Tips For Planting The Perfect Hanging Basket

A beautiful hanging basket can provide a mood lifting splash of colour to your outdoor space, adding interest to walls or framing doorways. There are several types of plants which thrive in baskets, including flowers, foliage, herbs and vegetables. Here’s a quick guide to planting up the perfect basket. 

Choose a style of basket

Woven baskets with a built in plastic lining are the most popular style, in a traditional circular shape or a newer cone shape. Alternatively, you could use a wire basket lined with sphagnum moss or coco fibre. If you buy a pre-lined basket, make sure that there are some punctures to allow for drainage. 

Choosing flowers

Flowering hanging baskets are a wonderful way to bring life to your outside space, whether to brighten up a small backyard or create an attractive focal point at the front of the house. Popular varieties that grow well in baskets include petunias, geraniums, pansies, and trailing fuchsias.

Plant taller or non-trailing flowers towards the centre of the basket, and place smaller or trailing varieties around the edge. Fill the basket with good quality compost and press firmly around the root balls to bed them in. Try and achieve a pleasing balance of colours in your arrangement, such as a mixture of white, pink, and purple flowers.

Full baskets look much more attractive than sparsely planted ones, so don’t skimp on the number of plants.

Herbs and vegetables

Trailing varieties of tomatoes are a great choice for a hanging basket, as they will not only provide fresh ingredients for summer salads, but look very attractive as well. Other edibles that work well in baskets include thyme, chives, and strawberries. 

If you wanted the basket to provide year-round greenery, you could even plant a small evergreen shrub such as a hebe. These will transfer easily to a bigger container or border once they outgrow the basket. 

Common hanging basket mistakes to avoid

Hanging baskets are relatively easy to maintain, and most problems are caused by incorrect watering. It's best to water in small but frequent amounts, rather than let the soil dry out and add a lot of water at once. This is because once the soil becomes too dry, it is more difficult for it to absorb moisture.

Drenching the basket with water to the point where the excess runs out the bottom of the basket should be avoided, as valuable nutrients will be washed out of the soil along with the water. 

Between April and September, for best results you should also add a liquid fertiliser after watering. Remove any dead flower heads on a regular basis to encourage more abundant growth. 

If you are feeling inspired to plant up a basket ready for spring, you could consider installing some decorative bespoke hanging basket brackets. These can be handmade to your personal specifications, or you could choose from a variety of designs such as a bumble bee, an otter, a dog, a badger, or a tortoise.