How to Design Hanging Baskets


A basket filled to overflowing with bright flowers welcomes visitors to front entryways, adds a cheery note to a lamp post and brings color to spaces where there isn't room for a flower bed. Baskets may be made of synthetic or natural materials. A commonly used basket is one with a wire frame lined with coconut or other fiber.

Step 1

Select the location of the basket. Whether the basket is in full sun all day, partial sun, or shade affects the design of the basket. Plants that thrive in the shade will fry in the sun. Sunny baskets will need more watering than shady ones.

Step 2

Line the basket with coconut fiber to keep the soil in the basket. The coconut fiber is brown and natural-looking. You can cut through if you plan on placing plants through the wire frame on the sides of the basket. Put a layer of coffee filters in the bottom one-third of the basket. This will slow the water drainage and allow the soil to absorb more water.

Step 3

Pick the colors for the basket to contrast with the house or patio wall colorings or to carry the colors of the gardens beds. Red geraniums are bright but will fade fast when hung next to a red brick wall. White geraniums will blend into a white or beige entry way. If the garden beds have yellow, white and purple flowers using those same colors in the basket gives a coordinated look.

Step 4

Select a bushy flower, an upright flower and a trailing flower for each basket. Keep the number of the flowers odd. For example: Use two upright flowers, three bushy flowers and two trailing flowers for a large basket. A good sunny combination to try is trailing lantana in yellow and orange, tall zinnias in red and bushy gaillardia in yellow, orange and bright orange. A cool color combination for the sun is trailing lobelia in blue, bushy white petunias and upright purple salvia

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the growth rates of the plants in mind when you're designing the basket so one flower doesn't overpower the others.

Things You'll Need

  • Basket
  • Coconut fibers
  • Coffee filters
  • Flowers


  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Courtier et al; 2003
  • "Garden Ideas"; Carol Spier and Warren Schultz; 1996
Keywords: design hanging baskets, designing flower baskets, planning hanging baskets

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.