Hanging Baskets Care

Hanging Baskets Care

Hanging baskets can be troublesome to maintain, but with careful planning when preparing and planting baskets, and the use of labor-saving products, the pressure eases.

Tips

Beautifully luxuriant basket displays require some regular care to stay at their best. Start with as big a basket as you can manage; 35–40cm (14–16in) is ideal.
Plant up with a good quality container compost which has added moisture holding compounds and slow-release fertilizer. Then follow these tips.

WATERING

Hanging Baskets WateringInstall an automatic irrigation kit or water 40cm (16in) baskets every two days using a lance attachment.

FEEDING

Hanging Baskets FeedingAdd slow-release fertilizer at planting time. In midsummer, start adding liquid feed for flowering containers fortnightly.

DEAD-HEADING

Hanging Baskets Dead-headingRegularly remove faded flowers and yellowing leaves to keep plants producing new blooms and to reduce disease.

PULLEY SYSTEM

Access for tending hanging baskets can be a problem but installing a pulley device makes light work of watering and dead-heading. The device is attached to the wall bracket and the basket hooks on the other end. You can pull the basket down to a comfortable working height and then guide it back up to its original position.

#1. UP

Hang the basket at a height where you can reach the base.

#2. DOWN

The basket pulls down so you can water, feed, and dead-head your plants with ease.

Types of Hanging Plants

If you can’t water baskets regularly or install irrigation, use bright heat and drought-tolerant plants. To maintain a basket’s good looks, use resilient plants, avoiding drought-sensitive lobelia, petunia, and busy lizzie.

DROUGHT-TOLERANT

These plants are survivors. Plant them with loam-based compost and water-retaining gel crystals. 

  • Kingfisher daisy (Felicia amelloides)
  • Livingstone daisy (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis)
  • Parrot’s bill (Lotus berthelotii)
  • Rhodanthemum hosmariense
  • Sedum lineare ‘Variegatum’
  • Sun plant (Portulaca grandiflora)
  • Zonal or trailing geranium (Pelargonium)

SPEEDY RECOVERY

These flowers can recover from a few missed waterings – but do not let them dry out too badly.

  • Begonia semperflorens
  • Bidens ferulifolia
  • Diascia
  • French marigold (Tagetes)
  • Nemesia (e.g. Maritana Series)
  • Scaevola aemula
  • Brachyscome multifida
  • Trailing verbena (Verbena Tapien Series)

FOLIAGE FALLBACK

Basket flowers often bloom in phases, so add variegated and colored foliage plants too.

  • Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’)
  • Helichrysum petiolare
  • Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Outback Sunset’
  • Morning glory (Ipomoea)
  • Trailing nepeta (Glechoma hederacea ‘Variegata’)

WATERING TIPS

Using simple techniques when making up your basket means that plants are far less likely to dry out. Try a waterproof liner that has drainage holes a third of the way up from the base or see right.

#1. Reservoir

Place a plastic pot saucer or even an old ceramic one in the basket base.

#2. Gel Crystals

Follow instructions on packet to add water retaining gel to compost.

EMERGENCY RESCUE

Plunge a wilted basket in a bowl or sink of water overnight. It may float and need holding down initially. After recovery, cut out any dead stems and dead-head spent blooms.

Hanging Baskets Care

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