How To Plant A Hanging Basket

Posted on: April 16th, 2019 by Stone Cross Garden Centre No Comments
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Cheap, cost-effective baskets provide valuable colour at eye level producing flowers all summer long.


Colorful plants in wall mounted wrought iron basket  including begonia, petunia, ivy.

Step One

Measure your existing hanging basket bracket. It is a good idea to have as much of a gap at possible between the wall and the edge of your basket. This will allow more space for your plants to grow and prevent them becoming trapped between the basket and the wall.

Step Two

There are four types of hanging basket:

  • Rattan – These look great, offer top planting and are pre-lined with a plastic liner which is great for water retention
  • Wire-mesh –These can be lined with coco or jute liners or with basket moss. Just remember to push the liner or moss to the edge of the basket. The design of these baskets allows for planting in the sides and the top of the basket. Simply cut holes in the basket liner or allow holes in the basket moss for plants to pass through
  • Easy-fill –These offer top and side planting options without the need to cut holes in a liner or assembling moss to form the sides of your basket. This is because plastic baskets do not need to be lined
  • Plastic baskets –Great for insulation, water retention and helping to protect your plants from strong winds and sunshine. Offering top planting there is no need to line the inside of this type of basket

One thing to consider is that if your plants are growing and performing well then you will not see the baskets. This is shown in the potted display below where hardly any of the pot is being viewed.

Step Three

Choose your potting compost and extras.

  • Multi-purpose compost that has been mixed with water retaining gel and slow release fertiliser
  • A compost with in-built moisture retention and slow release fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro moisture control compost

Supporting your hanging basket in a bucket or pot while you work add your chosen potting mix. Fill your basket to the height of your first plants. You then add your plants (this is covered in Step Four) and fill the compost to the next level. Then fill in around the plants with compost leaving approximately 2cm between the compost and the top of the baskets rim.

Step Four

Choose your plants. As a general rule you should have one plant per inch diameter of your basket. However, vigorous plants such as trailing Surfinia will cover approximately twice the area of a trailing Lobelia meaning you require less plants in total. The suggestions given offer examples of the type of plants you could combine to ensure you have a fantastic display throughout the summer.

Hanging basket diagram

Planting Suggestions for different types of baskets

Rattan 12” Basket

  • 1x Top Centre: 1x Upright Zonal Geranium
  • 9x Top Outside: 1x Calibrachoa, 1x Surfinia, 1x Bacopa, 1x Lysimachia, 1x Bidens, 1x Trailing Fuchsia, 1x Trailing Geranium, 1x Verbena, 1x Nemesia

Plastic 12” Basket

  • 1x Top Centre: 1x Marigold
  • 3x Top Outside: 3x Tomato Tumbling Tom

Plastic 12” Basket

  • 1x Top Centre: 1x Euonymus
  • 7x Top Outside: 7x Surfinia

Wire-mesh 14” Basket

  • 1x Top Centre: 1x Upright Fuchsia
  • 9x Top Outside: 3x Upright Mini Fuchsia, 3x Surfinia, 3x Nemesia
  • 6x Side Planting: 3x Calibrachoa, 2x Bidens, 1x Helichrysum

Easi-fill 15” Basket

  • 1x Top Centre: 1x Argyranthemum
  • 8x Top Outside: 4x Trailing Lobelia, 2x Trailing Fuchsia, 2x Trailing Geranium
  • 12x Side Planting: 4x Trailing Lobelia, 2x Calibrachoa, 2x Lysimachia, 2x Bidens, 2x Verbena

The above baskets plants all require a sunny location. However, if you location is shaded you can still plant a mix of Impatiens and particularly Begonia to flower away all summer long in all but the darkest of spots

Step Five

  • Watering –Baskets should be kept moist but not soggy
  • Feeding –Fertilisers high in potassium such as Phostrogen or Tomato Food should be applied throughout the growing season even if you have slow release fertiliser in your potting mix.
  • Dead-heading – Surfinia and Argyranthemum plants require regular dead-heading to keep them healthy and flowering for longer. If the plants become tired cut them back and they will grow on again

Follow these simple steps and you can enjoy spectacular flowering beauty from May to the first frosts of early winter.