A successful hanging basket is a thing of beauty; full, well-round, colorful and brimming over with personality. Not all flowering baskets achieve success however, whether their creator planted them wrong, placed them in the wrong location or added too much or too little of some needed ingredient. If you’re coveting a thrilling, filling and spilling flower basket to hang on your front porch, use these tips for creating a successful hanging basket.
Use a traditional plastic pot that has suspension wires or other means of hanging support or a hanging wire basket lined with sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. Fill the basket choice with lightweight potting soil two-thirds of the way full.
Choose plants that have the same water and sunlight needs when mixing different plants in one basket. If the basket will be hanging in full sun, each plant selection needs to be a type that requires full sun to thrive. Same is true if the basket will be hanging in a partial sun location.
Don’t mix low-water need cacti plants in the same basket as heavy drinkers like begonias. Read plant labels to determine which plants compliment each other and can be grown in the same basket and go by the old rule of thumb – when in doubt, don’t. If you’re not sure about two different plant’s needs, don’t mix them.
Select a filler plant that will fill up most of the soil space on top of the basket; a spiller that will grow down the outside and blow in the breeze and a thriller plant that will grow straight up and capture the attention.
Plant the Sides
Start creating the hanging basket by planting the sides. This is where a wire basket works best, but you can make a plastic pot work too. Cut holes in the moss, coconut fiber or plastic so you can stick the spiller plants right into the planter sides. Four holes, the same distance apart around the planter work well. Sweet potato vine is makes a good spiller plant. Plant the center of the basket next with a thriller, like one tall begonia, then fill in the rest of the basket perimeter with a filler plant like petunias. Plant sides and top if using all of the same plant.
Hanging baskets dry put quickly and will need watered often. Use a water soluble plant food mixed at half the recommended rate and apply to hanging basket once a week. Keep flowers deadheaded to encourage more blooms and hanging basket looking neat.