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Whats the secret to beautiful hanging baskets ?

marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

Every year I plant up 14" hanging baskets using a selection of trailing plants. Now, whilst I'm happy with the results I'm not exactly blown away with the display, which IMO is rather mediocre. I feed at the recommended dose with miracle-gro, water regularly and dead-head.

Is there something I'm not doing or is there a secret I don't know about ??



  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I also have this problem and I have been told a few solutions, which I am consideringimage although watering has always been my downfall

    1. Buy in plants that are fully grown and put in twice as many as you would in a planter.----expensive

    2. Go for more blousey flowers that you may not normally consider.

    3. Plant your basket up early but keep it in a heated greenhouse-----no greenhouseimage

    I am not sure if this helps but I am sure someone will offer some good advise soon.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Thankyou Kate image

  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    marshmello - can I ask what plants you have used before and what type of baskets?

    Pam x

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    There are really only a very few rules for great hanging bakets, but you do need to follow them for the best results. I have found:

    1) Use as many plants as you can stuff in them, and then a few more.  Ensure you do get good trailing plants with a good central unpright one.  I use around 20 plants for a 16 inch basket.   Buy 'em small and let them fight over root space, they will manage, they're only going to be there for a season.

    2) Plant them up and keep them indoors until they are growing well - I have a small cool greenhouse and hang the baskets from the roof for about 6 weeks before they go out.  I have a friend who hangs them in her bathroom ......... old house, wooden beams.

    3) Feed and water far more than you imagine needful.  Use some loam compost and vermicuite in the mixture to give the basket weight and ability to hold on to the water.

    4) Deadhead, daily, twice a day in high summer (if we get one). 

    5) If it rains, take them down and put them out in the rain, they will do better for that than any watering you can do.  If it is very windy, take them down anyway or they will end up ratty looking, it rarely lasts so long here.

    6) Enjoy them, they can be stunning if well done. 

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    @lilylouise - in my wicker baskets, I've used million bells, petunia, verbena, diascia etc etc. I think when using wicker, the wicker is part of the display, so the plants don't really need to grow so dense as to hide it.

    In my wire baskets I've tryed planting round the sides, in the top, underneath using mainly trailing petunia but I can't get my displays to look like the displays in the following link. @Bookertoo, perhaps the problem is I'm not putting in enough plants because I feed, water, and deadhead.

    Is it possible to have baskets like these ???

  • I use easyfill hanging baskets. They really do make it easier. They can be bought on shopping channels or e bay.


    Here are some baskets I planted up in January which I think still look good.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Bev Pounsett-krynauw your baskets look so neat and like perfectly formed balls.

    Very nice, they do still look good !!image

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Yes, but these are grown in rather forced conditions by professional growers.  I do wonder sometimes if they have access to composts or feeds that we amateurs don't?

    The ones you see at garden shows for example, never hang outside as we would want ours to do, they are grown indoors, pampered and touched up every day - most of us cannot do that so it is a weighted competion really.

    I think Bev pk's baskets are great, mine would be shredded here if out since January, so I concentrate on summer ones.  I do agree about wicker covered baskets, that the wicker forms part of the display, but you still need plenty of plants to soften them and make them look good. 

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Thankyou Bookertoo you've given me some very good advice which makes a lot of sense.

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    I have a recipe I found a few years ago in GW magazine and I follow it more or less.:

    35cm basket 3 tall upright in centre; 3 medium upright in middle; 5 trailing. Sometimes I put an extra one in middle. I do not plant around underneath as water just seems to fall through, If I did it would be 5 extra trailing plants.

    Incidently this year i've put a pot tray in base of basket before compost to hold moisture better. Waiting to see if it works.

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