Coastal and Tropical South
Empty Your Saucers
Roots rot if the soil around them does not drain. This can happen when irrigation water sits in the saucer under a pot. Be sure to empty saucers within one hour of watering your pots.
Grow Water Garden Plants
Many plants grow best in ponds and in containers placed in other water features. Water lilies, cannas, LA iris, and white swamp spider lilies thrive when submerged up to their necks. Use containers in and around the water garden to make it easier to move, propagate, and groom these fast-growing plants.
Choose the Right Container
Plastic pots are watertight; clay pots are porous. These qualities affect how often you need to water. Clay pots dry out faster, circulate air better around roots, and reflect more heat than plastic. But plastic pots forgive forgotten waterings better, are lighter in weight, and come in more colors.
Make Peace with Birds
House wrens build nests in ferns and other hanging baskets that have loose soil and soft leaves. You can abandon the plants and enjoy the birds and fledglings for a few weeks without much loss of plants. And you get to see the miracle of life up close on the porch.
Soluble fertilizers are mixed with water and poured or sprayed on plants. Keep two formulas on hand, a balanced formula to promote healthy leaves and another that has a lower first number to stimulate flowering.