Best hanging plants for hanging baskets: 12 beautiful ideas


Choose the best trailing plants for hanging baskets to create a cascading and romantic effect.

Trailing plants are some of the best plants for hanging baskets and should always be included when deciding how to plant a hanging basket – otherwise your attention will be on the side of the container rather than the plants.

They are also wonderful cottage garden ideas, providing a charming feel when they fall over the side of the baskets, adding interest to the vertical space.

Trailing plants are one of the three central elements of hanging basket design – thriller, spill, and filler. For a hanging basket to be successful, there must be plants that “overflow” the sides, as well as “suspension” plants and more subtle “filler varieties”.

However, trailing plants can be used on their own to create an incredibly simple hanging basket.

Best Hanging Plants for Hanging Baskets

The best hanging plants for hanging baskets will always be those that are suited to their position and your local climate.

Check your region USDA hardiness zone, and choose trailing plants that will grow well in your area. However, some perennials can be grown as annuals in colder climates or brought indoors during the winter.

Be sure to provide the right conditions for your chosen trailing plants for hanging baskets by observing whether the plants require full sun or partial shade. Only combine them with other plants that grow in the same conditions.

Don’t forget that hanging baskets aren’t just for summer. In addition to evergreen varieties, there are wonderful winter hanging basket ideas to brighten up your garden during the colder months of the year.

1. Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Black-eyed Susan

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“Black-eyed Susan vine is a great, fast-growing option when you’re looking to fill a hanging basket in the yard, on a porch, or even a sunny balcony,” says Rebecca Sears, chief gardening guru for the seed brand. and Ferry Morse plants. .

The vine is known for its impressive, bright climbing flowers that are orange, yellow, buff or white in color with dark centers.

“An added benefit is that it will attract butterflies to your space throughout its bloom from summer through fall.”

This tender perennial is usually grown as an annual, although you can overwinter it in a greenhouse. It needs full sun to thrive.

2. Ivy

Ivy trailing over the sides of a hanging basket

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“English ivy is a simple and strong choice for hanging baskets, providing lush, glossy green foliage whether indoors or outdoors,” says Marjory Wildcraft, founder of The Growth Network.

“It’s beautiful but also demands no attention – perfect for complementing the aesthetic of an existing garden or room.”

Fortunately, ivy is easy to care for: “Just don’t overwater it or give it too much sun – it doesn’t need that either.

However, don’t let it spread beyond your baskets onto walls and trees, as ivy can be invasive and damage other plants.

3. Lobelia

blue lobelia

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Although there are more upright varieties of lobelia available, it is the trailing species that make stunning additions to hanging baskets.

“Lobelia is a beautiful flowering option that usually comes in purple or white,” says Lisa Whittlesey, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

The plants are native to South Africa and are semi-hardy annuals, but are easy to grow from seed if you get a head start on your hanging basket planning.

4. Strawberries

Strawberries trailing over the side of a hanging basket

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If you like the idea of ​​an edible hanging basket, strawberries are ideal. “Strawberries make a decent bid for the perfect hanging basket crop,” says Alex Mitchell, author of Crops in tight spaces.

One of the main issues when deciding how to grow strawberries in the ground is protecting them from slugs and snails. So growing them in hanging baskets solves the problem.

“To have strawberries to pick for as long as possible, why not grow three hanging baskets each planted with varieties that ripen at different times throughout the summer?” adds Mitchell.

Feed the hanging strawberries with tomato fortnightly once the fruit begins to form. Make sure you know how to winterize strawberry plants to bring them back.

5. Creeping Jenny

Green and Yellow Crawling Jenny

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“Creeping Jenny is a great trailing plant that will pop out of the basket with an abundance of beautiful lime green foliage,” says Whittlesey.

It is also an evergreen perennial, adding a splash of color to the garden all year round. Although grown for its lush foliage, the plant also produces small yellow flowers.

Grow Creeping Jenny in full sun to partial shade. It grows quickly and when planted in the garden can take over, so keep it in shape with annual pruning.

6. Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes trailing over the sides of the hanging basket

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If you want to add to your vegetable garden ideas, tomatoes are one of the best trailing plants for hanging baskets.

You should choose an appropriate trailing cherry variety, such as Tumbling Tom, Tumbler, Cherry Falls, or Gartenperle.

When growing tomatoes in a hanging basket, plant them the same way as non-edible plants, but feed them weekly with liquid tomato food.

