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How to Plant a Hanging Basket

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14 Inch Queen Ann ParasolA hanging basket is a great way to garden when you have limited gardening space. Not only does it provide you with more room for gardening, but it also becomes a beautiful addition to any outdoor area. Here are some easy steps to get you started planting a hanging basket:   

Pick your Plants

Strong and flowering or at least close to flowering plants are best suited for hanging planters. Choose one to several plants for the center of the hanging basket and then surround them with trailing or spiller plants. Annuals are a popular choice as a center plant with trailing plants spilling over the sides of the basket. This creates an attractive look from any angle or distance.

A few of the more popular plant choices:
 
 Wave Petunias
 Surfinias  Million bells
 Ivy Geraniums
 Superbena  Supertunias  Mums  Bacopa
 
Some hanging plants require more care than others; if you are starved for time, think about going with plants or flowers that require less upkeep. Ask yourself:
  • Does the plant require deadheading?
  • Does it wilt quickly?
  • Does it need a lot of fertilizer?
  • Can it tolerate the heat/drought?

Choose a hanging basket

Classic Hanging BasketHanging baskets are available in various shapes, sizes and designs. Hanging wire baskets, wooden hanging baskets and woven hanging baskets are among the more popular designs. Choose a style and material that works well with the surrounding décor and what compliments and highlights the types of plants you expect to grow.  

Another note of importance, pick a large enough basket to accommodate the plant and the growth of its roots. Larger plants have larger and longer roots, so larger baskets will be necessary. 

Line the basket

Hanging basket liners keep the soil in place and reduce the amount of watering plants require. Coconut fibers and sphagnum mosses are two of the more popular materials used to line hanging baskets. These materials retain water but prevent your plant from becoming overwatered due to their effective drainage qualities.   

Plant Your Basket

Fill a mixture of premium potting soil with a generous amount of slow-release fertilizer in your basket before planting. Nutrients in the potting soil naturally disperse as you water; this is where the fertilizer comes into play. It feeds your plants over a long period of time without worry of soil washed out of nutrients. 

Pick a Good Spot

Hampton Hanging BasketHanging planters serve multiple purposes from extra gardening space to hiding something ugly. Some homeowners use planters to brighten up a space or just because they like the idea of their home decorated with flowers. Pick a spot that allows for ease of watering but also the right amount of sunlight. Be aware that most plants cannot survive full exposure to the sun or not get enough sunlight at all.

Hang Your Basket

Sturdy chains and sturdy hooks are very important for supporting the weight of the hanging basket. Don’t forget a basket full of wet soil weighs more than one with dry soil. Check the quality and condition of your chain, hook, and anchor before hanging anything on them.

Keep your basket watered

Factors like temperatures, plant type and style of basket are all factors to consider when judging how much water to use. Feel the bottom of your liner and if it is dry and rough, give the plant a good watering. Watering cans with high nozzles work best, especially for baskets in hard to reach places.
 

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