Hanging baskets are a great way to decorate your house. A hanging basket can change an empty wall into a lively, vibrant, and colorful space — and hanging flower baskets can even add a sweet smell to your home.
You can put flowers, foliage, or vegetables in hanging baskets, though the planting options depend on the climate of your region. You’ll need a potting mix for transplanting flowers or growing hanging baskets from seeds. Regular watering is also important for a hanging basket plant.
Let’s explore how you can create beautiful hanging baskets this season, what to plant in them, and some other growing tips to help you get started straight away.
When Should You Plant a Hanging Basket?
There isn’t necessarily a specific time to plant a hanging basket; it depends in part on the type of plant you choose. You should ideally plant full-grown plants or seedlings in hanging baskets, so choose a time that suits the natural plant growth.
You can usually plant a hanging basket around the same time as your in-ground plants. To prepare a hanging basket for the summer, you should plant it in April or May.
If you live in an area with hot and dry summers, however, it’s better to plant a hanging basket earlier than your in-ground plants so the flowers in the basket can withstand the summer heat.
If you live in a colder region, especially one that has harsh winters, it’s best that you plant the basket when there’s no threat of frost or snow. For summer blooming flowers, the ideal time is mid to late spring.
If you’re planning to have a hanging basket for winter, you can plant it in September or October. You can also keep your basket indoors in extremely cold temperatures. Since hanging baskets are protected against snow and ice, it’s much easier to grow winter plants in them.
If you have a greenhouse, you can prepare hanging baskets year-round. However, avoid keeping hanging baskets in the greenhouse in the summer heat as it may be too much for certain flowering plants.
Planting Flowers vs. Growing From Seeds
You can choose between growing seeds or planting flowers for your hanging basket. Both methods will give you good results, but growing from seeds takes a bit longer.
If you want to create a unique hanging basket, then grow the flowers from seeds. You can plant the seeds of different flowers in a single basket to create a beautiful bouquet or arrange similarly-colored flowers in clusters.
To create hanging baskets from seeds, you’ll have to start earlier than with your in-ground plants. It’s better to start growing seeds indoors, so that they don’t have to tolerate harsh weather, especially if you’re growing them in winter or summer.
Make sure that you buy high-quality seeds to get vibrant flowers. You can put seeds in the hanging basket or take the traditional approach of starting in trays and then transplanting them in the baskets after a few weeks. If you’re planting indoors, you can give your seedlings heat and lighting with a fluorescent lamp to accelerate the growth.
You can also plant flowers directly into the baskets. This is much easier than growing from seeds, but you’ll have less space for creativity. Follow these steps to plant flowers directly in a hanging basket:
- Place a small plastic pot at the center of your hanging basket so that it does the job of a water reserve.
- After that, add potting mix (on Amazon) or compost. Be careful not to add garden soil or heavy potting as the hanging basket structure may break.
- Plant small flowers on the side and large flowers or plants at the center of the hanging basket.
- Water the flowers until the soil is moist enough.
To plant flowers, you have to wait for the nurseries and greenhouses to grow the transplants. In the end, you get regular-looking commercial plants, so it robs you of the unique look. Transplanting is also more expensive than growing seeds.
However, if you want to get a hanging basket immediately, then growing from flowers is ideal. Choose flowers that have already bloomed or ones that buds ready to blossom in a few days.
What You’ll Need
Planting a hanging basket isn’t difficult or expensive. It’s fairly easy, especially if you’re an experienced gardener. However, it’s different from growing plants in pots, and you’ll need different planting tools.
Here are some supplies that you’ll need for a hanging basket:
- A hanging basket of your choice
- Good-quality lining (on Amazon)
- Potting mix or multi-purpose compost
- A gardening knife
- Garden trowel
- A drip irrigation system (on Amazon) (optional)
You’ll also need nails, screws, and other tools to install the hanging baskets. If you’re dealing with heavier baskets, have a professional landscaping service install them for you.
What Should Go in My Hanging Basket?
It’s better to plan what you want to plant in your hanging basket beforehand. Always choose flowering plants based on the climate in your area or the season in which you want your flowers to bloom.
You can grow flowers, foliage, and even vegetables in your hanging baskets. If you want an eye-catching hanging basket in summer, then tobacco plants, Creeping Jenny, and pansies are all very good options.
Also, choose flowers that are lighter and won’t grow into bushes. Most annuals and some perennials fall into this category. However, there are some varieties, such as nasturtium or nigella, that grow well in hanging baskets.
You can plant ornamental sedge, ivy, viola, and winter flowering heathers for your winter hanging baskets. If you want a perennial hanging basket, you can choose from plants such as purple-leaved sage, hedera, million bells, fuchsia, and petunia.
You can also plant annuals like impatiens, lobelia, verbena, and morning glories in your hanging basket.
How Often Should Hanging Baskets Be Watered?
You’ll have to water your hanging baskets more frequently than your in-ground plants because they dry out more quickly. The flowers in a hanging basket are exposed from all directions, and the lighter potting doesn’t retain moisture as well as garden soil.
Water the flowers a day or two sooner than you would with regular garden plants. If you live in a hot and warm region, water the hanging basket twice a day to prevent your plants from drying out.
If you can afford a drip irrigation system, then install one for your hanging basket. All you need to do is set the system on a timer so that your hanging baskets get water regularly. Drip irrigation also uses less water and is fully automated, so you won’t have to worry about over-watering and water wastage.
If you aren’t using drip irrigation, be careful not to overwater plants in the hanging basket as the soil may become waterlogged.