“They’ll soon be loaded with fruit, quickly filling the container and trailing nicely down the sides,” says Mitchell. “They’re also much easier to grow than the cordon or vine types because you don’t have to pull out the side shoots, just water and feed them.”

Other crops suitable for hanging baskets include raspberries, herbs and young salad leaves.

7. Tradescantia zebrina

Tradescantia zebrina in suspension

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“Tradescantia zebrina plants add a fun splash of color to your hanging basket, with a vibrant purple color striped with shimmering silver,” says Erinn Witz, co-founder of Seeds and shovels.

Not only are these remarkable plants evergreen, but they are also capable of flowering at any time of the year.

Tradescantia zebrina prefers a sheltered location, making them one of the best trailing plants for hanging baskets, and they are also very easy to care for.

“Place your plant in direct sunlight and water when the top 2-3 inches of soil feels dry when you insert your finger into the soil,” adds Witz.

‘Fertilize twice a month during the spring and summer months.’

8. Fuchsia

Fuchsias trailing down the sides of the wicker hanging basket

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With their exotic flowers, fuchsias are one of the best hanging plants for hanging baskets.

“Alluring flowers bloom all summer long from these mesmerizing plants,” says Nikita, founder of Mit town farm. ‘Fuchsias have wonderful trailing varieties like ‘Purple Rain’ or ‘White King’ that easily fill a basket with beautiful blooms.

“If you’re unsure of which particular variety to choose, pre-selected mixes are also available, such as the Fuchsia ‘Gian Flowered Collection’ with truly stunning blooms.”

Fuchsias are semi-hardy, hardy hanging plants that can be placed in a frost-free area during winters and will regrow the following year. In cold climates, you will need to know how to overwinter fuchsias.

9. Trailing Geraniums

Hanging red geraniums

(Image credit: Pelargonium for Europe)

Trailing geraniums, such as the ivy-leaved varieties, are perfect for hanging baskets as they cascade over the edge of the container, providing a beautiful display of color.

Hardy perennials, geraniums are easy to care for. They are closely related to pelargoniums, which are more tender, so usually grown as annuals. However, they are easy to propagate if you know how to take plant cuttings.

Besides the classic red, geraniums come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, and purple.

Place trailing geraniums in a sunny location and continue watering in hot weather.

10. Spider Plant

Spider plant in a hanging basket

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“With a mass of fine leaves, spider plants create a lovely rounded shape to your hanging basket, and they also produce miniature seedlings that look like spiders – hence the name!” says Witz

Spider plants are low maintenance tropical plants that can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 9-11 or indoors as houseplants.

“It’s a plant that thrives on neglect,” adds Witz. “Water once the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry and place your plant in bright, indirect light. If all you have is partial shade, your spider plant will grow slower but still look great.

Fertilize 1-2 times per month in spring and summer.

11. Petunias

Hanging purple petunias

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“Petunias are beautiful annuals that are widely available in white, yellow, pink, purple, and red selections,” says Whittlesey. “They are also available in single and double petal types.”

Petunias are tender plants, so they can’t stand frost at all. You can grow your own from seed or invest in plug plants, but be sure to choose a trailing variety rather than an upright one.

While these cheerful blooms aren’t difficult to care for, you should know how to trim dead petunias to maximize blooms.

They need full sun and fertile soil to thrive.

12. Donkey Tail

Donkeytail Succulent Hanging Basket

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For something a little different, try a succulent like burro tail, which has distinctive trailing stems that are best displayed in a hanging basket.

“Burros Tail is a climbing succulent that requires very little maintenance,” says Nikita.

“It has a sturdy stem that is surrounded by leaves that appear to be braided around it.”

This Mexican native plant thrives in full sun and is drought resistant, so it’s perfectly happy if you only water it sparingly.

How to make a hanging hanging basket?

To make a trailing hanging basket, you need to plant the trailing plants around the edge, so that they grow outward and spill over the side of the basket.

If you’re lining your basket with a liner made from natural materials like coir, it’s a good idea to drill holes in the liner and tuck the plants in there so they can grow through.

Use a sharp knife and make two rows of holes in larger baskets. Fill the soil to the bottom of the holes and gently insert the plants. Wrap them tightly in compost around them to make sure they stay in place safely. You can then plant the top layer of your hanging basket.


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