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.

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.

House Sign Planter How-To

Add a bit of curb appeal with a custom wall planter. 

How to Make a Hanging Copper Planter

If you live in a small space, hang your houseplants vertically with this hanging planter.

Make Your Own Hanging Rope Planters

Go vertical with your greenery with this handmade hanging planter made from wood, rope and few simple tools.

How-to: Patterned Clothes Hangers

Follow the directions below to complete this DIY wallpaper craft from HGTV Magazine .

Homemade Raisins How-To

Dehydrate backyard grapes to make this sweet and nutritious snack.

How-To: Vintage Egg Basket Lighting

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine .

Basket-of-Gold

Cut back after flowering to encourage this spring bloomer to rebloom.

On TV

Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

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