How To Create A Hanging Basket Display

  •  Create A Hanging Basket Display

Watch the video: How to pot up hanging baskets


Bring your outdoor area to life with stunning hanging basket displays you can create in just a few hours. 

Hanging baskets are a must-have for any backyard or balcony, as they add instant colour. And they’re easy to pot up and care for if you follow a few simple guidelines. 

As well as being great space-savers, they’re also aesthetically pleasing, softening the look of bare spots and giving us another opportunity to be surrounded by flowers or greenery. 

You can simply suspend baskets from trees to brighten empty areas or hang one over your front door to make a welcoming entrance. 

Hanging baskets of trailing flowers on a pergola will transform an outdoor space. And if you use annuals, you can change colours with the seasons. 

They add living colour to balconies and big or small yards, and a basket of ferns or attractive foliage will instantly jazz up any unused shady area. 

Hanging baskets that fit flat on the wall can turn a surface from boring to beautiful. Arrange them in groups or patterns, just let your creative juices flow, as gardening is an art, after all. 

Now’s the time to pot up baskets of summer colour, and if you select the plants carefully, you’ll have stunning displays that last well into autumn.

hanging basket on side of shed, handyman magazine,
A splendid wall of colour covers the side of a shed and fills an empty space

Select a style

There are a range of baskets to choose from, and they can either hang freely or be secured to a wall. 

Consider what will suit your space and what theme works well in your yard. You can buy brackets, hooks and chains to make hanging easy. 

PLASTIC BASKETS have good water retention and come in different colours to match your outdoor area. 

WIRE BASKETS have a coco-fibre or sphagnum moss lining and need more frequent watering than plastic ones. A coco-fibre lining loses moisture through the sides, as well as through the drainage at the base.  To retain the moisture, line the inside of the basket with black plastic or use a supermarket bag. Make holes in the base to allow the water to drain, then add potting mix.

DECORATIVE BASKETS can be made from metal or natural products such as rattan, wicker or rope and sisal. They are sometimes lined with plastic to help retain moisture.  

Getting the hang of it 

The first step in hanging a basket is to determine the microclimate of the area where you want it to go.

Is it a windy spot? Is it in full sun, part shade or full shade? The wind can dry out baskets very quickly, so select a sheltered spot. 

When buying baskets, choose ones that are wide and deep, as the larger the basket is, the less you will need to water it. 

Use a potting mix that contains a wetting agent, water-holding crystals and a controlled-release fertiliser, or try one developed for hanging baskets

Plant those that are hung at eye level or slightly below like a traditional pot. Position the tallest plant, or plants, in the centre, then shorter and trailing plants towards the middle and edges. 

Baskets hung above eye level don’t need a centre plant and look best with cascading plants that cover the sides of the pot.  

TIP You can mix and match different plants or keep it simple and use just the one variety. 

hanging baskets with green plant, handyman magazine,
Select plants that suit the position and keep colour and scent in mind

Top trailing plants 

Coleus

A basket full of coleus with different coloured foliage is a stunning sight. Leaves come in shades of purple, pink, lime, gold or carmine. 

POSITION Shade. 
 

coleus plant, handyman magazine,
A basket full of coleus with different coloured foliage is a stunning sight. Image: Thinkstock

Calibrachoas

Perfect for hanging balls, calibrachoas are covered in masses of small flowers that are similar to petunias during spring, summer and autumn. 

POSITION Sun.
 

calibrachoas, handyman magazine,
Calibrachoas are covered in masses of small flowers that are similar to petunias during spring. Image: Thinkstock 

Ferns

Baskets of ferns can soften shady areas. Fishbone, umbrella, hare’s foot and polypodium ferns are tough and ideal for hanging baskets. 

POSITION Shade, morning sun. 

ferns, hanging basket, handyman magazine,
Baskets of ferns can soften shady areas. Image: Thinkstock 

Fuschias 

With pretty pendant-like flowers, fuchsias are a favourite for hanging baskets. Grow them in plastic pots for the best results.

POSITION Part shade. 

fuschias, handyman magazine,
With pretty pendant-like flowers, fuchsias are a favourite for hanging baskets. Image: Thinkstock 
 

Impatiens 

Great for brightening up shady spots, impatiens produce masses of flowers for months, and offer a good choice of vibrant flower colours. 

POSITION Part or full shade. 

impatiens, handyman magazine
Great for brightening up shady spots, impatiens produce masses of flowers for months. Image: Thinkstock
 

Pansies

Pansies and violas provide colour during late winter and spring. Grow them en masse in flowering balls or mix them with other plants. 

POSITION Sun and part shade.  

pansies, handyman magazine
Pansies and violas provide colour during late winter and spring. Image: Thinkstock 

Pelargoniums

These plants produce colourful blooms for many months. Ivy-leafed pelargoniums are ideal for baskets with their wonderful trailing habit.

Position Sun. 

pelargoniums, handyman magazine,
These plants produce colourful blooms for many months

Petunias 

Petunias come in a wide range of flower colours, and look striking with just the one plant in a basket or a mix of different shades.

Position Sun. 
 

petunias, handyman magazine,
Petunias come in a wide range of flower colours, and look striking in a basket. Image: Thinkstock 

 

Verbenas

Masses of perfumed flowers appear on verbenas throughout spring, summer and autumn. Choose trailing cultivars for single plantings.

Position Sun. 

verbenas, handyman magazine,
Masses of perfumed flowers appear on verbenas throughout spring, summer and autumn. Image: Thinkstock 

 

Caring for a hanging basket 

Give hanging baskets a monthly dose of a complete soluble plant food throughout the growing season and water frequently, especially during summer when they heat up and dry out quickly. 

Continual air movement around hanging baskets speeds up water evaporation from the sides of the pots, so soak the top until water begins to drip out of the base. 

Water the top and the sides of sphagnum moss and coco-fibre baskets, and mulch with sphagnum moss to help retain water.

TIP A long-handled watering wand will make the job much easier.

How to pot up a wire basket 

To create a hanging display, all you need is a large wire basket, enough sphagnum moss to fill it, a piece of flyscreen or plastic, plus premium potting mix and flowering annuals.

If you’re using a coco-fibre basket liner, simply make slits in it with a utility knife and then insert the plants. 

To avoid damaging the roots, wrap them loosely in foil before pushing them through the liner. Once you’ve inserted the plant, carefully remove the foil.  

 

TIP Water the plants well before planting them in the basket.
 

Step 1. Soak the moss

Soak the moss in water, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Line the basket a quarter of the way up the sides with the moss.

Step 2. Line the base

Line the base with a piece of flyscreen to keep the potting mix in position, or use plastic and make three slits in it for drainage.

Step 3. Add a layer

Add a layer of premium potting mix, or use one specially formulated for hanging baskets, until it is level with the top of the moss.

Step 4. Insert seedlings

Insert seedlings through the side of the basket, taking care not to damage the roots. Add more moss until it is level with the basket’s top.

Step 5. Fill with potting mix

Fill with potting mix to just below the top of the moss. Plant more seedlings in the top, water, then add more moss and mix if needed.

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