The 11 Best Flowers for Hanging Baskets in a Garden

Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds With Hanging Plants

Illustration: © The Spruce, 2018 

Do you have a favorite garden flower that always seems to have its head in the dirt especially after a heavy rain? This flower may be the perfect candidate for a hanging basket. Many flowers suitable for hanging baskets are pendulous, top heavy, or creeping, which makes them look lovely when displayed from a container at eye level or higher.

Flowers with tiny or fragrant flowers benefit from a lofty perch to maximize their proximity to our senses. Some hanging basket flowers even attract butterflies or hummingbirds, giving you a close-up view of wildlife antics on our porch or deck.


Watch Now: How to Care for Planting Petunias in a Hanging Basket

  • 01 of 11


    Tuberous Begonias
    Simon McGill/Moment Open/Getty Images

    For those who do not have the right climate to grow fussy fuchsias, begonias can act as a plant double. The half-hardy Begonia boliviensis has the same tubular, pendulous flowers as fuchsias, but can handle the heat and humidity of southern summers. Other tuberous begonias that look great in hanging baskets include the Nonstop Mocca series, which are fully double and resemble roses.

  • 02 of 11

    Black Eye Susan Vine

    Black Eye Susan Vine
    Carl Lewis

    Not many vines flourish in a hanging basket, but Thunbergia alata has the right combination of exuberance and restraint that makes it a showy container plant. The annual vines will scramble up the chains of the hanging basket as well as spill over the sides, sporting 1-inch flowers in white and gold shades.

  • 03 of 11


    Fuchsia Flowers
    Stephen Ehlers/Getty Images

    Gardeners living in areas with cool, wet summers cannot pass up the opportunity to grow this amazing, shade-loving tender perennial. Although the plants do tend to wither in summer weather, you can look for one of the more heat tolerant varieties like Astoria, Jupiter, or Surprise. A little fuss will prolong the beauty of fuchsias in hanging baskets. The plants respond well to daily misting, regular fertilizing, and diligent deadheading.

  • 04 of 11


    Lantana Flowers
    flickr user Sheperd4711

    In frost-free areas, common lantana can become somewhat of a thug, growing into a wild woody shrub that scrambles through fences and overtakes flowerbeds. However, the vibrant flower clusters of lantana provide reliable tropical color for a long growing season, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Choose a small weeping variety for your hanging baskets like the yellow and white Patriot Popcorn or the yellow, pink, and orange Patriot Rainbow. If lantana is overly vigorous in your area, choose a sterile variety like Gold Mound or Patriot that does not grow seed-filled berries.

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  • 05 of 11


    Lobelia Basket
    flickr user lcm1863

    It is best to think of Lobelia erinus as a spilling seasonal plant for early spring, as it thrives in moderate temperatures. Your hanging basket will be covered with a mass of electric blue flowers and contrasting white throats that appeal to butterflies. At the end of June, do not waste any time trying to coddle the plants; replace them with million bells, lantana, or another heat-loving plant.

  • 06 of 11

    Million Bells

    Million Bells flowers
    Maria Mosolova/Getty Images

    This cousin of the petunia will not tucker out when the temperatures rise. Million bells produce little or no seed and don’t require deadheading to stay in bloom. All they need is moist soil and a full day of sun to keep your hanging baskets vibrant.

  • 07 of 11


    Red Geraniums
    flickr user inaweofGodscreation

    You may know these by the more common name of geranium, but pelargoniums are annuals, while true geraniums are hardy perennials. The bold texture, bright colors, and trailing habit of pelargoniums make them ideal for hanging baskets. Deadheading is necessary to keep the plants blooming until frost.

  • 08 of 11


    Petunia Flower basket

    Petunias have always been a classic favorite for hanging baskets, but some gardeners have given up on them after struggling with plants bedraggled by disease and rainstorms. Try millifloras which bloom continuously without the need for pinching, or multifloras, which perform in hot, wet summers. Petunias are at their most fragrant in the evening, so add a white variety to the moon garden for extra allure. 

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  • 09 of 11


    Moss Rose
    Doug Beckers

    Place portulaca, or moss rose, in a site where it will receive sun for most of the day. When the plant sits in shade, its flowers will close up. Pair moss rose with other heat-loving, drought-tolerant plants like wandering Jew, which will provide color between blooming cycles.

  • 10 of 11

    Sweet Alyssum

    Sweet Alyssum flowers

    Sitting near a sweet alyssum hanging basket is like being in the presence of a fragrant cloud. These flowers have a strong honey scent that attracts butterflies and bees. The appealing trailing habit of sweet alyssum can turn shaggy as the season progresses, so do not be afraid to reinvigorate it with a summer haircut.

  • 11 of 11

    Lotus Vine

    Lotus Vine
    AnjaCibej/Getty Images

    Impress your gardening friends by telling them your garden includes a plant endemic to the Canary Islands. Lotus berthelotti, also known as lotus vine or parrot's beak vine is in decline in its native habitat, but is easy to cultivate and propagate from seed and cuttings. Greenish-gray needle-like leaves are, in fact, as soft as a feather. Joyful flame-like flowers dot the plant all season in a sunny spot. The Jedi secret to growing this quirky plant is to provide it with daily moisture in a special cactus or orchid potting mix with excellent drainage.