Hanging Baskets with Sphagnum Moss
image by alpinegir/sxc.hu
Getting Ready to Hang Your Plant
Install the plant hook in the ceiling or wall, following any instructions that are on the package. Be sure to use a hook that is designed for hanging heavy plants and that it is rated for the weight that the plant will be. Remember to consider that the plant will have dirt, rocks and water. An average 12-inch hanging pot can weight approximately 10 pounds with a nicely developed plant in it.
Wash out the planter and rinse well to remove any contaminants that may harm the plant. If you chose a wire hanging basket, it is not necessary to wash it, but line the inside with sphagnum moss. Do not reuse this moss from another plant.
Place one inch of rocks, broken terracotta or clay pieces in the bottom of the pot if the container that you chose is a plastic, walled container. This will help to keep the soil well-drained. If you chose an open-air basket, this step is not necessary.
Remove the hangers that are placed around the pot or pull them out of the way and let them rest along the sides of the pot.
Prepare the potting soil by adding two teaspoons of ground limestone and two teaspoons of 5-10-10 granulated fertilizer into the soil. Mix thoroughly.
Fill the pot two-thirds full of soil, cupping out the middle to form a pocket for the new plant. Make this valley about the height and width of the pot that the plant is currently in.
Pick up the plant in your left hand and gently turn it over into your right hand, placing your fingers into the plant and holding the base of the plant near the stems while spreading your hand out to catch most of the dirt. It will most likely come out in a large clump.
Gently guide all of the hanging strands of the plant to one side so you have one side of the plant free to avoid injury to the plant.
Break up some of the roots gently if the plant is root-bound, to allow them to get air. Place the plant into the hanging pot, dirt side down, into the valley in the middle of your hanging pot.
Fill the area around the plant with soil, patting it down firmly around the plant. Fill it enough to cover the top of the original soil in the plant. Be sure to leave about one-half of an inch at the top of the pot empty -- this will allow you to water your hanging pot without overflowing it onto furniture or carpet, if indoors. When it is hanging, it will be difficult to see if the water is deep in the pot, so this gives you some room for error.
Guide any hanging tendrils to distribute them evenly around the pot so that when you reattach or pull up the hangers, some strands will hang in all areas of the planter.
Be sure that the plastic drainage tray, if it has one, is attached firmly, and water the plant, allowing the water to soak through the new dirt and drain out of the bottom. Do this in a sink to allow the water to flow freely through and drain completely before removing from sink.
Reattach the hangers, being careful not to pinch the plant while attaching them to the pot, or gently pull up the hangers from the edges, a little on each side of the pot, being careful not to pinch the plant.
Pick up the plant and make any more adjustments to be sure it is hanging level and that all long, hanging strands are distributed evenly around the plant. Hang on the hook and water according to the needs of the particular plant.