Try These Plants for Hanging Baskets

Fuchsia Flowers
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  • 01 of 05

    Mounding or Draping Plants Like Bacopa Are Best

    A hanging basket of bacopa
    Kerry Michaels

    Not all plants look great in hanging planters because most hanging planters are at eye level or above. Many upright plants,  especially those with flowers at the top don't look great from this angle, and you end up looking at a lot of stems instead of flowers. In a hanging basket, the best options are plants that look good from the side or the bottom, and those tend to be mounding and draping plants. Fortunately, there are lots of plants like that to choose from.

    Sutera cordata, aka bacopa: A favorite container plant is Sutera cordata, commonly known as bacopa. This charming beauty produces tons of small, five-lobed flowers that will cheerfully drape over the sides of your hanging basket. It comes in many colors, including blues, white, and pink; the blue-violet blooms of ​Sutera 'Cabana Trailing Blue' are especially pretty in baskets. Bacopa thrives in the sun to part shade and blooms all summer long if it is fertilized regularly and kept moist.

    One thing about bacopa: It won't wilt. Even when it's thirsty, it will not wilt. If it dries out, it will drop its flowers and buds. So you'll want to keep this plant moist and never let it dry out between waterings. If your bacopa gets too dry, don't despair; with proper care, it should come back within a couple of weeks.

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  • 02 of 05

    Fussy Fuchsias Are Worth the Trouble

    A closeup of fuchsias
    Stephen Ehlers/Getty Images

    Fuchsias: There are many different kinds and colors of fuchsia, with ruffled, bell-like blooms so beautiful they have every right to behave a little like divas. Fuchsias range in size from tiny to towering, trailing to upright, and they all look gorgeous in baskets.

    While you might want an upright fuchsia for the center of your hanging basket, trailing fuchsias look great around the edges of the basket, either on their own or paired with other plants. Be cautious, though, when pairing fuchsias because they tend to come in dazzling colors that can easily outshine other plants. Look for balance in your pairings.

    Fuchsias can be a little temperamental, preferring temperatures of 55°F to 80°F. They also thrive in humidity, making it almost impossible to grow them in hot and dry climates. They like to be moist but not soggy, and they're susceptible to root rot so be sure to use a fast draining potting soil. Though there are some that will tolerate full sun, most fuchsias are happy in full to part shade.

    Despite being fussy, beautiful fuchsias are well worth the trouble.

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  • 03 of 05


    A closeup of verbena
    Antranias / Pixabay / CC By 0

    Verbena: These plants are tough and easy to grow. They are heat and drought tolerant and will flower all summer prolifically if you feed them regularly, grow them in full sun, and make sure they have good drainage. Verbenas do tend to get a little leggy as the season progresses, so don't hesitate to give them a light pruning every so often. While many varieties may not need deadheading, verbenas look a lot better if you take off spent blooms. Many verbenas will bloom well into fall, and some are hardy to 15°F.

    There are lots of different colors to choose, from single-color to variegated white and shades of pink, coral, red, and violet. Verbenas pair well with many plants, including calibrachoa, creeping Jenny, sweet potato vine, bacopa, nemesia, and diascia.

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  • 04 of 05

    Million Bells

    A closeup of double purple Million Bells
    Kerry Michaels

    Calibrachoa Million Bells: A hanging planter staple, these are exceptionally easy to grow and will bloom prolifically throughout the season if given enough water and fertilized regularly. A million Bells (a trademarked name) plants love full sun and moist but not wet soil; they are a little prone to root rot, so water them when the soil begins to dry out on top.

    During the growing season, Million Bells can get a little leggy and spread out. If your plant starts to look frazzled, simply cut it back, and it should grow back quickly and even fuller than before.

    Calibrachoa comes in a fabulous array of colors, from very cool oranges, terra-cottas, and reds, to yellows, purples, and pinks. They pair well with almost anything and will spill over the edges of your baskets, as well as fill in between other plants.

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  • 05 of 05

    Diamond Frost

    Euphorbia 'Inneuphdia' Diamond Frost: This is one of the most popular and useful container plants out there, one that can make a mediocre hanging planter look finished and fabulous. Each plant grows to about 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide, producing clouds of tiny white flowers from spring to fall. Though this plant looks as though it could be finicky, it is extremely easy to grow. Both heat and drought tolerant, Diamond Frost doesn't need much fertilizer and is happy in full sun to partial shade.

    This type of euphorbia plays well with others and will go with almost any plant, filling in empty spots and spilling over the edges of your hanging planters.