There are endless options for filling the hanging baskets around your yard. While some people use hanging baskets to plant herbs, grasses, or vegetables, the most common types of plants that are used in hanging basket gardens are flowers and vines. Why? Because flowers and vines are easy to care for and add a wonderful sense of color and depth to a porch or deck.
The options for hanging baskets are only limited by your own imagination. You can create a basket to feature one species of flower, to highlight a single color, to expand the vertical appearance of your outdoor area or to help the wild life in your yard.
Just remember, the plants you choose will make a difference in the look of the basket and overall feel of your outdoor décor. Whatever you do, consider it your effort to add a unique artistic touch to your yard.
Flowers for Hanging Baskets
When selecting flowers for a hanging basket, you’ll want them to bloom continuously. Otherwise you’ll be taking your basket down again and again throughout the season to add the touches of color that keep disappearing.
Another tip for hanging baskets: Make sure you water them at least once daily. The very nature of a hanging basket means that the soil will dry out quickly (unless you add an EcoLiner® or makeshift plastic liner).
Some flowers to consider including are:
- Waterfall Blue (Lobelia) – A gorgeous purple-blue flower that overflows elegantly from your hanging basket. While they generally need little maintenance, be sure to water generously during hot spells. Once-a-month liquid fertilizer also helps this plant thrive.
- Marigold (Tagetes ‘Lemon Gem’) – This flower’s bright yellow hue will attract the eye, and plenty of butterflies, too! Keep deadheading blooms as they are spent and never water from above — water at the base of the plant.
- Million Bells (Calibrachoa) – Featuring trumpet-shaped flowers, this South American transplant is easy to maintain as they grow along trailing stems. There’s no need to deadhead this plant as its flowers drop off after blooming.
- Bacopa (Sutera ‘Snowstorm’) – This heavenly pale pink or white flowing plant will reach towards the ground as it grows. Be sure to feed it at least once a month to keep it in top shape.
- Hardy Ice Plant (Delosperma floribunda) – A flowering succulent, the hardy ice plant is named for its shimmering leaves and flower petals. These plants do exceptionally well in poor soil. After a successful season, you can divide the hardy ice plant in the spring.
- Sweet Alyssum (Loularia maritima) – With clusters of white flowers, these are great plants to create a hanging basket that appears to be overflowing with life. Generally maintenance free, sweet alyssum love the full sun you can offer on a back deck.
- Dwarf Lavender (‘Fairy Wings’ or ‘Bella’ series) – Featuring the same wonderful qualities of regular-sized lavender, these plants stay under 2 feet tall, so they make excellent “toppers” for your hanging basket.
- Wax begonia (Begonia ‘Prelude Red’) – With red flowers against bright green leaves, wax begonia provides a brilliant color contrast and unexpected fiery pop. They love the well-drained soil you’ll have in your hanging basket.
Vines for Hanging Baskets
Generally we appreciate that plants grow towards the sky, but there are some that grow out, or down. Vines are fun to grow, but can be problematic when placed in a garden where they take over the flowerbed. Hanging baskets are the perfect solution as they allow vines to grow down and create a gorgeous hanging canopy of flowers and foliage. A few vines to try include:
- English Ivy (Hedera helix) – This dark green leafy vine is a staple in many hanging baskets. As a perennial it doesn’t even need to be replanted each year. These plants can be aggressive growers, so keep an eye out or they could spread quickly.
- Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Margarita’) – A bright green, large leafed vine that will brighten up your hanging basket, the sweet potato vine is a very house plant-like. Keep its soil moist and it will reward you with (slightly) edible tubers.
- Black Eyed Susan vine (Thunbegia alata) – This vine can grow up to eight feet while also producing stunning yellow flowers. A bit finicky, these vines want well-drained soil but will also wilt if too dry. Deadhead this plant regularly for optimal flowering.
- Blue Mountain Nierembergia (Nierembergia hippomanica) – One of the best plants for hanging baskets, blue mountains create petunia-shaped blue flowers that drape off of a hanging basket nicely. Slugs and snails may be a problem, though. Deadheading is not needed.
- Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare ‘Limelight’) – These easy-to-grow plants feature tiny lime green colored leaves that will grow on vines that curve down and then back up. Featuring cool colors, licorice is a great vine to pair with brighter plants.
- Vinca (‘Variegata’) – While typically used as a ground cover, this twiggy, sparsely leafed vine will create texture in your hanging basket. Since it does well in practically any soil type, it’s generally considered low maintenance. Cut back in the fall and it will return in the spring.
Design with Flowers and Vines
If you’re a beginner to gardening design, then these vines and flowers are perfect to experiment with in your hanging baskets. The simplicity of care and easy-to-design characteristics will help you understand how hanging baskets work and how to handle plants with varying growing needs. After heading to our Hanging Basket Shop, visit your local garden center to stock up on plants that will burst with color and hang with style!
Once you’ve created your basket, be sure to share pictures of it on our Facebook page. You can also sign up for our e-Newsletter for additional ideas on your outdoor decor as well as the latest discount offers from Avant Garden Décor.