Hanging Baskets

Add height to your garden with baskets of color hung aloft on arbors, porches, fences, and walls.

The classic hanging basket is a wire basket, filled with sphagnum moss and a sphere of cascading blooms. Here's how to fill a wire basket, plus some suggestions on what to plant.

Choosing Plants:

  • To get a full, balled effect, choose compact, bushy varieties of annuals.
  • When mixing a variety of plants, the most important quality of a hanging bouquet is its trailing habit, covering the sides of the container with blooms or foliage.
  • Plant taller varieties in the center and those with trailing or vining habits around the edges.

After-Planting Details:

  • Enhance the spherical shape by pinching off the main shoot of a plant when it reaches the desired height, which encourages growth of side shoots.
  • Rotate containers regularly -- once a week is best -- so all flowers receive equal exposure to sunlight.
  • Be vigilant about deadheading spent blooms and pinching leggy plants.
  • Check soil moisture often; on hot days, you may need to water twice.


Step 1

1. Select a wire basket at least 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep for best results. The larger the container you choose, the more types of plants you can combine, which makes for a showier and lusher bouquet. Soak long-fibered sphagnum moss in water for several minutes. Squeeze excess water from the moss and press it around the inside of the basket and just over the top to conceal the wire rim.

Step 2

2. Poke holes in the moss at various spots inside the basket. Space plants closer together than you would in the garden. Tuck a plant into each hole (plant trailers such as ivy around the lower edges of the basket), then fill the basket to the rim with potting soil.

Step 3

3. Set a cluster of plants in the top of the basket by pulling back some of the soil with your hands. Firm the soil; water well. Make sure the moss is holding in the soil all around the basket; add more if needed. Add a slow-release fertilizer in spike or tablet form to keep nutrients from leeching out with frequent watering. Water daily.

Save money by designing and planting your own beautiful hanging baskets.


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