Nothing quite states the arrival of spring like hanging baskets filled with colorful flowers. They dress up and add color to porches, balconies, windows or the landscape by hanging from tree branches.
Hanging baskets are an inexpensive fix to a bland landscape. Choices are almost endless in annual and perennial flowering plants that will grow quite well inside hanging baskets. Planting your hanging basket is so simple even novice gardeners will have success. Once you hang two or three and see the difference they make, you will wonder why you did not add them sooner.
Select a hanging basket. Plastic baskets are lightweight, inexpensive and retain soil moisture longer. Wire baskets layered with coconut fiber are attractive, but require frequent water and are more expensive than plastic. Make sure the basket has drain holes or your plants can develop root rot and die.
Consider the light conditions throughout the day where the hanging basket is situated. This will help in your selection of plant species, as you do not want to plant shade-loving plants in full sun conditions.
Choose plants with the same watering needs. Do not plant a succulent such as ice plant that requires little water with a plant such as impatients that requires frequent water.
Use young flowering plants in the hanging basket for best results. They tolerate transplanting better and allow for closer planting without damage.
Mix different varieties, textures and sizes of flowering plants together in the basket for a dramatic look. Mix a plant that vines, such as petunia, with a different textured, medium-sized plant, such as begonia. Add height to the basket and smaller flowers by finishing with a plant such as salvia.
Select plants with contrasting colors such as green zinnia with red petunias, or purple vinca with yellow Dahlberg daisies. The colors will draw attention as well as appeal to the eye.
Fill the hanging basket two-thirds full of a rich, well draining potting mix. Add a time-released fertilizer, such as Osmocote, to the soil and mix it together. Water the soil.
Dig out enough space in the soil to fit each plant's root ball. Plant the plant no deeper than it was growing inside the container. Cover the plant with soil.
Water the hanging basket until water runs out of the bottom. Use a gentle stream of water or the plants and soil can wash from the basket or their spots within the basket. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, as hanging baskets dry out rather quickly.