How to plant a hanging basket – transform your garden with this pretty outdoor accessory

Gardening gloves at the ready...
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Hanging baskets are a stunning way to display a variety of plants. They make a real statement in the garden and will add plenty of colour and interest.

    Related: Garden trends 2019 – we reveal the key looks and must-haves for your garden

    Sarah Squire from Squire’s Garden Centres reveals how to bring colour to your garden courtesy of this easy-to-pot flower/plant arrangement.

    hanging basket

    Image credit: Mark Scott

    Planting a hanging basket – what do I need to get started?

    Head to your local garden centre and add the following items to your basket, you may already have some to hand in your potting shed.

    • Lined hanging basket (the bigger the better)
    • Terracotta pot or bucket
    • Scissors
    • Multipurpose compost
    • A selection of plants
    • A strong wall bracket that can take the weight of the basket and its watered contents

    Hanging basket plants – what are the best choices?

    Choose a mix of trailing and upright plants – geraniums, begonias and sweet peas and petunias work well. Petunias and and trailing lobelia will make a grand statement on your front porch. Keep baskets in a greenhouse or sheltered spot until any danger of late frosts has passed.

    Planting a hanging basket – a step-by-step guide

    hanging basket

    Image credit: Amateur Gardening

    1. Prepare your basket

    Place your basket in a terracotta pot or on a bucket to stabilise it while you work. Snip a few holes in the liner, which can be plastic, moss, coir or jute, to let water drain out. This also allows you to plant trailing plants around the sides through the liner.

    2. Start with compost

    Using a trowel or flower pot, half-fill the basket with multipurpose compost.

    3. Get planting

    Put the largest, most dramatic plant in the centre of the basket, such as a fuchsia or geranium, to create structure and impact.

    4. Add trailing plants

    Place three or four trailing plants evenly around the sides. Angle them slightly, but ensure that the roots are still covered by the compost.

    5. Fill in the spaces

    Flowering plants such as verbenas and small petunias make good fillers. Try planting ivy near the chain and weave it around to give the effect that the ivy is supporting the basket. Fill with more compost and firm gently.

    6. Hang it up

    Affix the wall bracket according to instructions and position your basket in a sunny spot sheltered from wind and water well. Feed and water regularly. If you plan to go away, plant baskets with a moisture-absorbing compost that retains twice as much water as ordinary compost.

    7. Give it a helping hand

    Help plants put all their energy into establishing roots by pinching off early flowers. Once the plants are larger you can let them bloom.

    Where to buy hanging baskets

    hanging basket

    Image credit: Claire Richardson

    You can buy hanging baskets from all good garden centres including retailers such as B&Q, Wilko and Homebase. The Range, B&M as well as supermarkets such as Lidl, and Waitrose & Partners (online), also stock a variety of hanging baskets.

    When to buy hanging baskets

    You can plant summer hanging baskets from April, but make sure to protect your plants from frost. If this isn’t possible, wait until late May or early June. With today’s unpredictable weather patterns you will have to use your instinct to gauge when during this three month period is the best time to embark on your hanging basket project.

    Related: How to plant climbing roses, clematis, jasmine and other plants

    Will you opt for a hanging basket in your outdoor space?

    All the latest from Ideal Home