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How to plant hanging baskets - tips and ideas

Posted May 1st 2015 in Topical Tips 0 Comments
How to plant hanging baskets - tips and ideas

How to plant hanging baskets tips and ideas

In this article you will find tips and ideas on how to grow and plant hanging baskets. This information can also be transferred into planting troughs and planters too, as the same basic principles apply.

The first stage is - Choosing Plants

There are lots of plants that can be grown in baskets, including cheerful annuals and small evergreen shrubs that will provide structure and all-year-round interest. Plant colours randomly or choose a colour scheme such as pink or white flowers, or use hot reds and yellows for dramatic effect.

Although most baskets are planted in early spring and put outdoors after the risk of frost has passed, they can also be filled with frost hardy flowering plants and tough evergreens for colour over winter.

Before Planting

Prepare your compost by mixing a handful of controlled-release fertiliser granules and water-retaining gel into multi-purpose compost. Granules such as Miracle Gro All Purpose Slow Release Plant Food is an ideal fertiliser.

Lining your basket

A good tip is to put the hanging basket on top of a pot to keep it steady. You can either take the chain off or leave it on - we normally advise to take it off to ensure it doesn’t get in the way.

Next, you need to choose your lining. There are various types of lining you can use - from the more original coco liner or jute liner. (We can supply these either already formed or off a roll).

Keep in mind if you use fibrous material birds may borrow this for their nests. If you thinking about finding your own lining material then avoid sphagnum moss that has been gathered from the wild. It's not a sustainable crop and wild materials may contain diseases, weeds and bugs.

 You could to prevent water from escaping easilyby laying a plastic sheet on top of the fibre, but only to cover the first third of the basket. This will slow the water loss, allowing the compost time to soak up the water.

Putting plants in the side of the basket

The best way of planting plants in the side of a hanging basket is to make a cut where you would like the plant to be, then filling the basket with soil up to that cut. A great tip is to wrap the tops of the plant in a cardboard tube or any material to help keep the plant safe while pushing the plant through the side of the liner. Once through, un-wrap the plant.   

Adding layers of plants

 Fill two thirds of the basket with soil and add another layer of plants offset from the first row to allow maximum coverage. Continue to fill with compost, leave a 3cm (0.75in) gap between the top of the compost and the lip of the basket, and finish by planting the top. We suggest a taller plant in the middle to add structure and trailing plants around the edge. If required, infill the remainder with upright plants, such as begonias or geraniums.


Use an oversize bracket to gain maximum distance from the wall to he basket to avoid damage in the windy weather.

If you can hang your basket indoors in a sunny spot or in a greenhouse this will give the plants a chance to establish and grow quickly.

Hang outside when all risk of frost has passed. Water daily, especially during warm weather.

Remove spent blooms from your plants two to three times a week to encourage plants to produce a succession of flowers.

Boost plants with a weekly liquid feed such as tomorite.

Also make sure you rotate the basket regularly to ensure all sides of the basket receive light. This makes sure the plants in the basket will grow evenly.

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