Hanging baskets can provide a full and lush array of flowers anywhere that the container can be suspended. This type of gardening is ideal for those with a small yard or patio, as the baskets take up very little space. Hanging baskets are also frequently used for a pop of color beside the front door. Consideration must be taken when selecting plants for a hanging basket, to ensure that the finished piece has a full rounded shape.
The brachycome, or Swan River daisy, is a round, semi-trailing plant. The small daisy-like flowers of this plant bloom in abundance and it can easily fill out a hanging basket all on its own. Brachycomes should be planted in May. They will bloom from July through September. The Swan River daisy will grow to a height of more than 9 inches when kept in a sunny spot. Keep the plant evenly damp and fertilize every three weeks. This is a very hardy hanging basket, as brachycomes bounce back quickly if you forget to water them--they will let you know that you've been lacking in your care by closing the blooms when they have gone without water for too long. The flowers come in pink, white, violet and blue varieties, all with yellow centers.
Geraniums are hardy, colorful flowers that can be used both alone and in a combination with other flowers in your hanging baskets. Geraniums of the bush variety are best placed in the center of a hanging basket to fill out the top. Hanging geraniums will flow over the edges of the basket in a trailing display. The flowers are available in singles or doubles. While the doubles boast more petals, they are susceptible to catching and holding water which can cause them to rot. Geraniums should be planted in May and will bloom from May through October. Keep them damp and fertilize bi-weekly. Cuttings can be taken from the plant late in the summer to supply your future gardens. Bring geraniums inside before the first frost to overwinter. The flowers are available in various shades of red, pink and lavender.
Petunias are available in a wide variety of colors including rose, violet, white and red. This plant requires diligent care, though the modern varieties are more weatherproof. The "Wave" petunia is especially well suited to hanging baskets. This variety will bush out to an impressive size and can trail up to 4 feet. One or two petunia plants will be more than enough to fill an entire basket. You can mix different varieties of the plant in a basket, but petunias will do best when the basket does not contain other flowers. Petunias should be planted in May and will flower through October. Water them frequently and fertilize bi-weekly.