What Plants Should I Use for Hanging Baskets?

Hanging baskets filled with colorful, draping blooms and foliage help dress up the garden and home. Often, the best flowers for hanging baskets have a cascading, trailing growth habit. The billowing foliage spills over the basket for a showy display. Have fun mixing different varieties together to create a mixed basket. Don't be afraid to experiment with different plants to create your own design.

Petunia

Petunia (Petunia x hybrida) is an annual flower with masses of flowers and a trailing, billowing shape that makes a full and striking hanging basket. Growing 6 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 14 inches wide, petunias bloom in a wide range of colors including white, purple, red and yellow. The trumpet-shaped blooms sit atop the sticky, green foliage. Petunia flowers have a moderate drought tolerance, creating a hardy hanging basket flower, and emerge in spring to last into the summer. Petunias grow best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Petunias are hardy in all USDA zones.

Verbena

Verbena Imagination (Verbena speciosa 'Imagination') is an annual flower with a vigorous growth rate and spreading habit. The clusters of bright purple blossoms emerge from spring until frost. Growing 1 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide, verbena flowers have dissected green foliage that cascades down to make an ideal hanging basket design. Verbena flowers are drought- and frost-tolerant and attract butterflies to the garden. They require full sun and well-drained, moist soil that is nutrient-rich. Plant in USDA zones 10 to 11.

Fuchsia Coralle

Fuchsia Coralle (Fuchsia 'Coralle') is a perennial flower with a clumping growth habit and unusually shaped flowers. Growing 1 to 3 feet tall, fuchsia Coralle have striking tubular shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds to the basket to feed. The bright blooms grow in clusters of bright orange and red that set off the dark green leaves. The foliage is oval in shape with a velvet texture and maroon underside. Fuchsia requires partial shade and full morning sun. They grow best in well-drained, moist, but not overly wet, soil. Plant fuchsia Coralle in USDA zones 9 to 11.

Licorice Vine

Licorice vine (Helichrysum petiolare) is a tender evergreen perennial that grows 1 to 2 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. The dense, upright and trailing stems hold the gray to green leaves. The leaves of the licorice vine grow 1 1/2 inches long with a soft and woolly texture. The foliage has a hint of licorice scent, hence the name, that is emitted during summer heat. Licorice vines require full sun to part shade but tolerate poor soil conditions. They require excellent drainage. Plant in USDA zones 9 to 11.

Keywords: hanging basket plants, petunia, verbena imagination, fuchsia Coralle, licorice vine

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in Travels.com and GardenGuides.com and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and Forbes.com.