Hanging baskets are often given as gifts and make attractive additions to any porch or garden. These baskets need to be watered frequently, often daily, because they are often planted with a light potting mix that drains and dries out easily. Spent flowers should be removed to keep the basket looking fresh and to prolong blooming.
Petunias bloom from early spring to late fall. The flowers have a light fragrance and come in many different colors. Grandiflora and Milliflora varieties are used often in hanging baskets because they cascade and produce many flowers. Grandiflora have flowers up to 4 inches in diameter while milliflora have small flowers about 1 inch wide. Petunias require full sun for maximum flower production. Well drained soil is also a requirement. Spent flowers should be removed to encourage continued blooming.
Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) are best known for being in the window boxes seen in pictures of Swiss homes. These geraniums like moist but well drained soil. Unlike other varieties of geranium, this variety does not require deadheading. Ivy geraniums can tolerate full sun in temperatures below 80 degrees F. At higher temperatures, the plants should be in an area of partial sun. Too much sun will reduce the number of blooms and make the leaves cup shaped.
Fuchsias are shade-loving plants with multicolored flowers that hang down like bells. They need to be sheltered from the heat and wind. These flowers are popular for planting in the perimeter of hanging baskets. Fuchsias need ample fertilizing and humidity. Seed pods form when the flowers are spent. Cut the seed pods while they are still green to encourage flowering. Best of all, fuchsias attract hummingbirds.