Hanging Baskets How-To

Steps for creating this dramatic arrangement.
Planting a hanging basket from all sides and not just the top creates a lusher container garden.

Planting a hanging basket from all sides and not just the top creates a lusher container garden.

Planting a hanging basket from all sides and not just the top creates a lusher container garden.

Long before vertical gardening became a buzzword, hanging baskets were a practical means for not only drawing the eye upward but also creating more planting room when space is limited. 

Along the way, someone discovered a fun means for creating a 360 view of the basket’s beautiful bounty by planting not only from the top of it but from its sides as well. That way, you get to enjoy the basket even if you’re standing or sitting underneath it. 

At the Atlanta Botanical Garden, horticulturist Amanda Campbell Bennett has been using the technique for years, creating lush, rounded centerpieces suspended from the ceilings of arbors and gazebos. 

The planting concept is much like a strawberry pot, plugging the rootballs of small plants horizontally into the sides of the container, then adding a layer of soil before adding more plants, building a palette of color as you move upward. 

Trailing plants, such as petunias, scaveola and lantana, work best, but others respond well, too, including asparagus fern, begonias, even some types of tomatoes and herbs. 

Here’s what Amanda recommends: 

  • Using a strong metal basket—preferably the strongest you can afford because the weight of wet soil can get heavy—assemble the planting by hanging the basket on something low, such as a sawhorse or porch railing, for easy access. 
  • Line the basket with a moss mat, sphagnum moss or cocoa liner, and add a layer of soil-less (lightweight) potting mix, several inches thick.
  • Using a sharp utensil, such as a knife or pruners, make a slit in the liner just below the soil line that’s large enough for inserting the rootball of a plant yet small enough for holding it in place. 
  • Secure the plant, then repeat with other plants around the perimeter of the basket, spacing them adequately apart.
  • Sprinkle a slow-release granular fertilizer on top of the soil and add another layer of soil. Then, repeat the planting process around the basket with another layer of plants. 
  • Once you’ve completed the highest layer, add one final layer of soil and plant the top of the basket. 
  • For a fun vertical touch, include a vine in the center than can be trained to grow up the chain from which the basket is suspended.
  • Like most container gardens, a basket needs watering practically every day. 
  • Use a watering wand for reaching it, water both the sides and the top until the water drips from the base.
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Plant Hanging Baskets

Use baskets to display spots of color around your home and garden.

Plant a Hanging Basket for Summer

Floating globes of flowers and foliage add a lush look to patios and balconies throughout the summer.

How to Grow Ginger

Enjoy this ornamental houseplant for its beautiful foliage, then savor its tasty roots.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants.

How to Grow Flowering Vines in Containers

Many compact climbers, such as jasmine and some clematis, are well suited to living in pots. All they need is a good-sized container, suitable support and regular watering and feeding.

How to Support and Water Hanging Baskets

If you've been shying away from hanging baskets, take a look at how to address some of the challenges.

Make a Hanging Basket

Seasonal hanging baskets are easy to make, and can vary from the delicate and gentle to the big and blowzy. Plant the dominant plants on top and some decorative trailers around the sides.

How to Grow Plants in a Hanging Basket

Hanging baskets can be planted for year-round interest or to provide a blast of color during specific seasons.

Plant a Winter Hanging Basket

In mild climates, seasonal hanging baskets add a splash of color to the garden throughout the coldest months.

How to Plant a Hanging Basket

Summer baskets are usually planted in late spring. Follow these steps to prep, plant and suspend your hanging basket.


Fixer Upper

7am | 6c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beachfront Bargain Hunt

8pm | 7c

Caribbean Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

Hawaii Life

11pm | 10c

Hawaii Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Caribbean Life

12am | 11c

Caribbean Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

2am | 1c

Hawaii Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.