Hanging plants decorate porches, balconies, breezeways and patios. Sun loving, draping plants are used wherever there is a high level of direct light. Hanging plants need a good draining container. This prevents prolonged wet soil and root rot. Use a lightweight soil in a hanging container. Equal parts of potting soil and peat moss creates a mixture that drains quickly and weighs less than garden soil.
Candytuft (Iberis Umbellata) is a low-growing, bushy perennial that reaches 12 to 18 inches long. Bunches of white, pink and lilac blossoms form in June and lasts through September. Candytuft cannot tolerate soil that stays wet or prolonged shady conditions.
Cockscomb (Celosia cristata) is an upright annual that produces stems 6 to 24 inches long. Large spikes of yellow, white, purple or red flowers plumes appear in the middle of July and last until the first fall frost. The leaves are oval-shaped, green with purple veins and grow in rosettes. Cockscomb needs good-draining soil and lots of sunshine. This flower is commonly used as cut, dried flowers.
Petunias (Petunia x hybrida) are popular ornamental flowering annuals. This plant produces many funnel-shaped flowers in a rainbow of colors. Some blossoms have stripes, streaks or bands of contrasting colors. The petal edges grow straight or ruffled. The stems clump together covered with oval, green leaves. The branches drape up to 10 inches over the side of the hanging container.
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is an annual that produces low-growing mounds of stems with narrow, green leaves. The tiny blossoms form clusters at the ends of the branches. These sweet scented flowers are white, pink and purple. The branches reach up to 12 inches long. Cut off the dying flower clusters and water well to promote new growth.
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is an annual leafy vine with pea-like blossoms. The flowers reach 2 inches across on long slender flower stems. The white, pink, red or purple flowers bloom from mid-spring into summer. The petals have crimped or ruffled petals and the branches grow to 6 feet long. Pinch the stems back to control the length. Sweet peas thrive in cool temperatures, so protect them from high summer heat during the afternoon.