You’ll always have fabulous floral or fruity displays of color around your outdoor living spaces and front porch.
There’s nothing that shouts Summer more exuberantly than a pair of fabulous hanging baskets overflowing with a riot of colorful blooms.
Yes, it’s true, you can run to a building supply store or nursery and purchase a pre-planted basket. But, if you want more than a few, it’ll start to get pretty pricey.
And if you want enough to decorate the entire length of your “rocking chair” porch, we’re talking several hundred dollars. That’s a lot of money to dole out for an item that can be an easy DIY project instead. Learning how to plant a hanging basket is easy and fun!
And of course, a few secrets that the professionals use to achieve their stunning results. Your hanging baskets can look like ones you see at a Disney Park or lining a small-town Main Street in the peak of Summer. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?
Keep reading and I’ll teach you exactly what you’ll need to know to achieve professional looking hanging baskets in no time! You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood with the curb appeal of a magazine spread!
SECRET # 1 – Choose the right hanging basket for your floral arrangement
There are plenty of different types of hanging baskets to choose from, the most common being plastic and coconut-fiber (coir) lined metal basket forms. Both are easy to use and are fairly inexpensive when purchased from discount retailers.
Learning how to plant a hanging basket will give you the ability to choose a style of planter you desire.
The nice thing about using a metal basket form is that you just need to replace the liners each season. Basket forms are a stylish and economical investment since the bases will last for years if properly cared for.
But, there’s much more to consider than just style.
If you want a hanging basket of cascading plants, draping over the sides of the basket, you can use almost any type of hanging pot you wish.
The flowers will simply be spaced out and planted a few inches deep in the potting soil.
SECRET # 2 – Use a specialty pot to achieve a “globe” effect for your hanging basket
If you’re aiming your sights on creating a flower globe like those hanging from the houses in a tiny European hamlet, you’ll want a specialized pot.
This is the second secret that the pros use when planting a hanging basket. For the easiest installation, a pot with holes throughout its body made specifically for this purpose is your best buy.
This allows you to place plants all through the sides and bottom of the container, which gives that full living globe look. Here’s a really sturdy version from True Leaf Market.com that I love.
But if you already own some coir-lined hanging baskets, don’t fret!
SECRET # 3 – You can modify a fiber-liner to transform it into a “specialty” planter
You can also use a handy DIY technique to transform a regular coir liner into one that allows the same planting technique as a multi-hole planter.
By simply cutting slits or holes into your fiber liner in a regular pattern around the perimeter, you can produce the same full-round effect when fully planted.
You’ll want to place your holes at regular intervals at two different levels to produce the fullest displays.
You can also place a small slit at the bottom to allow one flower to be planted “upside down” to fill in the bottom of your globe shape.
That plant should be added last after the basket can be suspended to keep it from being crushed.
As you can see, the plants are is placed on the inside, lying on the surface of the soil.
The plant start is gently pushed through the hole in the fiber liner, bottom first from the outside, and secured in place with more potting soil.
But if want hanging baskets, without any fuss, there are also several commercial planter systems for growing full “flower globes”, such as a Flower Pouch or bag-type planter.
Here’s what I find especially interesting about using a “bag” system of hanging basket. What you can create is really both an overflowing cascading style, and a bushy, full floral display like that of a globe style.
It’s designed to hold potting soil in place without leaking, but allow water and sunlight to penetrate the permeable surface of the planting bags.
The one advantage to using a hanging bag is that you can plant it on one side only to allow it to hang flush against an outdoor surface.
You can see in this image that the bag is hanging directly against the fence, and has been planted for a 3/4 round effect.
SECRET # 4 – Choosing the correct potting soil is vital to fabulous hanging baskets
Learning how to plant a hanging basket isn’t hard, but you need to follow some important rules.
It’s imperative that you use a high quality potting mix for successful hanging baskets. Not GARDEN SOIL.
Choose a lightweight mix that commercial growers in your area recommend, and then add water holding polymer crystals (perlite) available in any garden center.
Good quality brands of potting soil have perlite already added into their mixtures.
But don’t hesitate to add a few more scoops to your potting soil if you’re in an arid or extra-damp area. Both extremes will benefit from the extra perlite in the soil.
