How to make beautiful Hanging Baskets
“My Personal Step by Step Guide”
Wendy Barton, Plant Centre Manager
“Hanging Baskets bring out our creative side – you are limited only by your imagination!”
I have been making hanging baskets and pots for far too many years to remember! I love the fact that I can make them all year round and that no two baskets can ever be the same! Both winter and summer baskets hold a diverse range of plant combinations and spectacular colours I never tire of.
I am often asked what my favourite plants are. That is impossible to answer, however I am partial to trailing fuchsia’s and geraniums! Geraniums are particularly low maintenance so are perfect for busy people!
Hanging Baskets can be planted up in under an hour, if you put a little thought into it first! That’s what I want to help you with and set you on course to creating stunning baskets that will sparkle with colour from May until September! You can hang them beside your front door to welcome guests or brighten up a dull wall in your garden – the pleasure that they give is hugely disproportionate to the time it takes to makes them!
How to plant a mixed, mossed Hanging Basket
1. Line your basket with moss by spreading it like a blanket to cover all of the wire frame. Start from the base, making it thicker and compact, as it has to be able to contain all the compost. Move your way up the sides right to the top rim, making sure there are no holes showing for the compost to fall through. Keep patting it in to the sides to make it more compact.
2. Cut a small piece of plastic and place it on the moss at the base of the basket. This will help retain more of the water after watering.
3. Start putting in the compost. As you add the compost, keep pushing it down and to the sides – this will make more room to get in as much as you can and will also stop it condensing down too much once you start watering (try not to make it too solid). Fill the compost right up to the rim of the basket.
4. Select your plants, the quantity you need and your colour combination. For a 12” basket I use 4 established plants and for a 14” basket I use 5. For the centre, choose an ‘upright’ plant, something with a bit more height like a geranium, fuchsia, verbena or begonia. For around the rim, choose trailing plants that are going to hang over the side of your basket like bacopa, calibrachoa, diascia or trailing fuchsia. (Unless I am asked to, I do not plant around the sides of the basket. I find that once the top trailing plants grow, they cover the sides of the basket and there is also more room for the other plants to grow)
5. Start with the centre plant first. In the middle of the basket scrape away the compost to make a hole big enough to place the plant into, then cover over the base of the plant with new compost. The base of the plant should always be level with the compost in the basket.
6. For a 12” basket you then want to place your chosen trailing plants in a triangle shape, near the basket rim. Position them so they are slightly leaning over the side. For a 14” basket you want to place your plants around the rim like a clock face at positions 12, 3, 6 and 9. Again, place each plant into a dug away hole and cover its base with new compost. Pat down the compost.
7. Finally, leave in a warm, light place to settle down and grow on for a few days before hanging outside.
8. Once hanging up, water daily.
You may think the basket looks empty once you have completed the above steps, but the idea is to give the plants enough room and compost for them to grow and flourish. It will not take long before they have spread into each other and look magnificent!
How to plant a Hanging Basket without moss
1. If your basket has a plastic liner, you need to cut a slit in the base and a couple round the sides lower down. This will help with drainage and not make the plants waterlogged.
2. Carry on as above, starting from Step 3. Please note that this basket will take a lot more compost!