especially in mid-summer hanging baskets tend to outgrow the planters they are placed in. 

It is therefore suggested that you start these plants in planters that are at least 14 inches to 16 inches. This way you are sure the plant has enough space to breathe and grow through the growing season. 

How to fix hanging baskets not flowering because the planter is too small

When it comes to fixing hanging baskets that are not flowering due to lack of space repotting makes all the difference. 

To repot a hanging basket, it is better to remove the plant, dust off the soil, and loosen the roots a little before placing the plant in a bigger planter. You can then fertilize it and use good-quality soil or a store-bought potting mix. Be sure to use a slightly bigger planter so that the plant can grow well. 

How to tell if the planter is too small for your hanging basket?

To know if the planter is too small for your plant, look for cracks on the surface of the pot and roots jetting out of it. Another tell-tale sign is the roots of the plant showing on the surface of the soil

Read Why are my hanging baskets turning yellow?

2. Hanging baskets not flowering because the location is not right

Hanging plants are known to be easy to maintain. These plants are great as long as you know the type of plant you have and its specific requirements. If you put a shade-loving plant in a sunny spot, it’s not gonna be good.

It is important to remember that not all variants love the sun and placing your hanging basket in the wrong spot can impact its ability to blossom. 

How to fix hanging baskets not flowering because the location is not right

The first step to finding a solution to hanging baskets not blooming is reading about and learning more about the plant. Understanding the specific requirements of the plant in terms of the amount of sunlight it requires will help in caring for it.

It also helps to read about the various options of plants available before planting them. 

3. Hanging baskets not flowering because the plant is not fertilized adequately

Like all plants hanging baskets need to be fed. This is the best way to ensure blooms. If the plant is not fertilized from time to time the plant will not bloom. To encourage the growth of flowers in your hanging basket plant, consistent fertilizing is required.

Sometimes it so happens that you buy an amazing planting mix that seems to have all the components that the plant requires to grow and bloom. 

These mixes work wonderfully at the start but start to lose effectiveness for this reason it is necessary to keep topping up the baskets with fertilizers regularly. 

How to fix hanging baskets not flowering due to inadequate fertilization

Setting a schedule for fertilizing your hanging basket. This way you are sure to fertilize it from time to time. 

Homemade fertilizer for those of you not interesting in using chemicals or if you are not willing to invest in a store-bought brand. Additional fertilizer needs to be applied throughout the year periodically, as part of the maintenance regime.

Use ¼ cup of worm castings as the top layer of your basket. Watering over time will help your plant absorb the nutrients. If you are not a fan of the idea of worm castings in your basket you can use ¼ cup of coffee grounds on the soil. The nitrogen in it helps the plants bloom. The worm casting can be replaced by coffee grounds which are known to be high in nitrogen, however; a word of caution is advised to not overindulge in this type of fertilizer.

Another kind is the liquid fertilizer made from tea compost and can be introduced every two weeks or so to your hanging basket plants.

A few examples of quality fertilizer that are easily available at nurseries and online throughout the USA –

Caution: Some plants are not a fan of coffee grounds read up about plant preferences before you use them.

4. Hanging baskets not flowering because of inconsistent watering

Inconsistent watering is the quickest way to damage a hanging basket. Not watering will not only cause the plant to look dull but will also reduce the chances of it blooming.

It is imperative to water the plants in your hanging baskets regularly and well. It is also important when the hanging basket plants are being watered. 

 How to fix baskets not flowering because of inconsistent watering

To save plants from inconsistent watering it is important to set a watering schedule and stick to it. For this, we would like to stress the fact that it is important to understand the specific requirements of the plant. 

The best time to water your hanging baskets is early morning hours. You can also mist the plant from time to time when the temperatures are high. Maintaining a regular and fixed time will help in keeping the plant healthy and the flowers blooming.

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Read Why have my hanging baskets gone leggy?

5. Hanging baskets not flowering because of dead leaves and spent blooms

Do you want to know something disgusting?? 

The dead leaves and spent blooms you leave in your hanging basket are slowly decaying in your basket. They are also keeping it from growing and blooming to its full potential.

