petunias in hanging baskets

Create an amazing display with little effort!
Image: Helen Sushitskaya/ Shutterstock

Hanging baskets are a really easy to way to create a stunning display in your garden without too much hard work! Simply choose your colour scheme, buy your hanging basket plants and follow the 3 main principles detailed below and you’ll be sure to have a mass of colour adorning your walls and fences. There’s a very handy video at the end showing you how to plant up your baskets as well!

1. How to 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 easiest way is to invest in an Easy Fill Hanging Basket. These are long-lasting and easy to plant up plus thanks to the little gates around the sides when you insert your plants you won’t damage their roots .

2. How to choose hanging basket plants

If you are planting up a winter hanging basket, you can’t go wrong if you choose our Winter Hanging Basket Plant Collection. Or you could visit our annual bedding pages for a wide selection of pansies, primulas, primroses and other winter bedding varieties.

For the best displays, first you need to decide on a colour scheme, then choose a mixture of trailing and upright plants. Trailing geraniums should be planted on the outside of your basket so they can trail and tumble all summer long. You can then plant an upright geranium in the centre of your basket to give your display 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 then browse our selection of other hanging basket plants for some inspiration – begonias, petunias, lobelia and verbena all make wonderful hanging basket displays.

When it comes to how many plants to plant in your hanging basket we always say 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 make much of a display!). But, as a general guide we’d say 5-8 plants in a 12″ basket but if they do not have too much of a bushy habit then 10-12 plants would create a lovely full display.

3. How to look after your hanging basket plants

Feeding and Watering

The main thing to remember with hanging baskets is that the plant is completely dependant on you for it’s water and nutrition – a plant in the ground can send its roots out to forage through the earth for water or nutrients – a basket up in the air can’t send a long root down to the ground.

Before planting add some Incredibloom® into the compost. This will give your plants all the nutrients they need to put on a great display all season long. Tests have shown this plant food to help your plants produce up to 4 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 and then leaving them to drain and dry a little until it is moist before watering again. Best to water early in the morning or in the evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.

Shaping hanging basket plants

Once the plants start growing they will take on their own shape. If you think a plant looks a bit straggly, then prune a bit off 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 though as too much pruning can also remove some of the flower buds!

To prune your 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 are a little fearful of cutting and trimming our plants in case we cause any damage, but there’s not much that can go wrong. I always think of it as trimming your own hair when it’s got a bit untidy – a little trim up is better than a mad chop that leaves you with a wonky fringe! Mind you, if I ever do trim my own hair, my hairdresser tells me off!

How to plant a hanging basket video

Take a look a this video from Michael Perry, in which he shows just how easy it is to start a wonderful display.

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