What is it about hanging baskets that give them their universal appeal? Hanging flower baskets fall under the realm of container gardening, yet this gardening niche offers something more than most containers. Hanging baskets bring petite flowers to eye level, where they can be examined, smelled, and touched. Hanging baskets bring beauty to the otherwise dull real estate of walls and rafters. Hanging baskets focus on the plants, not the containers, and sometimes one can’t be sure if a container even exists under all of those trailing flowers.
Hanging baskets make flower gardening accessible even to those without a surface to place a flowerpot upon. Learn about flowers that thrive in mini hanging gardens, and plan a hanging basket design based on one of these blooming examples.
01 of 08
The Cottage Garden Look With Hanging Baskets
There are small gardens, and then there are postage stamp sized gardens, and then there is the art of gardening without a garden. Hanging baskets can make this not only possible but can deliver a traffic-stopping flower display to your entryway. If you’re going for the traditional cottage garden look, include flowers that will thrive in hanging baskets, like petunias, lobelia, impatiens, million bells, pelargoniums, or begonias.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Spring Flower Hanging Basket
Spring has arrived, and you’re hungry for flowers. Let the hanging basket satisfy your craving. In addition to springtime flowerbed favorites like the violas, primroses, pansies, and lobelia featured in this basket, consider growing spring-blooming bulbs like the daffodils shown here. Growing bulbs in baskets take a bit of extra planning, as the bulbs will need a pre-chilling period in the refrigerator to mimic winter’s dormancy. After approximately 12 weeks of chilling, you can pot up the prepped bulbs with your springtime annuals.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Recycled and Repurposed Hanging Baskets
Shabby Chic is all the rage, and the garden isn’t exempt from the trend. Home gardeners can copy these trends by thinking outside the basket. Take special items from your basement or attic, and repurpose them as hanging baskets for the flower garden. No drainage? Poke holes with a cordless screwdriver. Too much drainage? Place a liner in the object, or put a small plastic pot inside. Other antique items waiting to host a flowering plant include lanterns, teapots, and watering cans, boots and shoes, or tins and cans of imported foods.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Hanging Basket Care
Professionals have hanging basket design and cultivation down to a science, which allows them to charge a premium price for their vibrant creations. Can a beginning flower gardener replicate this success? Perhaps, by following these steps:
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- Start with a high quality soil-free potting mix formula, which is a lightweight blend formulated for containers.
- Drench the basket liner with a fungicide if you’ve been plagued with root rot or mildew in the past.
- Pack the planted basket with healthy plants in bud; consider tried-and-true varieties from Proven Winners. Some of the plants shown here include lobelia, verbena, begonia, pelargonium, and moneywort.
- Fertilize continuously throughout the growing season; weekly dilute feedings are better than monthly full strength feedings.
- Pinch and shape your plants regularly to banish the straggly look. Don't cling to plants that still have one or two blooms, cut foliage back hard when more than half the blooms have dropped off the plants.
- Keep pests like aphids and whiteflies far away with yellow stick traps, insect soap, or pesticides like Marathon.
05 of 08
Orchid Hanging Baskets
Some of the best indoor hanging baskets feature orchids, like this cymbidium Sarah Jean ‘Ice Cascade.’ This orchid type is a good pick for beginners, as it is vigorous and free flowering. Expect a four-year-old plant to produce as many as ten flowering spikes over a period of three months. Keep the plant in cool dappled sunlight, and provide consistent moisture. Use a container designed for orchids, which need plenty of air circulation around their root systems to stay healthy.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Macrame Plant Hangers
Blooming cycles wax and wane, even on the healthiest flowering specimens. So, how to ensure constant color on hanging baskets that are front and center? Group a collection of cheerful flowerpots hanging from contrasting macrame hangers for an eye-popping display.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Red, White, and Blue Hanging Baskets
One of the pleasures of gardening with hanging baskets is the ability to switch out baskets easily for seasonal displays. A red, white, and blue basket can grace your porch or patio on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Constitution Day in most climates. Mild climate gardeners can keep the basket going through Veterans Day. Copy this basket design using petunias, lobelia, bacopa, and fuchsia.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Kokedama Moss Ball Planter
How can you have a hanging basket without a basket? You can engage in the Japanese art of making Kokedama moss ball planters. Plants like the bromeliad (pictured here) with small root systems work best. Other appropriate specimens for Kokedama include African violets, begonias, and cyclamen. The general method involves molding moist soil and sheet moss around the root ball of the plant, and then wrapping it with twine to bind it together. Soak the ball as necessary to meet the plant's water needs.