Hanging baskets brimming with fresh flowers or fresh foliage is the easiest way to breathe color into your outdoor landscape. All you need to know before you go shopping is… sun or shade?
Simply, check the plant tags on individual hanging baskets or bring the list below to familiarize yourself with the wide variety of plants available. Also, make life a little easier with this gardener’s trick when planting your larger containers for spring and summer. First, measure the diameter of your pot. Next, pick out your favorite flower combinations in an appropriately-sized hanging basket. Pop it into your container and snip off the hanger. (You might have to elevate the flowering basket to the proper height with stacked bricks or potting soil—depending on the style and depth of your container. Your finished container might require more vigilance with watering and fertilizing but that’s a small price to pay for instant landscaping!
HANGING BASKETS for SUN: To keep plants in hanging baskets looking their best, water them in the morning and again in the afternoon when the temperatures are high. Make sure to give hanging baskets or containers added fertilizer to keep plants blooming throughout the seasons.
It’s all about the flowers.
Trailing Verbena (Verbena x hybrida)
Flowers: Charming, flower clusters mound and trail in pink, rose, coral, red, purple, lavender or white colors. Some varieties also have a sweet fragrance.
Water: Water regularly until plants are well established. After that, water only when dry. Check everyday in heat of summer.
Tips: Place in full sun for best flowering but verbena will perform well in part sun and part shade. You must deadhead verbena or it will quit blooming. Simply, clip off 1/4” of the stems that hold the flower, once flower is finished.
Flowers: These ever-blooming, mounding and trailing petunias make an impressive show with their trumpet-like flowers. Supertunias don’t require deadheading and will put on a good show from spring until a hard frost in autumn.
Water: Regular watering is a ‘must’ for hanging containers. Also, fertilize regularly to maximize flowering. (A specially formulated fertilizer such as ‘Jack’s Petunia FeED’ is designed especially for iron-hungry plants such as Petunias, Super Bells, Bacopa and Fan Flower.) For best results, water and fertilize in the morning.
Tips: Supertunias love full sun—at least 6 hours per day. The Supertunia sheds its old blossoms, so not need to deadhead spent flowers like regular petunias. Rotate hanging baskets once or twice a week for full flowering. Hummingbirds and butterflies flock to these flowers. Look for dark-purple petunias for fragrance.
Extra Care...give plants a good trim around the 4th of July for fuller plants and more blooms. Give them a boost with a dose of liquid fertilizer or slow-release granules two days after trimming.
Super Bells or Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
Flowers: Small, petunia-like flowers mound and trail in a rainbow of colors.
Water: Water thoroughly when soil begins to feel dry. They love the heat but check hanging basket everyday in mid-summer.
Tips: Place in full sun for best color. No need to deadhead old flowers.
Flowers: Large burst of deep reds, scarlet, salmon, white, magenta or pink flowers make geranium a great plant with curb appeal. The common geranium is more upright and the ivy geraniums are trailers. This old-fashioned flower looks good solo or in combination with trailing plants in hanging baskets. It’s one of the best choices for hot, sunny spots because it rarely looks wilted.
Water: Water thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom of container. It helps to water it so that the soil is wet to the center of the root ball—but soil shouldn’t remain soggy.
Tips: Place in a location with 5-6 hours of full sun each day and some afternoon shade to encourage the most flowering. Cut off spent flowers for repeat blooming all summer.
Fan Flowers (Scaevola aemula)
Flowers: Pretty, blue-purple, pink or white flowers in fan-like shapes bloom all summer. It’s a tough flowering annual that just looks better as the summer wears on.
Water: Water thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom of the container. Fan Flowers can take the heat without wilting.
Tips: Place in full sun to encourage the most flowers. No need to deadhead.
Foliage is a beautiful thing, too!
Succulents: Choose from a range of succulent-type plants such as hen and chicks, moss roses, sedum and many others. Succulents are low maintenance plants with subtle coloring in gray, purple, green, blue and silver—especially interesting combinations in hanging baskets and containers.
Water: Most of these plants like a drier soil. But, check soil moisture level once in awhile because even thick, fleshy foliage needs a drink now and then.
SHADY HANGING BASKETS: Usually, flowers don’t bloom as abundantly in the shade as in the sun, but these annuals will fill your hanging baskets with plenty of color.
Dragon Wing Begonias (Begonia hybrid)
Flowers: Elegant arching stems of red or pink flowers with green, glossy leaves. Plants bloom continuously until frost.
Water: Drought tolerant. Water thoroughly but let soil dry out in between watering.
Tips: Shade or part shade. No deadheading needed.
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
Flowers: These tropically colored flowers with single or double petals will brighten any shady spot. Within the last few years, Downy Mildew disease has been a problem. However, if planted in hanging baskets, or containers, they can avoid this disease.
Water: Hanging baskets or containers usually need to be watered once a day; maybe twice when temps rise about 85 degrees. Flowers and leaves will wilt quickly with a lack of water.
Tips: For abundant flowering, use a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks from spring through summer.
Flowers: Exotic and delicate, these two-toned flowers bloom in red, pink, salmon, purple and white combinations. The trailing stems look beautiful in hanging baskets and tall containers.
Water: Water on a regular basis.
Tips: Place hanging baskets in mostly shade but they can take some dappled sun. Deadhead the faded flowers for continued blooming. Fertilize every two weeks.
Tuberous Begonia or Hanging Basket Begonia (Begonia x tuberhybrida)
Foliage: This type of begonia has flowers that resemble roses with their cupped, single or double petals. Their vibrant colors show up well in the shade.
Water: Plants need a moist, well-drained soil. Or, stems will rot.
Tips: These begonias thrive in the shade but do well in half sun/half shade conditions, too. Deadhead faded flowers for appearance and continuous blooming. Red or pink flowers will attract hummingbirds. Fertilize every other week with a 20-20-20 organic fertilizer.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exalta ‘Bostoniensis’)
Foliage: A classic fern with arching, green fronds.
Light: Bright, indirect light.
Water: Remember that hanging baskets don’t hold their water very long. Check once a day for moisture with your finger pressed 1/2” into the soil. It should be damp to the touch but not wet.
Tips: It’s a beautiful fern for shady porches. Use in hanging baskets or elevate them in containers with bases or set on plant stands to show off their arching stems.
SUN & SHADE HANGING BASKETS: These hardy, flowering annuals can tolerate a range in light conditions and look especially nice in hanging baskets.
Dragon Wings Begonias (Begonia x hybrid ‘Dragon Wings’)
Flowers: The elegant, arching stems of red or pink flowers blooms continuously until frost.
Water: Although drought tolerant, water thoroughly, but let soil dry out in between watering.
Tips: Grows in a range from sun to shade. The pointed, green leaves (dragon wings) turn to a bronze color in full sun. This plant only looks better as the season goes on. It can mature up to 3’ tall.
New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri)
Flowers: New Guineas have sturdier flowers and stems than regular impatiens, but they come in the same bright colors. Foliage is offered in green, bronze or variegated varieties.
Water: Keep soil moist.
Tips: Flowers bloom best in part sun.
Foliage: This white-flowering and trailing annual displays its elegant habit in hanging baskets. (Flowers come in pink or lilac, too.)
Water: Don’t let soil dry out completely or flowers will brown.
Tips: Flowers most abundantly in full sun but it’s happy in part sun, too. Tiny flowers are self-cleaning—no need to deadhead.