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When you learn how to plant a hanging basket like a pro, real curb appeal is yours for the asking!

You’ll always have fabulous floral or fruity displays of color around your outdoor living spaces and front porch. 

 

how to plant a hanging basket new orleans street with flower baskets

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!

It just takes a little planning, the right supplies, and a healthy selection of thoughtfully chosen plant starts.

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!

FIRST, WHAT KIND OF HANGING BASKETS DO YOU WANT TO CREATE?

coconut lined hanging baskets

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.

THE SECRET OF HOW TO PLANT A HANGING BASKET GLOBE OF FLOWERS

professional hanging basket 4 gallon potSECRET # 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!

MODIFY YOUR COIR-LINED HANGING BASKETS

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-how to plant a hanging basket globe of flowershole 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.  

 

HOW TO PLANT A HANGING BASKET THAT’S ACTUALLY A BAG!

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.

how to plant a hanging basketIt’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.

USING THE RIGHT “DIRT” MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

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.

how to plant a hanging basket

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. 

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR HANGING FLOWER BASKETS 

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.

  • Add a slow release granular fertilizer to the potting mix when you plant
  • Use a liquid fertilizer at half strength once a week, such as Miracle Grow for Flowers
  • Or, use a 1/8 strength liquid fertilizer every time you water your hanging baskets
  • Water your hanging baskets religiously, keeping them from entirely drying out

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.  how to plant a hanging basket like a proNOW YOU CAN TEST FOR THE NEED TO WATER BY JUST LIFTING THE BASKET.  IF’S IT’S GETTING LIGHT, WATER IT!

WATER, WATER, WATER!

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.

PICKING THE RIGHT PLANTS IS KEY TO FABULOUS FLOWERS

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.

  • Will it hang in a sunny or shady spot?
  • How many hours of sun does the spot get each day?
  • Is the basket going to be subjected to drying winds, heavy rains, or excessive heat?
  • Will the location allow for frequent waterings?  (some plants don’t need as much water)
  • What kinds of flowers do you want to plant?  Make sure they are right for your growing zone.
  • Do you want a single color or mass planting of a single type of flower to make an impact statement?
  • Or, you may want to use 3-5 different varieties with different textures, colors and bloom shapes for interest
  • You can also grow miniature vegetables or fruits in your hanging baskets!

 

grape tomatoes growing in a hanging basketWORK SMART, NOT HARD

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?

 

multicolored flowers in 2 hanging baskets

HOW TO PLANT HANGING BASKETS – SUN LOVING PLANT LIST 

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.

  • Alyssumgalvanized blue metal strawberry hanging container
  • Diascia
  • Ivy geranium
  • Lantana
  • Nemesia
  • Osteospermum
  • Petunias, especially the newer Wave brand
  • Scaevola
  • Verbena
  • Bacopa
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Licorice plant 
  • Lotus vine
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Trailing lobelia
  • Trailing petunia

 

HOW TO PLANT HANGING BASKETS – SHADE LOVING PLANTS

Same thing here, make sure all the plants in your hanging baskets have the same growing habits and needs before purchasing your plants.

  • Begonia
  • Coleushow to plant a hanging basket
  • Dracaena
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Lamium
  • Mimulus
  • Polka-dot plant
  • Bacopa
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Lobelia

 

HERE’S WHERE YOU WANT TO SPEND YOUR CASHOLA

SECRET #7 – DON’T BE STINGY, PACK ‘EM IN!how to plant a hanging basket supplies

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. 

 

HOW TO PLANT A HANGING BASKET – STEPS TO FOLLOW

  • Gather your flower starts and have ready for planting.  (loosen any roots that may be growing from bottoms of plastic pots)
  • Rinse out your new pots to remove any factory coatings, or clean used pots well before planting (a 4 quart size is perfect)
  • Open your potting soil and make sure it has enough water-absorbing crystals.  If not, add some and stir to combine well.  The more water the potting soil can retain naturally, the less watering you’ll need to do.  Also, it allows for additional fresh air to how to plant a hanging basketcirculate to help keep your plants for drowning in excess moisture.

 

NOW YOU’RE READY TO PLANT!

  • Pour some potting mix into a bucket, wet it down, and stir it to combine thoroughly dampen.  It should be wet enough to form clumps, but not quite mud-like in texture.
  • Fill the bottom of your hanging basket up to the bottom of your first row of side slots.
  • Smooth the potting soil then pat it down gently.
  • Start adding your plants, working on just the bottom row of side slots. It’s easiest to work with the flower, feeding it into the pot from the outside in.
  • Work the flower/soil in until the base of the flower is even with the side of the hanging basket. Carefully spread the roots.
  • Feed in the flower start on the slot directly across from the one you just did. If you are creating a combination basket, pay attention to which flower you’re putting where. Place matching plants directly across from each other. This method of placement will create a lovely combination effect, so the colors won’t be split down the middle.

 

WORK ON ONE LAYER AT A TIME FOR BEST RESULTS

  • Gently add more potting mix into the hanging basket, on top of the roots, up to the bottom of the second row of side slots.
  • Repeat the planting method of your flower starts on this second row. If you’re creating a combination basket, make sure to alternate the type/color of flowers as you plant them in the slots.
  • When the second layer is complete, carefully add more potting mix to an inch or two below the top rim of your hanging basket.

 

how to plant a hanging basket

 

  • Make holes big enough for planting flower starts in this top layer.
  • Plant the starts, taking care to keep roots covered. Add a little more potting mix around each flower start as needed.
  • Feed the wire hangers into the pre-punched holes on your hanging basket.  Make sure to keep the wire lengths even. Then bend them back against themselves and secure by twisting the wire ends around the wires several times.

 

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, HOW ABOUT GROWING A KITCHEN HERB GARDEN IN POTS THIS growing a kitchen herb garden in potsSEASON?

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

 

AND THAT’S EXACTLY HOW THE PRO’S DO IT!  

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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