Able to be filled with a mix of plants throughout the year, hanging baskets are a wonderful tool for ornamenting the outside of your home. Unlike plants growing in the beds of a garden, they are less likely to suffer from harsh weather, soil problems, or worrisome pests. However, with so many varieties available, you may feel unsure on which plants to buy. Why not read on for a helpful guide on choosing the best hanging basket plants?
How many plants per hanging basket?
We believe that five plants per 30cm basket is best, as it allows plenty of space for each plant to grow (which is necessary for a bountiful arrangement). You can add more plants if you wish, but for summer baskets especially, it is good to cultivate your plants early on. As such, more space is always better. Popular summertime plants such as Fuchsias and Geraniums can also be quite vigorous, so will take up greater space.
How long do hanging baskets last?
Hanging baskets are typically made to last for a single season. However, particular varieties, such as Pansies belonging to the ‘Cool Wave’ series, will flower ceaselessly from autumn to summer. Nonetheless, you may want to switch up your baskets to achieve looks that are unique to each season. This guide will therefore suggest the best hanging basket plants for both summer and winter.
The Best Hanging Basket Plants for Summer
Sporting pretty, often dual-toned blooms, Petunia Surfinias are a favourite for adorning driveways and patio spaces with a graceful display. Despite their unfortunate introduction to botany in the 1500s (where they were considered demonic!), Petunias have become one of the most popular bedding plants around.
Unlike regular Petunias, Petunia Surfinias don’t need to be deadheaded, so are perfect for the less attentive gardener. Thirsty plants, they should be watered when the top two inches of soil becomes dry to the touch. In very warm weather, don’t be afraid to water them twice a day.
Begonia x tuberhybrida
Highly floriferous, Tuberous Begonias are treasured by gardeners for their rose-like blooms. Their generous flowering period (spanning from June to October) also makes them invaluable for sustaining floral interest when gardens quieten down for the colder months.
Flourishing in cooler conditions, and tolerant of a little more shade, Tuberous Begonias are well suited for the English climate. One of our favourite varieties is Solenia ‘Orange’, as it has sturdy branches that withstand strong winds, which will neither be weighed down by their abundant flowers. Aside from having orange flowers that are fitting for autumn, this variety is also resistant to mildew.
Discovered by Charles Plumier in the late 1600s, Fuchsias will always make striking additions to pots and flower beds. When planted in a hanging basket, their trailing bell-shaped flowers create bold vertical interest, but for the most prolific display, why not combine them with Petunias or Pelargoniums?
Flowering repeatedly until autumn, Fuchsia ‘Annabel’ will add a distinct touch to your garden with its blush-white flowers.
The Best Hanging Basket Plants for Winter
Primula ‘Woodland Rose’
With heart-shaped petals gathered around a vibrant yellow centre, Primula ‘Woodland Rose’ is reminiscent of the classic Primrose. Flowering in January and February, it is a great plant for incorporating some romantic colour into your winter garden. It pairs particularly well with white Viola varieties, and harmonises beautifully with the unique foliage of Cineraria ‘Silver Dust’. To keep your Primrose flourishing, remove any spent flowers and dead leaves that appear.
Admired by gardeners for their intricately marked blooms that resemble a face, Pansies are a great way to add charm to your garden. With a low growing habit, Pansies also make manageable hanging basket plants. Nevertheless, their flowering period (lasting as long as eight months) is arguably their most noteworthy quality. Why not embrace some fiery tones with Pansy ‘Fire’? Or alternatively create a cooler theme with Pansy ‘Marina’?
With unique, butterfly-like blooms, that stand atop their silver variegated leaves, Cyclamen are a classic winter plant. Their upright habit proves a welcome change from the trailing blooms of Geraniums, Fuchsias, and Petunias. As such, they are ideal for neater schemes. Why not plant Cyclamen with Ivy to enjoy a basket filled with handsome foliage?
When watering Cyclamen, you should take care to not water them from the top, as this can risk rotting. Instead, try to water at the base of the plant, which helps the water travel directly to their roots.
Hanging Basket Plants: Common Questions
How often should you water hanging baskets?
When the soil of your basket becomes dry to the touch, your plants are ready to be watered. Come summer when the weather warms up, you can comfortably water your hanging baskets once a day.
Can you plant bulbs in a hanging basket?
Dwarf bulb varieties (such as dwarf Narcissus) will complement your hanging baskets towards the end of the season. You could start off a winter basket with Cyclamen and Pansies, and plant your dwarf Narcissus bulbs underneath. As winter concludes, the Narcissus can take centre stage to mark the beginning of spring.
How do you stop hanging baskets from drying out?
To help your basket retain moisture, it should be no smaller than 30cm, and be lined with coco liner. Coco liners are excellent at retaining water, and are also environmentally friendly.
Can you use bin liners to line hanging baskets?
Yes, bin liners are suitable for a hanging basket. They aren’t as sightly as a coco liner, but if you poke some holes in, they will do the job.