I am often asked what are the best plants for hanging baskets. There are many to choose from and your own favourite bedding plants and trailing plants will probably fit the bill perfectly.
There is something quite wonderful about seeing a hanging basket or half wall basket brimming over with beautifully colourful plants and flowers. They are perfect for adding interest, height and colour at eye level to patios, balconies, doorways and walls. March and April are the months in which to think about planting them up, giving the plants time to establish to give you a fantastic summer display.
If you don’t have a garden then hanging baskets or containers are the ideal way of having some plants around you to enjoy. Ideas for Spring Containers
They can be filled with any number of suitable plants not only for summer but for all the year round.
They are easy to do and with some simple, daily maintenance and watering they will give pleasure to you, your family and friends and most importantly they will also provide habitat and food to insects and pollinators for many months.
When placed by front doors and entrance ways they immediately add curb appeal to your property.
What Do You Need For The Best Hanging Baskets?
- A hanging basket or hanging container
- Good quality compost
- A selection of plants
- Water retention granules
- Wall brackets
Choosing A Hanging Basket
Choosing the right kind of basket is part of the fun and pretty much entirely based on your tastes, things to consider are size, material, quality and where the basket is going to be positioned.
There are an endless number of baskets or hanging containers to choose from.
If you decide on a solid container such as plastic or ceramic then select one that has some drainage holes.
- Rattan/ wicker or other natural materials.
What you do need also is some type of liner as this will prevent compost from spilling out and will help with water retention. This is an essential component for a successful, long flowering hanging basket.
Materials that you can use are
- Plastic sheeting
- Felt liners
- Coco matting
Personally I think that the coco matting, moss or felt are more aesthetically pleasing, especially if used with wire baskets where you can see the lining. They are also more sustainable, long-lasting and a better aid for water retention.
I am lucky in that I can collect any amount of moss from around my garden.
If you use plastic then remember to put some drainage holes in it.
The best compost for your hanging basket is a general multipurpose compost, this will be more than adequate for your summer hanging baskets.
Best Plants For Hanging Baskets
Tender Perennials and annuals that give longevity and prolific, colourful flowers.
Choose colours themes that blend well together or go for a one colour scheme in varying shades. They can be jazzy and bold or soft and sophisticated, basically anything that takes your fancy, there really are no rules.
Some wow factor combinations are
Bright red geraniums with red verbena paired with lemon yellow petunias or calibrachoa and a bright yellow osteospermum.
Cool whites… Cosmos Purity, White nemesia, White Petunia and a variegated cream and green ivy. Lovely.
An important point to consider when selecting your plants is where the basket is going to be positioned.
Whether it is in full sun, shade or part sun/part shade will influence the plants that you need.
Some excellent suggestions for summer hanging baskets are:-
- Sempervivums How to Grow Succulent Plants
- Cherry tomatoes
Indeed, I love nothing more than to reach out of my kitchen window to pick some cherry tomatoes or strawberries that are conveniently hanging there.
Herbs too are best situated near your kitchen.AeroGarden Miracle-Gro Gourmet Herb Growing Kit Review
Plant baskets for summer during March and April.All Summer Blooming Flowers
If you have a greenhouse they can live in there until all danger of frost is over, placing them outside in May
If planting winter baskets then suitable plants are
- Winter heather – use ericaceous compost
Winter hanging baskets can be planted in September and October and should last through to Spring.
How To Plant Your Hanging Basket
- Place the liner in the basket and half fill with compost.
- Plants the largest plant in the centre
- Add smaller, trailing plants around it
- Some plants can be pushed through the gaps if using a wire basket.
- Wrap the plants in paper first to protect the roots as much as possible then gently push them through the gaps.
- Cover with more compost and add some water retention granules .
- Firm down the compost and water well.
Make sure you have a sturdy bracket securely fastened to the wall to hang your basket from. Bear in mind that the basket will be heavy once filled with compost and plants and even more so after watering.
For a Wow Factor display in pots or hanging baskets always use enough plants. One plant per inch size of pot or basket. So if you have a basket that measures fifteen inches in circumference at the top you will need fifteen plants.
Water them twice a day, early morning and evening, feed with a liquid feed once a week and dead head daily.
Caring For Your Hanging Basket
Keep them well watered, baskets and containers dry out quickly particularly in long hot summers.
Irrigation systems are available to aid in watering, these are particularly useful if you’re expecting to be away for a prolonged period. Also, handy to use if you intend have lot of baskets and containers. They aren’t very expensive and can be fully automated, making life easier. Please go to Irrigation Kits
From April to September feed with a liquid fertiliser once a week.
Dead head regularly.
Remember…gardening is good for you, spending time outdoors is good for you. Your physical health and fitness as much as your mental well-being improves after just a short time spent gardening. Imagine how much better you might feel after indulging in a project such as planting a hanging basket and the pleasure you will derive from doing so.
Your heart mind and soul will thank you for it as will the environment and wildlife.
I do hope you will be planting some baskets and/or containers, I would love to see photos.
Please share this with your friends and family and on social media, let’s start a family hanging basket marathon and bring everyone’s outdoor space to life.
If you have any queries or you want to share your views pop them in the comments box below. I always reply as soon as I can.
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