How to Select Plant and Care for Hanging Planters of Flowers
A hanging basket or pot of flowers is the perfect decoration for your porch or deck. Use this guide to grow your best looking hanging containers ever.
Follow this guide for help in selecting the best hanging containers, pots or baskets, hanger support, soil, natural and plastic liners and instructions how to water, fertilize and care for your hanging planter flowers so you grow healthy, beautiful, luxurious looking hanging basket containers this summer
Use a Big Hanging Planter Basket, Planter, Pot or Container
“Bigger is Better.” The larger soil volume will accommodate larger, lusher plants. The larger the basket or pot, the more attention it will attract; one large container is more impressive than two or three smaller planters. Larger baskets may require less frequent watering, too.
Wire Mesh Baskets are Best
Use a mesh style basket rather than a solid plastic flower pot. Most hanging basket planters are viewed from below. A mesh basket allows you to plant through the sides of the container giving a luxurious look to it from below. (If you use a solid plastic container, you will see the container when you look up at it and you will not be able to plant through the sides. But, you will not need to use liners and you will plant only on the top.)
Use Good Quality Planting Soil
Use a light weight, soil-free potting mix specially formulated for container plants. Look for a mix that includes water holding crystals, or add the crystals yourself. A slow release fertilizer can also be added to help assure an ongoing supply of nutrients.
Use a Natural Fiber Liner for Mesh Baskets
Natural fiber liners such as moss, coir or coco fiber help support the soil evenly. They also insulate the soil to keep the plants’ roots cool during hot, sunny weather. Natural liners also look nicer than bare plastic. At the end of the season, natural liners can be added to the compost pile. (A solid plastic pot would not require a fiber liner.)
Use a Plastic Liner with a Natural Liner
Inside the natural liner, add a layer of plastic sheeting such as a plastic trash bag cut open to fit. Make drain holes in the bottom. The plastic slows evaporation through the sides of the basket and helps keep the soil moister. (A solid plastic pot would not need this liner.)
Plant Right Through the Sides
The beauty of a hanging mesh basket is that the array of plants that are displayed not only from the top but also by planting through the sides of the container. Insert each plant through a slit cut in the fiber and plastic liners. (see below)
Grow Flowers in Pots and Planters
Enjoy colorful blooms wherever you want them all summer! Instructions, tips, advice on how to select, design, plant and care for flowers in pots, planters & containers.
How to Fill and Plant the Hanging Basket
Add a few inches of soil to the bottom of the basket. Insert plants sideways through the liner, setting the rootball on top of the soil. Add another layer of soilseveral inches deep, then add more plants. When the basket is filled with soil, plant the top as normal. Use closer spacing than you would in the garden so your basket looks full.
Inserting Plants through Side of Basket
Insert the plant through a slit cut through the liners. Stiffen and protect the roots or stem/foliage (whichever end you are inserting, insert the smaller end) by wrapping in a roll of paper or cardboard or enclose the rootball in a plastic sandwich bag.
How to Water Hanging Baskets
Water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Use your finger to check if the soil is moist or dry, or check the weight of the container. By the end of summer you may need to water twice a day. A watering wand with adjustable water flow is best. These attach to your garden hose and have a fingertip shut-off so you don’t spill water everywhere.
If your hanging container dries out, it will be difficult to remoisten. Set the pot or basket up to its rim in a container of tepid water (add a drop of dishwashing soap to the water) for several hours or overnight so it can soak up the moisture. Lift it out, let it drain, then rehang.
Fertilizer for Hanging Basket Flowers
Use slow release fertilizer granules in your soil mix, also use a water soluble fertilizer every other watering. Use the weaker dilution rate from the label directions. An occasional topdressing with compost or worm castings can also be beneficial.
Groom the Hanging Basket Plants
Deadhead (remove faded flowers) and trim off discolored foliage regularly to keep the flowers looking their best. This also allows you an opportunity to inspect for any pest or disease problems and catch them early.
Use a Strong Support Bracket
A hanging basket container full of wet soil and plants is extremely heavy. Make sure it is secure on a sturdy bracket. Using a swivel hook allows you to rotate it to provide even sun exposure. A pulley system to raise and lower the basket can also be helpful.
Enjoy Your Hanging Basket Flowers!
Hanging basket containers are unique in their appeal and in the challenges they present to gardeners. Following the planting and care instructions in this guide will help you select, plant and maintain your hanging baskets for a lovely display of flowers all summer.
More information and tips on Growing Flowers in Pots and Planters