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 us a close-up view of wildlife antics on our porch or deck.
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For those who don’t 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.
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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 one-inch flowers in white and gold shades.
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Gardeners living in areas with cool, wet summers can’t 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.
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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 doesn’t grow seed-filled berries.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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It’s 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, don’t waste any time trying to coddle the plants; replace them with million bells, lantana, or another heat-loving plant.
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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.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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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 don’t be afraid to reinvigorate it with a summer haircut.
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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.