Tag Archives: hanging basket

Why are my superbells dying?

photo PBH

Cherry Star Superbells photo PBH


Why are my superbells dying? I water them every other day…they always seem to be dry?
They are in a hanging container that lets them drain well.

I live in California and they receive full sun all day.

Please help.



Hardy and steady blooming plus these bloomers are self cleaning.

Hardy and steady blooming plus these bloomers are self-cleaning. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson.

My gardening friend, this is what I think.

Of course, I can’t see the problem, but my guess is that your container is too small or you should add some organic matter to the soil. Something like peat moss, core, grass clippings, shredded news paper. In CA, you should not have to water every other day.

The soil does not seem to have much water holding capacity. If, when you water, the water goes straight through the hanging basket, the water is not being absorbed by the soil or basket liner. That’s good, it tells us that the problem is:Proven-Winners-Logo-116x150

A. Too many plants in too small of a space.
B. poor quality soil mix.
C. You need a better and probably a bigger basket.

So, decide if you want fewer plants in your basket or, buy a bigger basket for all the flowers (Or divide the flowers making two baskets.)

Don’t give up on the Superbells, I have some that have overwinter and lived to bloom another year. They serve me well when other flowers are suffering the summer heat.

Soil quality it is important to give your plants the best home. So invest in a good soiless potting mix. I usually mix my own. But some times it’s just easier to buy

Organic Container Mix from Gardeners Supply loaded with peat moss, perlite. They also have a self watering variety that might solve your problem.

I am a great believer in starting with a good base of moisture holding, well draining potting soil.In my gardens I’m replacing peat with core. It’s cheaper, more readily available and a good environmental choice.


Watermelon slice was a butterfly magnet last spring. Photo PBH.

My advice is to start all over. Using the plants you have. Giving then a better or bigger root space will allow them to thrive.

Please let me know of your success and how you solved the problem.

Getting these reliable Superbell bloomers off to a good start and you will  have summer-long success. Patsy Bell Hobson in SE Missouri. email: Patsy64068@yahoo.com

Dragon Wing™ Red Begonia

will reach a maximum height of 14 to 16 in.

Dragon Red Wing Begonia will reach a max height of 14 to 16 in. photo Patsy Bell Hobson

The early show in the garden this year is Dragon Wing Red Begonia. I planted them in two places, a hanging basket of three plants and three more in the planter near the mailboxes. At first the 3 begonias in the planter looked lonely. But the plants filled in and are looking better every day. I’m promised these begonias will still be here till first frost this fall. I think they would add drama and color to a mixed annuals container.

Place these bold beauties in pots, baskets and beds. I would use Dragon Wing Begonias again as an informal bedding or border plant. These exotic looking Begonias hve loose loose clusters of Red stop-and-look-at-me blooms. Glossy green, wing-shaped leaves support the beautiful Chinese red flowers. My plants are healthy and thriving in a full sun environment, but they will take part shade. Everybody looks better and does better with a little shade in summer, including begonias.

I’ve never been much of a begonia fan. A free trial plant would not be enough to convert me to a fan. You should know, if a plant survives the summer at my house, it must be hardy and thrive on neglect. Sure I plant them (home of the famous $10 hole for the $5 plant) and irregularly water.

They are :

Drought tolerant

No deadheading requied. Dozens of flowers bloom in Chinese Red all summer. photo Patsy Bell Hobson

  • Shade Tolerant
  • Heat Tolerant
  • Drought Tolerant

Thanks to Dragon Wing™ Red Begonias, I am now a fan of this plant.

Dragon Wing™ Red Begonias have their own webpage.

They are in good healthy soil, but I seldom fertilize my plants. Ball Horticulture says that they do best  in partial sun to partial shade. Me too. But my mail box planter is in the full sun all day. I’ll write more later in the summer and let you know how they are doing.

For now, they are bright, beautiful, and attracting attention with their red floppy flowers. No deadheading needed. These Dragon Wings are thriving  on the heat and humidity of my zone 6 southeast MO  patio and mailbox planter.


Diamond Frost® Euphorbia

Look for this plant

I’ll be looking for Diamond Frost® Euphorbia again this year.

Diamond Frost® Euphorbia was a cloud of airy white flowers all summer. Heat and drought tolerant, this is a low maintenance plant that looked good all season. No fussy pruning, pinching or deadheading.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia

My only contribution to this hanging basket was water. This plant is self cleaning, takes full sun or part sun and looks good in any combination. Last year I planted this as a filler in a basket. This year, I will plant it solo to take the starring role hanging from the pergola.

I’ll be looking for Diamond Frost again this year. It was a stellar performer all summer.  Proven Winners are easy to find in our area. It was my pleasure to trial this plant for Proven Winners last summer. This euphorbia got a lot of compliments last year. 

My Patio

2 New Coleus

Red Head (Solenostemon hybrida)
Versa Crimson Gold Coleus ( Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Red Head coleus

I combined these two coleus in hanging baskets that had late afternoon shade. Generally these plants were left on their own. I cut them back only twice during the growing season.

Red Head is truest red color in the Ball coleus collection. I like these newer coleus that can take the heat and hold their henna color in both full sun and part shade.

The Versa Coleus series includes Crimson Gold. These coleus were neglected, not fertilized, and inconsistently watered in hanging baskets. The bicolor leaves held their color, were vigorous, and quickly branched into a full mounded hanging basket.

All coleus will be gone with the first freeze, but till then, these plants provide bright, bold color on the patio.

Bright color all season

I’ll be using more coleus in my gardens because, unlike flowers, you get bold, season-long color.

If I can get bright , fade proof red in my garden all summer, I am inclined to plant it again next year. Most folks look at a garden at a distance. They just see the red. And this Ball Horticultural trial plant is a long lasting, fade proof busrt of red in my garden from spring till frost. Look for it next spring.

Most of my trial plants went in containers like this.

Coleus gave my garden bright season-long color.

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