Baskets full of bright blooms or lush green foliage bring color to porches, patios and sunny indoor windows. Hang baskets directly from the eaves of the house, from hooks in the ceiling or from shepherd hook-style stakes framing garden pathways. Nearly any plant can thrive in a a hanging basket if proper care is taken. Perennial flowers and foliage plants return year after year, while annual flower baskets require replanting each spring. Extend the growing season by a few weeks by moving outdoor baskets indoors when the weather begins to cool.
Purchase baskets with drainage holes or use wire-style baskets with sphagnum moss lining. Drill holes in the bottom of plastic or wood baskets that don't have existing drainage holes.
Fill baskets or planters with a potting soil mix. Use a commercial mix or make your own following this recommendation from Purdue University Extension: 2 parts peat moss, 1 part sand and 1 part perlite.
Mix a slow-release balanced fertilizer into the soil before planting. Follow manufacturer's direction for the quantity to use for hanging baskets.
Dig a hole in the soil for the plant's root ball using a garden trowel. Mix plants in larger baskets that have the same moisture, light and temperature requirements. Plant single varieties or single plants in smaller baskets.
Hang baskets where they will receive the required light and temperature for the plant types growing in them. In general, hang plants where they receive 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
Keep soil moist at all times, as hanging baskets dry out quicker than other ground-based planters. Water in the mornings using a wand attachment on the hose, but try not to get moisture on the leaves.
Apply a water-soluble plant fertilizer to the soil every other week if fertilizer was not mixed into the soil at planting. Otherwise, fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks.