Creating Hanging Baskets

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July 2, 2008

Mixed flower hanging basket.Hanging baskets are a great way to dress up your yard and garden. Not only do they add color and interest, but because ornamentals, herbs, and vegetables can all be successfully grown in them, hanging baskets are also an excellent way increase your available planting space.


Size Considerations

It is always a good idea to select the biggest basket you can for your space. Bigger baskets, from 14 to 16 inches, are generally easier to care for. Use a 20-inch half-basket for mounting on walls, as you will lose significant space one you fill it will lining material. Baskets 12-inches and smaller will dry out much faster and do not provide as much space for plant roots.


There are two styles of hanging baskets-open framework and solid. Each has its pros and cons. An open-style (wire framework) basket offers a great planting area, which may ultimately be more attractive because they can house more big plants. Solid-style baskets do not need to be lined and may retain moisture longer, but offer less planting space. There are also self-watering styles available.

Lining Your Baskets

Sphagnum moss is the traditional material used to line open-framed hanging baskets, but it is not the greenest option. Harvesting peat bogs can cause a great deal of long-term environmental damage. Better options include hay or straw, pine boughs, wool from old sweaters or pants, or recycled alternatives like "mock moss", which is made from a combination of wool and coir.

Growing Media

The growing medium used in baskets should be light, but it still needs to be able to retain some moisture. Use a soil less mix with a small amount of potting soil and compost mixed in to improve fertility and moisture retention.

Plants and Spacing

The best basket combinations are those that combine trailing and upright plants. Ornamentals should be spaced every 2-4 inches apart in every direction, and vegetables and herbs according to directions. When planting your hanging basket, place it on a pedestal so you can see how the plants look from every angle.

Hanging Basket Care

Watering: Sun, wind, and many plants growing together in a small space can result in baskets drying out quickly. Water well and water often. Unless your hanging basket is self-watering, plan to check moisture levels daily. Remember, even in wet weather, a basket hanging under the eaves of your house is not likely to receive adequate water. A watering can with a long spout or a garden hose attachment like a water wand makes watering much easier.

If your basket dries out, you may be able to revive it by submerging it in a bucket of water, and allowing it to absorb as much moisture as possible. Use a swivel hook and rotate baskets frequently to make sure plants get even exposure to available light.

Feeding: Tomatoes and flowering ornamentals need weekly feedings. Use a high-potash liquid organic fertilizer. Herbs will get by fine if fed twice monthly with an all purpose organic liquid fertilizer.

Deadheading: Removing spent blooms regularly will help prolong the life of your display and give you the opportunity to check for insect problems.

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June 2, 2009

When planting hanging baskets, put Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom instead of stones. The plants do not stand in water and the baskets will not be so heavy.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 5, 2011

I have 3 different size pots to use here. I'm wanting to fill these with potting soil and flowers and mount on a telephone pole by our curb. Does anyone have any ides how to do this and what flowers I should use? Thanks.

By donita from MO


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
June 19, 20110 found this helpful

Before you do this, you should check with the phone company and see if they will allow it. They sometimes have to access the lines for repair by climbing the pole. Not sure they want to deal with obstructions.


Harlean from Arkansas

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May 24, 2011

I have 2 patio boxes for planting in. I am using trailing ivy, baby's breath and poppies right now, but I need to know what flowers bloom all summer so I will have blooms all summer. The hanging boxes get the morning and noon sun.

By Cheryl Doi


May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Bat wing, or angel wing, begonias. They are very prolific; foliage as pretty as their ongoing blooms.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

With the amount of sun you get in the bottom of your basket, place a small bowl right side up and then fill with potting soil. You won't have to worry as much about watering 2 times a day on hot days. The baskets won't dry out so bad.


Purple oxalis is good and does great in baskets, airplane plants also do good. Afro does great and survives easy.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Portulaca. This is my second year of having portulcaca in a hanging basket on my deck. Bloomed well into fall last year. Loves the sun, so would do well in your morning and noon sun spot. Portulaca comes in numerous colors, solid and dual colors.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
July 17, 20170 found this helpful

What zone are you in? Cone flowers or daises are a good choice.

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March 25, 2010

I received a hanging, plastic lined basket and need advice on what and how much to plant in it so it will be full. Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By BJ from MO


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March 25, 20100 found this helpful

Planting and Caring for a Hanging Basket
Please read and follow these instructions carefully and your success will be assured.

