Plants for Summer Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets filled with bright blooms and lush foliage create a stunning presence to the garden. Summer plants for hanging baskets often have a billowing, trailing effect that creates a full look to the container. They produce masses of blooms throughout the summer and often into the fall for a constant source of vibrancy to the landscape.

Wild Petunia

Wild petunia (Petunia integrifolia) is an annual flower that is suitable in all USDA zones. It produces masses of 1 ½ inch-wide trumpet-shaped blooms that are violet to pale lavender. Beginning in May, wild petunia blooms to last until the first frost, creating a long-lasting blooming season. Wild petunias have a rapid growth rate to fill up the hanging basket in a short period of time. They reach up to 3 feet tall and produce a billowing effect to the container. Wild petunia grows best in full sun only and well-drained, loamy soil. They require a moderate amount of moisture but do not require deadheading.


Verbena (Verbena speciosa "Imagination") is a summer-blooming annual flower that produces masses of cluster-like purple flowers. They have a spreading growth habit and vigorous growth rate that keeps the hanging basket colorful all summer long. Verbena grows 1 to 3 feet in height and has a spread of 3 to 6 feet. Hardy, they are both drought- and frost-tolerant to create low-maintenance flower. The deep green foliage is dissected and has a trailing effect that looks attractive cascading over the container. Verbena requires full sun and well-drained soil with a monthly dose of fertilizer. To grow in other areas of the garden, divide verbena in spring. They grow in all USDA zones.

Cape Fuchsia

Cape fuchsia (Phygelius "Blacher" Cherry Ripe) is a woody-based perennial that is semi-evergreen and suitable in USDA zones 7 to 10. Beginning in May and lasting into September, the five-lobed, tubular-shaped flowers emerge. Cape fuchsia flowers are cherry red with a creamy yellow throat that lights up a hanging basket with color and texture. They grow 24 to 36 inches tall and wide, and have a clumping growth habit that makes an ideal plant to grow within containers. The lance- to oval-shaped leaves on cape fuchsia leaves are pale green and grow up to 3 inches long. They grow best in full sun, although tolerate some shade. Cape fuchsia require rich, well-drained soil that is moist. To promote a long flowering season, deadhead the spent fuchsia blooms as soon as they are noticeable.

Keywords: hanging basket plants, wild petunia, verbena imagination, cape fuchsia

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 and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and