How to Garden Trailing Flower Plants


Trailing flowers make an interesting accent when hung in baskets from porches, the eaves of houses or shepherd's hooks. When planted in the ground, a trailing plant such as a petunia can also make a seasonal ground cover that provides instant color and temporarily fills in space between plants that haven't yet reached maturity. Larger trailing flowers, such as wisteria, clematis or morning glory vines add vertical height to any garden. The key to gardening with trailing flowers is in properly caring for them.

Step 1

Select shade-loving plants such as ferns or trailing begonias for hanging baskets that will be placed under the eaves of your home or on a porch. Plants that are hung in these locations are shaded by the structures that they are hung from. Select sun-loving plants for baskets that will be hung from structures such as shepherd's hooks and pergolas. These plants receive more sun.

Step 2

Check plants in hanging baskets to ensure that they have not gotten too dry. Water with a garden hose when the soil is no longer damp to the touch.

Step 3

Select supports for climbing plants that are strong enough to support the plant. A morning glory vine will do well with a shepherd's hook or a willow-branch trellis. However, a woody climbing rose or wisteria must have a pergola or garden arch made of stone or sturdy landscaping timber that has been sunk into the ground.

Step 4

Place invasive trailing plants such as wisteria on supports that you can mow around. This will help prevent the spread of sucker plants.

Step 5

Cut back heavy and woody trailing vines with pruning shears in the spring to keep them from becoming too heavy for their supports.

Step 6

Mulch around trailing plants that have been planted for ground cover. Mulching these plants will help prevent weeds from crowding out the plant, and will help hold moisture in to the root of the plant.

Step 7

Fertilize your plants in the spring with a phosphorous rich fertilizer (10-20-10). Phosphorous encourages a plant to produce more blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Garden shears
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch
  • Plant supports
  • Phosphorous-rich fertilizer (10-20-10)


  • How to Add Trailing Plants to Your Garden
  • Plow and Hearth Magazine: Vertical Interest
  • Understanding Fertilizer Numbers: N-P-K

Who Can Help

  • Backyard Landscaping Ideas: A List of Trailing Plants and Climbing Vines
Keywords: vine plants, hanging baskets, trailing flowers

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.