1. Pre-moisten enough potting, not potting soil, to fill the container to within 1 &frac; of the top. The 1 &frac; allows for a good watering pool.


2. Fill the container with moist potting mix to the bottom of the bottom row of openings. Insert your desired plants root ball first into the openings laying the root balls on the potting mix with &frac; of stem inside the container. If you are using plants with a root ball larger than 2 then gently push the foliage through the opening from the inside of the container. If you are a wholesale grower or growing for retail, depending on habit of the stock you use, it is not necessary to plant every opening, the potting mix will not wash out of unplanted openings. Plant to your own price point.

3. Add more moist potting mix to the bottom of the second row of openings and repeat step 2 patting down the potting mix and adding more if needed to reach the desired level.

4. Add more moist potting mix to the bottom of the top row of openings. Repeat step 2 again gently patting down the potting mix and add more if necessary.

5. Add more moist potting mix to within 1 &frac; of the top of the container. Repeat step 2 using the same variety of plants you used in the sides. This gives the container a balanced look. Plants in the top should be no more than 3 apart. Water deeply until water drips from the drain holes in the bottom of the container to assure even hydration to all plants in the bottom rows.

Potting Mix Capacities:
10 Basket - &frac; cubic ft.
11 Basket - .80 cubic ft.
12 Basket 1.2 cubic ft.
14 Basket 1.5 cubic ft.
20 Planter 1.8 cubic ft.
40 Planter 3.6 cubic ft.
(varies depending on brand used)

Things to Remember!:
1. Always leave 1 &frac; in the top of the container for a good water pool.
2. Water deeply until water drips from drain holes in the bottom of the container.

3. Fertilize once a week with a good liquid fertilizer that meets the needs of the variety of plants you are using. Ask your Nursery for advice if you are unsure.
4. Use potting mix not potting soil.

Plant Suggestions:
Wave Petunias, Supertunias, Surfinias, Cascadia Petunias, Super Cascade Petunias, Tidal Wave Petunias, Million Bells, Bacopa, Star Series Zinnias, Ivy Geraniums, Scaevola, Trailing Lobelia, Verbena (Taipan), Superbena, Nerembergia, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Nemesia, Sutera, Impatiens,Bagonias, Mums, Coleus, and many others. Try Strawberries or Tomatoes with some mixed vegetable varieties for a great patio garden using the 14 Basket or 20 Planter Box.
Good luck.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
March 26, 20100 found this helpful

The first question is will it be hung indoors or out? If it'll be indoors my favorite is the Pothos plant. It comes in 2 varieties: solid green or varigated with yellow. Both are beautiful, fast growing, easy to care for, and will last for years. Plus you can propogate many more plants simply from cuttings.
If it'll be outdoors, ivy works great, and begonias are beautiful in a hanging basket, as are geraniums, petunias. In short, any plant that tends to trail over the sides and hang down is perfect for a hanging basket.
Good luck!
Oh! Word of warning tho! Morning glories, altho beautiful will get away from you and overtake you very quickly! So if you plant those, only plant just a very few seeds and keep a daily watch on them!

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May 30, 2016

I was just wondering if anybody has planted moonflowers or morning glories in hanging baskets? Will they hang down instead of climb up?

Should I get some twine and hang over the edges so that they have something to hang onto?


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
July 17, 20171 found this helpful

Morning glories will hang down. I used to have one in a hanging basket.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 140 Feedbacks
May 12, 2016

I always see these beautiful hanging baskets at the stands and the flowers just flow and are full and rounded. My question is how do you maintain the flowers to keep this full rounded shape over the summer? Mine always seem to get straggly and thin even when keeping them watered. I try to dead head, but that doesn't always help to keep the shape of the basket.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
July 7, 20170 found this helpful

Fertilize and trim. Where I work they sometimes change out the plants every few months (a gardening center does this)

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January 14, 2017

Planting your own flower basket not only allows you to choose the plants yourself it can also help save you some money. This is a page about planting a hanging flower basket.

Planting a Hanging Flower Basket

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January 14, 2017

This is a page about cheap hanging basket ideas. Creating a beautiful hanging basket of flowers does not have to be expensive.

A hanging basket with petunias in it.

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