A hanging basket of colourful flowers can brighten up any porch or deck. However, some flowers, such as those blossoms that trail down from a container are more suited than others for growing in hanging baskets. When choosing flowers for hanging baskets, it’s important to consider the purpose, colour and design of the flowers, as well as sunlight needed for growth. According to an article in “Ideal Home Magazine,” the six top flowers used in hanging baskets are fuchsias, impatiens, lobelias, pelargoniums, petunias and clematis.
Flowers trailing down and covering a basket can look as if they’re growing suspended in the air. Begonias, which come in several varieties such as the large carnation-like blooms of the fringed begonias, are excellent for hanging baskets. Other types of trailing flowers for hanging baskets include impatiens and hanging peach melbas with orange and peach blooms. Fuchsias, lobelias, campanulas and verbenas also work well as trailing flowers.
Flowers that grow thick and bushy into a ball-shaped sphere can cover a hanging basket so all you see are the flowers. These flowers, which grow up, down and sideways, are best displayed in a wire basket that includes material for holding the flowers in place. By pinching off spent blooms, new growth is encouraged, creating even more thickness. Examples of bushy flowers ideal for growing into round shapes include clematis flowers, impatiens and some lobelias.
Upright Growing Flowers
Flowers that grow upright in a basket add height and draw the eye upward. Interesting effects can be made by planting contrasting flowers, such as planting a trailing flower as the lobelia next to an upright geranium. Some popular flowers that grow upright include petunias, geraniums, begonias and verbenas.
Annuals for Hanging Baskets
Annual flowers provide quick colour and are affordable, besides being easy to grow. Some common annuals used in hanging baskets are million bells (Calibrachoas), bidens, scaevolas, bacopas and trailing verbenas. Adding several different types of plants from seedlings into the same basket adds variety. To create a more rounded look, the tallest plants should be in the centre with smaller and trailing plants on the container’s edge.
Flowers Attracting Birds
Sometimes flowers are grown in hanging baskets to attract songbirds. Besides the beauty of the flowers, homeowners can enjoy watching and listening to birds sing. Flowers such as sunflowers, bachelor buttons, daisies, snapdragons and four o’clocks are known for drawing songbirds. Hummingbirds are drawn to hanging baskets containing flowers such as cardinal flowers, hostas, impatiens and coral honeysuckles.
Tips and Considerations
Hanging baskets that are densely planted with flowers may need to be watered daily, especially in warm summer months. However, caution should be used not to over water as too much water flushes out needed nutrients from the soil. When this occurs, the flowers should be fertilised more often.