Just hanging around
Hanging plants incorporate the colour and freshness of gardening into your home. A hanging basket filled with a profusion of flowers or foliage is a delight. It’s the type of container gardening which offers an element of charm to any patio, deck, or indoors.
With a few tricks of the trade, it is also quite easy to achieve. Here are some tips for lush and blossoming hanging baskets all through the year.
What to plant
Nearly any type of smaller plant that can be grown in the ground can be used in a hanging basket. The plants that tend to look the best, however, are the ones that have a soft downward trailing or mounding habit rather than a stiff upright growth pattern.
Opt for plants like ivies, ferns, succulents, vines and annuals like petunias, impatiens, geraniums, lobelia and fuchsias.
Herbs can also be very attractive and functional in a hanging basket, especially in a kitchen where they can provide a ready supply of fresh herbs for food preparation.
Drought-resistant hanging gardens
With the use of succulents, it is possible to create a hanging garden which is low on effort and requires little to no maintenance.
Often the biggest challenge of growing beautiful hanging baskets is keeping them from drying out, this is not a problem when using drought-tolerant succulents which require next to no watering, even in hot, sunny situations making them perfect for patios or verandahs that get a lot of sunshine.
Textures and colours
Experimenting with different textures of leaves and colours of flowers can create a very pretty look.
Plants with small foliage and flowers create a fine texture that adds a touch of subtlety to your landscape.
A mix of bloom sizes creates visual interest if you choose a variety of different flowing plants in one basket.
Think of it as living flower arranging. However, it is important to make sure you combine plants that have the same growing requirements for sun and water.
Just as you wouldn’t dream of planting cacti in the middle of a flower bed of thirsty inpatients, you need to make sure the plants you put together in a hanging basket match in their preferences for light, water, soil type and drainage.
Create “floating” baskets
While hanging baskets are usually sold in plastic pots with ugly hangers, there are tricks you can use to make them easier on the eye. While the pot is often obscured by leaves and flowers, the hangers remain visible and never seem to be the right length.
Cut off the hangers and lace strong nylon cord through the holes in the pot. Knot it well. Hang the plant above eye level, but not so high that you see the bottom of the pot. The nylon cord will almost disappear leaving you with the illusion of floating baskets of plants.