Learn five different tips on how you can create beautiful hanging flower containers that will bloom and thrive all season long.
Planting beautiful hanging flower containers is probably my very favorite thing to do in the spring. For years I would shop on Mother's Day weekend, and plant all of my planters while my hubby helped out with the kids. It was a really special treat for me, and even though my kids are now grown, I still enjoy the this inspiring and creative activity at the beginning of the season.
Tips for Creating Beautiful Hanging Flower Containers
As part of Tuesdays in The Garden, I'm sharing five tips on how I create my hanging flower containers for our "Favorite Gardening Tips" theme.
1. Which Plants to Purchase
The above gallery shows some of my favorites. They all have a nice bushy habit that trails nicely in a hanging container. Many come in a range of colors to suit your preference.
Consider whether your location will be very sunny or quite shady and explore the nursery tags to make sure you have the proper plants for the area.
Other good options are ivy geraniums, nasturtiums and sweet potato vine.
2. How to Buy Plants for Hanging Flower Containers
These rules are true for all plants.
→ Buy bushy, not leggy plants
→ Buy plants with lots of buds and only a couple of open flowers
→ Buy plants whose leaves are nice and green, not yellow or faded
→ Buy plants that do not have roots growing out of the bottom of their pot
I have broken the last rule many times, but if given the choice, I always purchase the one with no roots growing out of the bottom. This will give your container the best possible chance for a full and lush look.
3. Choosing a Container
These coconut coir lined wire containers are some of my favorites. I love the rustic look combined with the natural beauty of flowers. These also allow the plants to drain well, helping prevent root rot, which is great if you have a rainy season. They do need to be replaced every other year but you could also use plain burlap to line the containers, in a pinch.
This container is lined with Sphagnum Moss for extra rustic appeal. This material allows you to place a few flowers on the sides and perhaps the bottom of the container. For details on how to create a sphagnum moss container click here.
4. How to Plant Your Hanging Flower Containers
Make sure that you use a good potting soil. One that says it's a soilless mix is great because it will be light and airy, and allow for proper drainage, without adding extra weight. Regular potting soil is fine too. I would stay away from the ones that have moisture control as I personally have had issues with this type of potting soil.
Add a little slow release fertilizer. I usually toss in a small handful to each basket, approimately 2 tablespoons. Often this is all you need for an entire season.
When planting the container don't be afraid to fill the pot with many plants. These plants only last one season, so you don't have to worry about long term root growth. You can also try setting some plastic nursery containers or empty water bottles crushed up in the bottom to take up space. I usually do this for larger pots on the ground, but if you have a large hanging planter this trick works well.
Start in the middle and fill in around the first plant. You can even tilt the plants around the edge to allow them to quickly start trailing over the side.
Plant several of the same plant for a pretty monochromatic look, or mix it up with different flowers and colors for a more casual cottage look.
5 Ongoing Care and Maintenance
I like to water every third day, skipping when it rains. If we are having an unusually hot summer, I may water daily. Make sure you water well. This means watering until you see water running out through the bottom of the container. If you miss a few days and your plant is really dry, consider dunking it in a tub or baby pool of water for several minutes, to help it perk up.
Deadheading and Sprucing
Most of these plants do not require dead heading, but by the middle or late summer these plants sometimes can benefit from a haircut. Shearing them back about 1/3 of the growth will help them spring back to life.
Creating beautiful hanging flower containers is not a difficult task. In fact, if you are a flower lover this can be one of the most rewarding gardening projects you undertake that will give you pleasure all season long.