Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

The Best Plants for a Hanging Planter

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hanging planters placed around a front porch or backyard patio add a touch of color and vibrancy to your landscape. For a long-lasting planter, use perennials, which come back each year, or to change out the flowers each season, pick an annual flower or plant. Drought-tolerant flowers that require less water are best in hanging baskets that receive at least four hours of sunlight per day. For shaded areas, use exotic plants like hellebores and ferns. To create a flourishing basket, always pinch back or deadhead spent blooms to ensure a new batch of fresh blooms throughout the growing season.


Annuals like verbena are gorgeous in a hanging planter because of their billowing foliage and cascading effect. Verbena blooms come in a variety of colors, including purple, blue, pink, white and red and begin their blooms at the start of spring. The tiny flowers together form a snowball-like bloom that is gorgeous drooping down the hanging planter. During the warm summer months, remember to water your container once or twice a week and pinch back dead blooms to stimulate more growth.


The trailing petunia is the perfect flower to plant in your hanging planter. Their small flowers come in vibrant colors of cherry, rose, violet, yellow and blue and will fill out a basket like no other plant. Their leaves and stems will gently drape over a hanging planter and create a stunning design. They prefer full sun to flourish and thrive. Petunias will bloom all summer and into the first frost, making this plant a long-lasting and hardy flower to use in your hanging planter.


A classic flower that has the ability to grow up to 24 inches in height, impatiens will fill out your hanging basket while bringing in bursts of color. Bloom colors include red, white, pale pink, purple and orange. The dark green foliage contrasts perfectly with the colors and will thrive in shady areas like a front porch or hanging from your favorite shade tree. Begin by planting two sets of impatiens in one basket and let the plants spread and flourish, creating a stunning basket design.


Create a lush and hardy hanging planter with the ever-vibrant fern. There are many species of ferns to choose from, but a lovely cascading lady ferns is especially lovely in a hanging basket, because of its long fronds. The Japanese painted fern with its purple veins and tinted leaves creates an exotic feel to any hanging planter. Ferns prefer a moist and shady environment, so make sure they are not hanging in direct sunlight.


About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.