Hanging baskets add beauty and color to entrances, porches and yards. Putting them together is a relatively easy project that immediately enhances your landscape or garden. Choosing plants for hanging baskets comes down to several factors--sunlight and moisture needs, aesthetic look and growth pattern. The flowers will not thrive if they don't get the nutrients they need.
Look for long, draping flowers with plenty of bright blooms, such as wave petunias, trailing verbena and bidens. Those that require top planting are easiest to put in a hanging basket. Consider plants that have several stems, because they will have the best growth.
Decide on the desired effect. If you're looking for a burst of color, consider getting flowers in several colors and mixing them in the planter. For a more uniform, formal look, opt for planting blooms that are one or two colors.
Read the instructions that accompany each plant. It won't work to put shade plants and sun plants in the same basket because the basket will be hanging in the same light conditions. The same goes for moisture needs. Don't put plants that need dry, sandy soil in the same planter as those that require constant moisture.
Pick out taller, bushier plants to fill in the middle of the hanging baskets and shorter trailing ones for the perimeter. If you choose all trailing flowers, you may end up with a scraggly looking center section because everything will drape over the sides.
Choose plants that have smaller root balls because you can add several to each hanging basket. Look for those that are in 2 1/2-inch containers. Take into account the basket size when buying plants to make sure they will all fit.
Purchase healthy plants. If they are wilted, they won't do well when first planted in hanging baskets.