Create Your Hanging Baskets of Blooming Colors
Create Your Own Hanging Baskets of Blooming Color
We all admire the beautiful hanging baskets of flowers at nurseries,
but sometimes the cost is more than a person can pay. So, you can create
your own hanging basket and have it look great. Here are a few tips:
1. Where can I hang my baskets for optimum effect? Hanging baskets look
wonderful in many places – entrance areas, house walls and near
doorways, porches, patios and decks, and interior courts.
2. What is the right hanging basket? There are a couple of
considerations for choosing the proper hanging basket. The plants that
you choose, the atmosphere in which you will hang your container, and
the decor or architecture of your house can determine what you choose.
Hanging baskets come in several different kinds of materials – plastic,
wood, metal, pottery, coco or moss-lined wire baskets, and wicker
hanging baskets. Consider the weight of your container, too, when
deciding where it will hang. Heavy pots, such as pottery and clay, need
lots of support and big hooks as they can weigh anywhere from 25-50
pounds when filled with soil and plants. Watering your containers also
adds weight. A big advantage to a large container, however, is that it
holds more plants which helps keep roots moist longer, and you don’t
have to water as often as you would if you had more small pots. Some
pots dry out faster too, such as the clay ones, so consider that when
choosing containers. The most important factor, though, is to make sure
your container has excellent drainage – coco fiber and moss line hanging
baskets work well.
3. What plants should I choose? Again, there can be lots of
considerations when choosing plants for your hanging baskets – amount of
sun, colors you’d like to feature, how long can the plants be, and
whether you want green foliage as well as blossoms. Different plants can
also give a different decorating “flavor” to your home, depending on
whether you’d like a tropical, English cottage garden, Southwestern, or
maybe a Victorian look.
Not all plants need to be the trailing or hanging kind. Use upright ones
in your container as well. Those should be planted in the middle, with
the hanging plants around the edges.
When picking color, you can have a riot of bold color, a serene
selection of pastels, maybe blues and lavenders together, or use the
color wheel to help you decide. Whatever your choice, keep it simple and
don’t try to mix too many colors in one container.
Different plants have different sun requirements and different watering
needs. This is very important when choosing the types of plants to put
together into the same container. I’ll give you some suggestions about
that in a minute.
4. Planting your hanging basket. You’ll need lightweight potting mix,
including some peat moss and vermiculite to provide aeration and
drainage. To make your own soil, combine two parts peat moss, two parts
perlite/vermiculite, and one part compost. An 8-inch container usually
holds 3-4 plants, and a 14-inch pot can hold 6-8 plants. Wire baskets
can hold more plants, so plant them 3-5” apart, and from the sides and
bottom as well as the top. Coverage is important on wire hanging baskets
because they’re not that attractive unless covered by plants.
Fill a pot 2/3 full of soil and arrange the plants on top until you like
the arrangement. Plant the largest and center plants first, then smaller
ones, and the edge plants last. Fill the pot with more soil, firmly
press, and water to settle the plants and soil. To plant a wire hanging
basket, line the basket with a thick layer of wet sphagnum moss (or you
can use a pre-formed liner), then fill with soil and water; let it
settle and drain. Poke holes in the bottom and sides, then firmly insert
the plants’ root balls. Next do the center of the basket. Remember that
strong sunlight and wind will dry your containers out quickly. Feed your
plants once a week with water-soluble fertilizer or 1-2 times a month
with time-released fertilizer.
5. Plant choices – For sun, choose black-eyed Susan, catmint, French
marigold, lobelia, nasturtiums, portulacas, and verbena. For partial
shade, choose alyssum, begonias, coleus, creeping Jenny, fuchsias,
geraniums, impatiens, pansies, periwinkle, primroses, violas. For
foliage, choose ferns, grasses, ivy, mints. Good trailing plant choices
include Italian bellflower, lobelia, Lotus maculatus, million bells, and
6. First aid – Watering is THE most important key to success. If the
soil dries out completely, you will need to rehydrate by dunking the
entire hanging basket in a large tub of water until the soil is
saturated. Lift the container out and drain before re-hanging.