How to Care for Annual Hanging Plants


To add nearly instantaneous color and beauty to your outdoor living environment, fill a container with big, blooming, hanging annual plants. The selection of annual plants suitable for hanging is vast, making it easy to tailor your hanging basket to match your preferred colors, shapes and sizes. Most annuals bloom all summer long with only a few minutes of daily care.

Step 1

Plant annual hanging plants in sturdy containers with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill the container with a general-purpose potting mixture. Avoid using garden soil, which will become compacted in the container, won't drain well and is too heavy.

Step 2

Check the potting soil's moisture level daily as soil in containers dries out quickly. Water whenever the top 1/4 inch of the potting soil feels dry to the touch. During hot weather, water hanging annuals twice a day, as needed.

Step 3

Feed hanging annual plants every week, as annuals planted in containers are unable to draw nutrients from the ground. Use a general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer, applied according to the directions on the label.

Step 4

Pinch dead blooms regularly so the plant will bloom as long as possible. If blooming slows in mid-summer and the annual plant begins to look long and leggy, rejuvenate the plant by cutting it down, leaving 4 to 6 inches of stem intact. The plant will bounce back quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy container with drainage holes
  • General-purpose potting mixture
  • General-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer


  • Iowa State University: Growing Annuals in Containers
  • University of Missouri: Flowering Annuals: Characteristics and Culture
  • Purdue University: Hanging Baskets
Keywords: hanging baskets, annual hanging plants, water hanging baskets

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.