Hanging baskets are an easy way to add interest, scent and colour without much effort! Simply choose your colour scheme, order some hanging basket plants and follow the three easy steps described below.
Your baskets will quickly fill out to provide a stunning display that frames your front entrance, brightens up bare walls and fences, or brings to life a tired garage or shed. Here’s our quick guide to planting up hanging baskets for maximum effect…
1. Choose the right hanging basket
Any type of container can be used as a makeshift hanging basket – we’ve even seen old clothes used as planters! But the quickest and easiest way is to invest in an Easy Fill Hanging Basket. These are long-lasting and easy to use. Thanks to the little gates around the sides, the roots of your plants won’t be damaged when you tuck them in. For more options, see our collection of hanging basket accessories and decide which style works best for you.
2. Choose the best hanging basket plants
For the best results, decide on a colour scheme before choosing a mixture of trailing and upright plants. Some people prefer a single colour theme, while others opt for a striking contrast such as yellow and blue. If you’re not confident when it comes to choosing colours, opt for one of our themed collections for a tried and tested combination that’s sure to impress. Don’t worry if you run out of time or inspiration. You can also choose one of our high quality pre-planted hanging baskets – simply suspend it from your wall bracket when it arrives!
- Geraniums and pelargoniums are a popular choice that come in a variety of colours. Trailing varieties should be planted on the outside of your basket so they can cascade over the edge and provide interest all summer long. Pop an upright geranium in the centre to give your display some height.
- Fuchsias also make great basket plants. As with geraniums, use trailing varieties on the outside and then upright varieties in the centre.
- If you prefer a mixed display, begonias, lobelia, petunias, and verbena all make wonderful choices.
When it comes to how many plants to plant in your hanging basket, the more the merrier – pack them in for a full display which will look beautiful cascading and tumbling from the baskets (one little plant won’t have much impact!) As a general guide 5-8 plants should fill a 12″ basket, but if they don’t have a bushy habit, up to 10-12 plants can be used to create a really show stopping display.
If you’re planting up a winter hanging basket, browse our selection of winter bedding plants where you’ll find colourful pansies, primulas, primroses and other hardy varieties.
3. Look after your hanging basket plants
Feeding and watering
The main thing to remember with hanging baskets is that the plant is completely dependent on you for water and nutrition. Plants in the ground can send their roots out to forage for water or nutrients. Those planted in pots and baskets, can’t.
Before planting, add some Incredibloom® to your compost. This will give your plants all the nutrients they need to put on a great display all season long. Tests have shown that this can help your plants produce up to four times as many flowers.
Once planted up, make sure your hanging baskets are kept moist – never bone dry and never sitting in puddles. We recommend a good soaking, before leaving them to drain until the soil is just moist. It’s best to water your baskets early in the morning or in the evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.
Shaping hanging basket plants
Once your plants start growing they’ll take on their own shape. If something starts to look a bit straggly, lightly prune to tidy the shape. Some people like wild baskets and some like neat; it’s entirely up to you. Just make sure that you don’t get carried away – too much pruning can also remove some of the flower buds!
To prune hanging basket plants, cut at the stem just above a leaf joint – the plant will heal over at that point. To stop your plants getting taller, nip out the growing tip at a leaf joint. Sometimes we can be a little fearful of cutting and trimming our plants in case we cause any damage, but there’s not much that can go wrong.
How to plant a hanging basket video guide
Take a look at this hanging basket video from Michael Perry, where he shows just how easy it is to start a wonderful display.
Want to plan something more adventurous? You’ll find plenty of planting inspiration along with a wealth of helpful hanging basket advice over at our dedicated hub page.
I have a problem with hanging baskets they don’t bloom long.
You can keep your plants blooming longer by regularly deadheading the fading blooms. This prevents the plant from setting seed and therefore forces it to produce more flowers. You should also feed your basket regularly to ensure that they are able to sustain continuous growth. Consistant watering is also important. Hanging Baskets do require some maintenenace if they are to look good and last the whole summer long.
For two years now I have been having a fight with Thames water about ny exorbitant bill. They take £100,00 per month from my direct debit, yet I AMA single pensioner, no dog no car and can only have showers. I may fall in a bath.. so I have planted up my garden with mostly drought tolerant plants. Because I can no longe carry or lift watering cans I find geraniums best for pots. Can you please advise which plants would grow well in hanging baskets which are somewhat drought tolerant. There are still a lot of people, my age 83, who live independently and being able to grow our pots and baskets is still a joy. Lifting watering cans is something else.
Now before some else comes up with a SENIOR range why don’t you be the first..
Hanging baskets can be a real problem if your mobility is limited. You can opt for water efficient plants such as Osteospermum, Begonia and Pelargoniums, but even these will still need watering regularly when planted in a a hanging basket, as the relatively small volume of compost will dry out very quickly on hot or windy days, particularly when the plants are in full growth. For true drought resistant planting look to trailing Sedums, Sempervirens and Delosperma. With some creativity you can create some intruiging displays.
Hope this helps
I read your blog on Hanging Baskets.. Its very nice and pleased my mind