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How to Plant Hanging Flower Baskets

By Kate Carpenter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Petunias are an easy favorite for hanging baskets.
hanging basket image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com

Adding a flowering hanging basket to your outdoor environment can brighten up any area. The more cascading flowering plants you have in your basket, the better and brighter your hanging basket will be. You can find flowering plants that thrive in full sun, partial shade or shade, whatever conditions exist for you. And, baskets are now available in an array of shapes and sizes to fit your outdoor decor. Plant your flowers in a hanging basket correctly and you should be able to enjoy them throughout the entire summer.

Wire Hanging Baskets

Wet thoroughly the sphagnum moss, then tear hand-size pieces off and press the pieces against the sides and bottom of your wire basket. The moss keeps the potting soil in the wire basket and helps to retain moisture. If you want to keep your soil in the wire basket moist longer, you can line the sphagnum moss with plastic that you have punched a few holes in for drainage, before you add the potting soil. A plastic grocery bag, cut to fit, works fine for this.

Fill your sphagnum moss lined hanging wire basket half full with potting soil, and moisten the soil.

Plant your tallest, non-trailing flowering plant in the center of the basket. Add potting soil around the center plant, and continue to fill your hanging basket with potting soil until the soil is two inches from the top.

Fill in around the center flowering plant with your flowering trailing plants. Unlike plastic or wooden baskets, you can also plant your trailing plants through the wire around the outside of your basket and into the sphagnum moss, which makes your basket appear fuller.

Gerneral Care

Water your hanging flower baskets at least once a day, preferably two or three times a day during hot weather. Make sure the entire basket receives sufficient water and all the soil is moist. Water until the water is draining out the bottom of your hanging basket pot.

Fertilize your flowering hanging basket with an equally balanced, time-release fertilizer every two weeks. Hanging baskets and containers lose much of the nutrients in the soil quickly because of the frequent watering and need to have those nutrients continually replaced. Follow the directions on the package for the correct amount. Work that amount into the first inch of soil. You can also add to your fertilizing program a half-strength feed of liquid fertilizer to give your flowering plants in your basket an extra boost.

Trim off the dead and dying flower heads from your plants in the hanging basket to promote continuous blooming and keep the basket looking fresh.


Things You Will Need

  • Hanging basket, wire, plastic or wood
  • Flowering plants
  • Garden potting soil
  • Water
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic--optional
  • Time released fertilizer, even balanced,10-10-10, 12-12-12 or 14-14-14
  • Liquid fertilizer formulated for flowers--optional


  • Plant and care for flowering plants in plastic or wood hanging baskets in a similar manner as wire, but without the sphagnum moss lining. You can add sphagnum moss to the top of the soil on any hanging basket. The addition of sphagnum moss acts similarly to adding mulch around plants in your garden--to help keep moisture in the soil longer.