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Hanging Baskets Made Easy

28 Aug, 2021

Stunning and delightful when done properly, hanging baskets are easy but can go wrong sometimes. Especially in the deeply harsh depths of our fairly dry summer where a lack of water will often turn the plants in your basket into dry desiccated dead things. But they are also easy to get right. Here are some handy hints that may just help.

Getting Ready

Before going too far it's worth remembering that you generally need to be able to keep your basket cool, moist, and well-fed. Due to the increased airflow and drainage, the potting mix in a hanging basket will dry out quicker than an ordinary pot and is harder to keep cool.


So to help, here are a few points worth remembering when selecting the materials and plants to make up your basket.

Size Matters

It is definitely possible to create gorgeous displays in small baskets, however it's easier to keep the plants happy in a bigger basket. There is more soil to hold moisture, a lower surface area to soil ratio. So to make things easier, use bigger baskets where possible.

Keeping it Moist

Saturaid can also be bought separately, and unlike water crystals can be sprinkled onto the top of potting mix and watered in.


Sphagnum moss is also a great resource. It can be pressed against the coconut liner or mixed through the soil, and will absorb and then slowly release an impressive amount of water.


Positioning your baskets so that they are shaded through the hottest part of the afternoon can also help slow down any drying out of the soil.

Choosing the Right Mix

This depends on what type of plants you are growing in your basket.


Cacti and Succulents

Use a free draining mix such as Kings Potting Mix or Yates Cacti and Succulent Mix. Unlike most other plants they like it dry. A mix that retains too much moisture will often cause the plants to rot. Which makes them a great choice if you are not particularly good at watering.


Everything Else

Use a mix that will hold moisture. To make it really easy, a premium potting mix such as Tui Pot Power is great. It contains a 9 month slow release fertiliser and Saturaid, a soil wetter made from coconut fibre that swells up, which increases the water holding capacity of the soil.

Plants

There are heaps and heaps of different plants that will look great in a basket, from the range of flowers that you'll regularly see to cacti, succulents and even edibles.


To get a really full look it's often worth planting fairly upright plants in the middle, with some sprawling plants round the side, which will cascade down.


At this time of the year petunias, snapdragons, alyssum, lobelia, and marigolds all look great. But for more planting ideas, including some edibles and perennials that look stunning in hanging baskets check out the list at the end of this article.

Making Your Basket

Step One

Fill your Basket with potting mix. For all plants except cacti and succulents mix Saturaid or Magic Moss to the potting mix.

Step Two

Make a hole to plant into. Gently remove the plant from its pot and then firm up the soil around it. Plant taller plants in the middle, and then place smaller plants that are likely to trail, around the edge of the hanging basket.

Step Three

Add potting mix and firm up around all your plants. Then water in.

Care

Feeding

Most mixes will contain a slow release fertiliser. However, with the exception of cacti and succulents, most plants will need some supplementary feeding. Use either Kings Fast Food Fertiliser, or Aquaticus Organic Garden Booster for an organic option.


Ongoing Maintenance

Deadhead spent flowers and replace annual plants after they have passed their best. Many perennial plants need to be cut back periodically to ensure that they don't begin to look tired.

Our Top Plants for Hanging Baskets

Annuals

Alyssum
Bacopa
Cineraria Silver Dust
Dianthus
Gazania
Lobelia
Marigold
Petunias
Polyanthus
Primulas
Snapdragon
Stock
Viola


Perennials

Bacopa
Begonia
Calibrachoa
Cineraria
Heliotrope
Ivy Geraniums
Ice Plants
Perennial Petunias
Pelargoniums
Plectranthus
Portulaca
Fuchsia
Nemesia
Spanish Shawl


Edibles

Basil
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary Prostrata
Strawberries
Thyme
Tumbling Tomatoes
Viola


Cacti & Succulents

Crassula spp.
Echeveria
Rhipsalis spp.
Sedum

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