Don’t skimp here, your potting soil is not the place to try to save a few bucks. When learning how to plant a hanging basket, this is the one rookie mistake that can sabotage all your efforts.
Buying generic or off-brand potting soil can be a recipe for poorly grown hanging planters.
SECRET #5 – FEED AND WATER HANGING FLOWER POTS WELL
Because hanging baskets get watered so often, they’re known to have their soil’s nutrients leach out of the container much faster than regular pots.
Employing both slow release and liquid fertilizer in your hanging baskets will ensure happy plants with lush growth and tons of blooms!
Hanging flower baskets require a lot more water than other container plants, especially the ones with fiber liners. Do NOT let your planters dry out.
Once you do, the root systems will be damaged, and while you may be able to bring them back, they will never reach their full potential.
NAN’S TIP: AFTER WATERING YOUR HANGING BASKET, LIFT UP THE BOTTOM TO SEE HOW HEAVY IT IS. NOW YOU CAN TEST FOR THE NEED TO WATER BY JUST LIFTING THE BASKET. IF’S IT’S GETTING LIGHT, WATER IT!
Most floral hanging baskets like even moisture. You might want to consider taking them down weekly to do a full and deep soaking, allow then to drain, then rehang. In the most intense heat of the summer, some flower baskets may need water as often as twice a day.
I actually saw a Pin on Pinterest giving a turorial on how to put your hanging basket on a pulley system for ease of watering. I think that might be something to check out, especially for those who want a whole porch-full of hanging flower baskets.
SECRET #6 – CHOOSING THE BEST PLANTS FOR YOUR HANGING BASKETS
Here’s where that careful planning I mentioned earlier comes into play. Just like when planting your garden, it’s paramount that you choose the proper plants for your particular conditions.
Learning how to plant a hanging basket isn’t difficult, but it can sound daunting. It’s really not, I pinky promise!
My favorite type of hanging basket display uses trailing plants for the sides and bottom of the container, and more upright varieties for the middle of the display.
It’s a simple arrangement that comes together quickly once you decide on your plant placement inside the container.
I line my hanging baskets up and do each step to all the baskets in order. It makes for an efficient and fast method of planting numerous baskets at the same time. This method also produces a group of identical baskets that will look fabulous when used together.
NAN’S TIP: BOLD COLORS WILL DRAW THE EYE MORE FROM THE STREET, WHILE MORE SUBDUED SHADES ALLOW THE BASKETS TO BLEND INTO THE GARDENSCAPE.
DO YOU WANT A FOCAL POINT STATEMENT BASKET? OR, DO YOU WANT THEM TO BE A PART OF THE “WHOLE” BIG PICTURE?
This is perhaps the most important decision you’ll make when planting a hanging basket. If you don’t choose the right flowers for your growing zone and the basket’s hanging location, you won’t get the desired results. Count on it!
So, I’ve put together a list of flowering plants that are perfect for sunny locations. They each have their own individual growing habits and water requirements, so take care when putting together your plant combinations. Similar growing needs should always be the first thing you consider, after their light requirements, of course.
Same thing here, make sure all the plants in your hanging baskets have the same growing habits and needs before purchasing your plants.
SECRET #7 – DON’T BE STINGY, PACK ‘EM IN!
This last trick from the pros is really important! You have to pack the plants into your hanging basket containers to get the full and lush look you desire.
Hanging baskets have a short amount of time to get to their full intended size, so you may need more plants than you usually would use. This is also why these baskets need more water and fertilizer – there is a lot of root competition in there!
You’ll want to start them as early in spring as you can, weather permitting, for the best result by mid-summer.
Since we’re talking about exercising our green thumbs today, do you have your kitchen herb garden planted yet?
I think it’s so important to have fresh herbs available all Summer long, don’t you?
Check out this post and you’ll have fresh rosemary, basil and oregano growing like weeds before you know it! And I’ve created fabulous “chalkboard” plant markers to give your pots real style too!
Click this link to read the post: Growing A Kitchen Herb Garden in Pots + Herbal Printable Garden Markers
Now you have all the information and tips from the professionals on how to plant a fabulous hanging basket! You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood with full, lush displays of colorful blooms all Summer long.
What are you waiting for? Get out a pen and paper and start you planning. Summer waits for no gal!
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