Hanging baskets add punch to your
Location. Location. Location. As with real estate, one key to success
with hanging baskets is location.
it be grown in the shade, full sun or part sun; windy or sheltered area?
The plants you choose must be compatible with the location of your
Two great choices for shady or morning sun locations
are fuchsias and begonias. Tuberous begonias such as the Non-stop series
are as beautiful as roses.
They are available in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and lovely
bi-colors such as Sunset Shades.
A great addition to a begonia basket is a single Bacopa plant in the
centre. Its delicate white flowers will provide a lovely contrast as
they trail through the begonias and down the sides of the basket.
care when planting begonias: mound the soil slightly around the base of
the stems to prevent water from pooling there. Only water when the top
inch of soil is dry, as begonias do not like to be over-watered.
Fuchsias are another great choice for shade or part shade.
Two classic varieties with huge double blooms are Swingtime in white
and red and Dark Eyes in pink and blue.
Fuchsias do not like to dry out. When the flowers are finished, easy
deadheading will prevent the spent blooms from going to seed and
encourage hundreds of new blooms all summer long.
When it comes to
full-sun, the sky is the limit as to what you can grow. But full-sun
means greater attention to watering as the baskets will dry out quickly
on hot summer days.
Plant choice and container choice are important considerations. Ivy
geraniums and trailing verbena are good choices for gardeners who need
drought tolerant plants. Trailing verbena is also quite wind tolerant.
Avoid baskets less than 12-inches in diameter.
A plastic pot will retain moisture better than a fiber or moss basket.
If using a fiber pot, lining it with plastic before adding soil will
help reduce moisture loss.
Trailing petunias continue to be a popular choice for hanging baskets
in full sun or part shade. Waves, Supertunias and Surfinias come in many
shades of pink, red, blue, yellow and white. These are extremely
vigorous growers and will need plenty of food and water.
Three plants are plenty for a 12-inch basket to perform well all season.
Deadhead spent blooms for aesthetic appeal and to encourage
continuous flowering all summer. Plant breeders such as Proven Winners,
Ball Horticultural Company and Bodger's Botanicals provide greenhouses
with many other vigorous plants for hanging baskets, including Million
Bells, Lobelia, Ipomoea, Diascia, Scaevola and Bidens.
For all hanging baskets, use a professional soil-less mix as garden soil
will compact around the roots.
Make sure your basket has good drainage
with holes in the bottom.
For heavy feeders, after planting, sprinkle a tablespoon of slow
release fertilizer on top of the soil for continuous feed over three
In addition, fertilize weekly with an all-purpose water-soluble
fertilizer like MiracleGro ® or
20-20-20. Water well whenever the top inch of soil is dry.
This is a good rule of thumb to prevent under or over-watering of all
Do not over-water, as it is good for the roots to "breathe" once in a
while. On extremely hot or windy days, take your hanging baskets down.
If you will be gone for a few days, water well before you leave and
place baskets in the shade until you return.