Making your own display of color
A flower garden, dangling like a colorful jeweled earring from the eave of your home. Yes, a hanging floral bouquet, the Hanging Basket–filled full to the brim with flowers and plants from the season, whether that is spring, summer or fall.
Things you may need
- Hanging basket/container
- Potting soil
- Slow-release fertilizer
- Hand trowel or gloves (or just get your hands dirty!)
A design concept is important for you to consider when building your own hanging basket. You will need to choose a style or theme. For example, perhaps you want all of the same kinds of plants or flowers, such as all impatiens, all petunias, all verbenas or all trailing vinca. Some might choose to have a single color scheme, while others might choose complimentary colors or contrasting colors. A hanging basket with all flowers can be fun, or a mixed basket with flowers and foliage plants can be even more interesting.
A hanging basket makes a wonderful statement when it contains both upright and trailing plants. Make sure, however, that the plants that you choose for the upright feature will remain within the scale of the container that you have chosen. If you like a tall grass, such as Juncus, it is not a problem, but make sure that the container and your hanging mechanism will incorporate its ultimate height.
Did we mention containers? There are many choices of containers, too. Wire baskets lined with moss, wooden containers, plastic pots with built in hangers, clay or glazed pots hanging with woven ropes – your ultimate choice will depend on the look that you are creating. We have an excellent selection of containers for you to choose from.
Ok, you’ve decided upon your theme, have an idea of the plants that you want and have chosen the container. Excellent. Next you need to prepare your potting mix. Select a high quality potting mix such as Kellogg® Gardner & Bloome® Potting Soil and mix in a controlled-release fertilizer. Also, remember that moisture retention is frequently a problem with hanging baskets (and all containers for that matter), so mix in a soil polymer that will hold on to the moisture between watering.
If you have chosen to create a succulent hanging basket, you will need cactus mix and probably won’t need the slow-release fertilizer or the moisture polymer. A great cactus mix is Kellogg® Gardner and Bloome® Cactus Planting Mix.
Makin’ it hang and make it drain. If you did not purchase a container made specifically for hanging, you may need to create a hanging device for it. You’ll need to attach some strong wire or rope, or purchase a hanging platform for your basket to sit on. If your container did not have an predrilled holes, you’ll want to do that now as well for proper drainage.
Planting is the next step. Fill your container about 2/3 to 3/4 full with the potting mixture. Carefully remove your new plants from their nursery containers and place them in the container. Don’t hesitate to move them around until you are thrilled with the arrangement. Keep in mind which ones are upright growers, and place them in the center. Trailing flowers/plants should be near the edge, of course.
Once the plants are arranged to your satisfaction, fill in between each plant with your potting mixture and water well. Remember that, even if you did use the moisture retention polymer, containers dry out far more quickly that plants in the ground. You will need to water several times a week or even more frequently in hot weather.
What’s next, you wonder? Watching your own creative design grow to maturity.
Of course, you can always cheat and buy hanging baskets which are pre-filled with beautiful floral arrangements. No shame in that!
Great Plants for Hanging Baskets:
Begonias, many kinds
New Guinea impatiens
Lysimachia – ‘Goldilocks’