Hanging baskets do look great, with the right plants and on the right position they are not only decorative, but also easy care.
They also have a few problems in wrong position or with the wrong plants, so lets take a look at the does and don’ts of hanging baskets.
Choose the right basket and the right growing medium.
- Larger hanging baskets are usually better than small ones as they retain more moisture because of their size.
- For most plants, use a hanging basket that has a solid liner, one that will help retain water. The traditional liners of coir look great, however as soon as the sun and wind combine, the basket dries very quickly. A simple plastic liner will slow down drying. You can buy these or make your own with a sheet of landscaping plastic, or even a plastic bag.
- Choose the right growing medium. You will still need free draining growing mediums for cactus and succulents, and moisture retentive mediums for plants such as petunias, begonias, fuchsias and others.
- Use a mulch to help retain moisture.
Potting Mix for Hanging Baskets.
This will depend on what you are growing, for most plants such as ferns and begonias, that like a little moisture try a good quality potting mix with 30% coir peat mixed through. The coir peat will help retain moisture and therefore a little less watering will be required.
Place your hanging basket in the right position.
- Some plants need sun, others need shade, so placement is important.
- Even for sun loving plants, afternoon shade in summer should be considered to prevent drying.
Consider Watering Techniques.
- Some plants just need constant moisture, if you are growing these, and are not always around to water, then drip irrigation can help.
- You can also look at self watering hanging baskets, usually more like self watering pots on a chain. This will retain more moisture for two reasons. They have solid non porous sides which helps slow evaporation.
- They have a water reservoir that will help keep the growing medium moist for a day or two.
How to water Hanging Baskets
- You do need to keep the potting mix moist. If it is allowed to dry out completely it becomes very difficult to re wet. Water seems to just run straight through. If this is the case, sit the whole basket in a tub of water, with a little seaweed fertiliser mixed in for 2 – 3 hours. Drain and re-hang.
- Sometimes you will water and the water immediately starts to run through, this is usually a sign that the soil has dried to much and just won’t absorb water.
What are Hanging baskets used for ?
For patios, outdoor entertaining areas and ferneries, hanging baskets are a great way to grow plants. They add height, you can grow a range of plants in them and you can combine trailing plants with other plants to create a green wall.
You can make your own, or buy one, hanging baskets are a favorite way of growing many plants. They are a versatile way of growing a wide range of plants including orchids and fuchsias.
Used widely on verandahs and patios they are also suited for the garden itself and shade houses. You can buy the baskets, and liners separately, or in kits. It is a good idea to buy extra liners for hanging baskets as they do need to replaced every 2 – 4 years depending on the type and the conditions.
Popular for many years they are used on patios, indoors and in the garden they can be used for permanent plantings as well as flowering annuals and perennial plants (see picture right).
A great way to grow strawberries and herbs. Great for patios and they can be hung beneath pergolas and even trees, this is a versatile growing method for a wide range of plants.
Hanging Baskets have been popular for many years and in fact have remained a very popular way to grow plants with keen gardeners for a long time. Both baskets and basket liners are available for sale from most good nurseries.
Coming in a range of styles including the traditional wire frame lined with coco peat fibre or a synthetic liner as well as lightweight terra cotta look PVC, real terra cotta as well as timber hanging.
Teak slatted baskets are particularly popular with orchid growers, however so many containers can be used, with a little though almost any idea can work.
Plants for Hanging Baskets
Plants that have a trailing habit are popular and these include:
- Trailing geraniums
- Trailing fuchsias
- dichondra silver falls
Trailing plants when allowed to cascade create great a very exotic feel to a pergola or patio.
Epiphytic orchids are another popular plant. These orchids would normally grow in trees and hanging baskets help mimic these natural conditions.
Shade plants: include ferns, these help create a cool feeling with lush green fronds.
For full sun, try growing nasturtiums or succulents.
Hanging Basket Care
One problem with this method of growing is that of overheating of the basket and growing medium. Even if moist the roots of plants do not like to be to warm. The solutions is to provide a position where the basket itself does not receive direct sunlight in the afternoon, a sheltered position is good, or use other plants to protect them.
Moisture can be problem with some plants (not all). They are a container that does tend to dry out, they are after all wafting around in the breeze and this increases evaporation.
You can use liners that help prevent evaporation, or even non porous baskets.
Water saving granules can be added, regular watering is of course the easy solution. A drip irrigation system can be used, or you can take them down every 2 – 3 weeks and give the whole basket a good soaking.
If you are going away on holidays, try placing the baskets in a cool position.
Hanging Baskets and Liners are available for sale from the following nurseries.
WISHING WELL NURSERY phone : (03) 9756 6107
407 -409 Monbulk Rd, Monbulk VIC 3793