Hanging containers and baskets filled with low maintenance plants are simple, inexpensive decorating tools that can brighten up empty patios, porches and entryways. Though not all plants will survive within the restrictive conditions of a hanging basket, there are a good number that will do well there.
A member of the spiderwort family, wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina), also called creeping jenny, is a sprawling fleshy perennial that grows only a few inches off the ground. The plant has oval leaves, available in colors ranging from silver and purple to pink, green and white depending on cultivar. Wandering Jew requires little care and is well suited to hanging baskets, where it will gracefully cascade over the sides with its lush foliage. A native of Mexico, it's best suited to cultivation in USDA zones 8 to 11. The plant prefers partial or dappled shade, with soil that is rich and organic. The fast-growing plant should be watered frequently, enough to keep the soil moist at all times.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum'), also called ribbon plant, is an elegant perennial grown for its long, ribbon-like leaves. The plant is often sold with variegated green and yellow leaves, although there are varieties with solid colors. Spider plant reaches an average height of about a foot, often with a spread of two to three times its height. If grown in a hanging container, its long leaves will arch over the sides. Spider plant is low-maintenance and easy to grow in USDA zones 9B to 11A, where it will tolerate full or partial shade. Spider plant does best in a well-draining soil that's watered on a regular basis. The plant is tolerant of a variety of humidity types, and will do well indoors even in air-conditioning.
Fairy fanflower (Scaevola aemula) is an herbaceous evergreen perennial native to the shores of Eastern Australia. Reaching a height of about a foot, fairy fanflower grows to an impressive length of up to 5 feet. The plant can be grown in a hanging basket, where its foliage and flowers will spill over the sides. Fairy fanflower is notable for its toothed green leaves and sweet fan-shaped flowers, which are most commonly seen in blue or purple. The plant grows best in USDA zones 9 to 11, in full sun or light, dappled shade. The plant requires sandy, well-drained soils and will even tolerate the salty soils near the coast. Fairy fanflower is quite drought tolerant and does not need supplemental watering.