How to fix baskets not flowering because dead leaves and spent blooms

Take a few minutes to look at your hanging basket and remove dead leaves and spent blooms or those that are fading. It is easy to pluck them just pinch them lightly and you are good to go.

6. Are my hanging plants facing an imbalance of nutrients?

Although you might be regular at fertilizing your hanging basket plants, there could be a possibility that your potting mix does not have the right quantity of nutrients, or worse, it has no nutrients at all.

It is noticed that too much nitrogen in your potting mix would give your plant healthy leaves and stems and promote lush foliage but can prove detrimental for the blooming of its flowers.

From a common man’s perspective, the plant grows well but it is devoid of flowers. Nutrient deficiencies not only result in less or no flower production but also results in poor pollination.

Read Why are my hanging baskets wilting?

7. Am I plucking my flowers correctly and consistently?

It is almost wondrous how removing the old and faded blooms every alternate day or as necessary can make way for many more flowers.

This occurs due to the facilitation of air circulation that in turn can help with providing energy to the plant and promoting the production of multi-fold blooms. You know how they say, “out with the old and in with the new”!

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8. Should I try replanting my hanging plant?

Sometimes, you may be doing everything by the book but yet nothing seems to be working and your hanging basket is still missing the touch of color from the presence of flower blooms. In such a case, there is a probability that your hanging basket plant has become root-bound.

When this happens, you are left with no choice but to replant it into a larger container, so that the plant is relieved of its cramped situation and can get more room to bloom.

This can happen either if the plant has outgrown the size of its hanging container or too many plants have been placed in a single basket.

Read Why are my hanging basket flowers dying?

How to make hanging basket flowers blooming?

Here are a few simple steps to keep your hanging basket flowers blooming-

The first and most important task is regular and ample watering of the plants in the hanging basket. Use a watering can and ensure that your hanging basket plants are watered well, at least 4 – 5 times a week however you must be cautious not to go overboard with the watering.

Since the roots of these hanging basket plants have restricted space to spread and grow, they need plenty of water to thrive.

You can water your plant until the water starts to drip from the drainage hole at the bottom of the hanging container. Since the soil provided to these plants is limited, it tends to dry out quicker than usual.

Another useful plant watering process that you could consider is dipping the bottom half of the hanging basket into a bucket of water and letting the roots absorb from the bottom as per their requirement. Make sure to do this process only when the soil has completely dried out.

The second thing that needs to be done regularly is keeping an eye out for withered and wilted flowers and snipping them off, with the help of gardening clean shears.

In fact, it is recommended to snip off flowers that have passed their prime stage and need to be removed in order to encourage the growth of fresh flowers in its place. Dead flowers tend to crowd the pots and they also block the circulation of air. Besides, they don’t make a pretty picture either.

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How to make hanging basket flowers blooming?

Replanting the flowers and their foliage even during the blooming season can help the flowers to sprout more frequently. Keep replacing the plants as often as you desire while ensuring that all the plants in a single hanging basket have the same requirement of soil type, weather conditions, watering, etc.

For example, Fuschias and Marigolds can be planted together in the center of a hanging basket with some trailing plants on the sides. This procedure of replenishing your plants will ensure the constant presence of flowers in these in your hanging basket.  

Another important activity to keep the flowers in your hanging basket nourished and blooming is to provide them with suitable plant food or other types of fertilizers. A water-soluble slow-release fertilizer is ideal for the flowering plants in a hanging basket.

Do this once every two weeks for the health and abundance of flower production. It is imperative that the instructions on the packaging of the fertilizer are followed precisely, especially for dissolving it completely before application otherwise you will end up with a bunch of overfed and dried-out flowers.

You can also opt-in for the option of using organic fertilizers that are made out of compost and can easily be prepared at home.

You can also try moving your basket to different locations around the house until your plant finds its ideal spot. We don’t always realize it but the intensity of the sun or the blowing wind can negatively affect our hanging plants to a great extent which then tends to arrest the growth of its blooms.

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In conclusion

If you are wondering why are my hanging baskets not flowering? The cause can be one of the ones listed in this article. If you have tried everything but nothing works, maybe it’s time to repot or maybe get another plant. This will save you from stress and heartache.