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.

Hanging Garden

Hanging Garden

Hang your basket in a sheltered spot at a height that you can reach easily to water it.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • plants of choice
  • hanging baskets
  • basket liner (if needed)
  • multi-purpose compost
  • fertilizer
  • water-retaining granules
  • watering can or garden hose with fine rose

STEP 1: Line Basket

Cut  Fiber Lining for Hanging Basket and Add Holes

Cut Fiber Lining for Hanging Basket and Add Holes

Line hanging baskets with sphagnum moss for water retention. Cut it to fit and press into place. Cut planting holes into the sides.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Baskets are available in a wide range of sizes and styles and have either solid or open sides. Those with open sides require liners to retain the compost; choose one the right size, made of cardboard, plastic-backed jute, coconut fiber or artificial moss. If your hanging basket is not already lined, cut your preferred lining material to size, and press it into place. Cut planting holes in the sides.

STEP 2: Fill Basket

Fill Basket with Compost and Insert Side Plants

Fill Basket with Compost and Insert Side Plants

Most hanging basket planters are viewed from below. Plant through the sides of the container giving a full look to it from below and all around.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

To make planting easier, sit your basket in a large pot or bucket to prevent it from moving around. Half-fill the basket with a mix of multi-purpose compost, fertilizer and water-retaining granules. Insert the plants into the compost through the side holes.

STEP 3: Add Compost

Trailing Plants Added to Top of Hanging Basket

Trailing Plants Added to Top of Hanging Basket

Add another layer of soil several inches deep to the pot, then add more plants, especially trailing plants that will hang down when basket is hung from above.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add more compost to the basket once all the side plantings are in place, then position the plants to grow on the top of the basket or to trail down.

STEP 4: Water Basket

Firm Down Newly Planted Basket and Water Well

Firm Down Newly Planted Basket and Water Well

Firm in plants, then water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Check if the soil is moist or dry, or check the weight of the container. By the end of summer, water twice a day. A watering wand with adjustable water flow is best.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Firm down plants, then give the hanging basket a good watering using a fine rose. Leave the basket to drain in the pot or bucket before hanging in position.

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