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Annuals/watering petunia

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Question
Dear Fornari!

my petunia hanging basket are drying out so fast, i have to water them twice a day it's lot of work. So, i want to add water retain gel to reduce the need for watering, whether water retain gel will benefit?

best regards,
Hoa

Answer
Hoa,
The water retaining gels need to be mixed in with the soil before planting in order to work. You can't just put them on the top as they will form a thick, jelly-like substance on the surface which will cause rot or mold. For plants that are already growing, the only option would be to transplant them into a larger basket so that there is more soil around the rootballs to hold water. If you are doing that you could mix the moisture gel into the new soil that is being put around the existing roots.

all the best,
C.L.

Annuals

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C.L. Fornari

Expertise

Annuals suggested for specific situations (sun, shade, windowboxes etc) New or unusual annuals are a particular interest of mine, and I grow many of these from seed. I am happy to help problem solve, answer questions about maintenance, and guide you to sources of unusual plants.

Experience

I am a garden writer/speaker/consultant and host of a weekly gardening radio program in the Northeast. I have been gardening all my life for my own pleasure, and started as a professional gardener and garden communicator 15 years ago. I work part-time at a garden center, selling and tending shrubs/trees/annuals/perennials...and doing some propagation and design work. I often think that all these professional activities serve to put a somewhat legitimate framework around a serious case of plant-lust.

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