Common Plants for Hanging Baskets

Nurseries and garden centers make sure that they always have hanging baskets in stock. They are typically big balls of color that offer instant gratification. Notice what plants do well in them, and you can create custom baskets perfectly suited to your location and color preference.


Impatiens are the shade-loving mascots of many front porches in the south. They are perfect for hanging baskets for a few reasons. Most hanging baskets sold in garden centers are plastic, and that helps retain the moisture that impatiens love. Impatiens, if fertilized and watered regularly, will bloom from spring until frost, and they are available in colors to suit every taste.

Dragon Wings Begonia

Dragon Wings Begonias are a shade-loving wax begonia cultivar, sought for their color, fast growth and ability to withstand a certain amount of neglect. The stems of this plant retain water, and so it can be ignored for a few days. Other plants in hanging baskets might require watering two to three times a day in warm climates.

Boston Fern

Boston Fern hanging baskets thrill homeowners with the drama they bring to entries, patios and even out on shepard's hooks. They thrive in shade and tolerate moderate sun if watered consistently. Occasional applications of water-soluble fertilizer will keep them green. Prune out dead fronds to keep them looking healthy.

Tidal Wave Petunia

The tidal wave petunia is one of the relatively new hybrids that do not require dead-heading. There is no constant plucking to keep hanging baskets overflowing with flowers. Simply give them full sun, consistently damp soil and weekly applications of a high phosphate water-soluble fertilizer.


If you have a hot, sunny and somewhat neglected spot where you want a hanging basket, bougainvillea is for you. It has tissue paper blooms that come in pink, white, yellow, orange and purple. Feel free to let the soil dry out between waterings. When blooms fall off completely, cut branches back by half and fertilize with a high-phosphate water-soluble fertilizer. Avoid planting where its sharp thorns can reach out and grab passersby.


Portulaca is a succulent that is perfect for the truly neglected hanging basket. It thrives in full sun and heat. One can easily kill this plant by over watering. Every two or three days is usually sufficient, but homeowners should stick a finger in the soil more frequently to be safe.

English Ivy

English ivy is a durable addition to a shaded hanging basket. In the cool months it can tolerate more sun and is often seen in holiday arrangements. As far North as Zone 5b English ivy will reliably last all year long in a hanging basket. It simply requires consistent watering.


Geraniums are gorgeous in hanging baskets, but they require grooming to stay in tip-top shape. Dead blooms and leaves must be removed on a regular basis. It is also important to fertilize weekly. Foliage dominates a geranium hanging basket, and it can begin to look yellow and sparse if not fed. They take full to part sun. Plants will bloom less if not given adequate light.

Wandering Jew

The Wandering Jew is a tender tried and true plant for both indoors and out. It is found in purple and green variegated varieties and prefers indirect light. Wandering Jew will tolerant moderate sun, if acclimated over time, and appreciates damp well-drained soil. There is no having just a little bit of this plant. It is an extremely fast grower and often drops sprigs. If there is so much as a few inches of soil they will begin growing too.


Pothos is a plant often found in offices and other indoor spaces with little natural light. It is an extremely easy-to-grow houseplant that prefers bright indirect light. It likes moist, well-drained soil. Check the soil with your finger before watering. Over watering Pothos will result in stem rot.

Keywords: hanging basket, container gardening, shade, sun, entries, gardening