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How To Plant a Hanging Basket

How To Plant a Hanging Basket
by Alison North Alison North



At Roots we’re kind of obsessed with hanging baskets and think every home should have at least one! We’ve put together our best tips and advice for choosing plants, planting hanging baskets and where to display them - plus lots of inspiration for creating your own designs.

What will I need?

  • A basket - at least 30cm diameter
  • Compost
  • Fertiliser - Use slow release granules or powder
  • Water retaining granules
  • Plants - use a selection of trailing, bushy and upright plants.

 How To Plant a Hanging Basket

Step 1: Prepare your hanging basket

If your basket is lined with plastic, you will need to pierce the liner several times to allow for drainage. If you have an open wire basket you will need to add a liner. Half fill your basket with new compost - multi purpose or container and basket compost is best.

How To Plant a Hanging Basket

Step 2: Add fertiliser

Add the amount of fertiliser recommended on the packet, and mix thoroughly into the compost. Do the same with the water retaining granules, which act as a water reservoir to stop your plants drying out on hot days.

 How To Plant a Hanging Basket

Step 3: Add your plants in the arrangement you desire

Plant your trailing plants around the edges of your basket. If the basket has ready made holes in the sides, pass the roots of the plants through these and lie them on top of the compost, then cover with more compost. Add upright or bushy plants in the middle of the basket. Again, cover the roots with more compost and firm it down around the plants.

How To Plant a Hanging Basket

Step 4: Hang your basket

Fill in around your plants with more compost, firm down gently and give them plenty of water. Position your basket where the plants will get 6-8 hours of full sunlight and keep watering regularly - daily in hot weather. Regularly remove any dead flower heads to encourage the plants to keep producing more.  

How To Plant a Hanging Basket

Hanging Baskets FAQs

What plants should I choose?

Hanging baskets work best with trailing plants around the edges and bushy or upright plants in the centre so that every space is filled. However a basket filled entirely with trailing plants can look stunning. Most hanging baskets use annual flowering plants, but why not experiment? Try herbs, fruit or vegetables, foliage plants or compact climbers - you may have to repot them in a larger basket or in your garden if they grow too large.

What are trailing plants?

Trailing plants cascade downwards over the edge of your hanging basket. Our favourites include Calibrachoa, Surfinia, Lobelia and Fuchsia.

What are upright and bushy plants? 

Upright and bushy plants will not trail, but spread out and upwards. Some of the best for hanging baskets are Osteospermum, Geranium and Petunia.

Which hanging basket should I choose?

Choose a basket that fits your garden style. Whether that’s bright plastic, rustic woven wicker or contemporary wire. You can even make your own from colanders, plant pots or an old watering can! Choose the biggest basket your hook can support, as it will retain water better and require less pruning.

Where should I hang my baskets?

Baskets can be hung from a pergola, shed, arbour, balcony, lamp post or fence.

How many plants should I use?

We recommend using eight jumbo plug plants for a 30cm basket.   Depending on the individual plants and how much space they need to spread, you can use more or fewer.

How often should I water my hanging basket?

Hanging baskets dry out easily and need regular watering - up to twice a day in hot weather.

How do I hang my baskets?

For hanging baskets from walls and porches, you will need a metal or plastic hook that screws into the wall. Make sure the chains are strong enough for the basket and the hook is secure so that it doesn’t fall down in strong winds.

How To Plant a Hanging Basket

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