Foliage Plants for Hanging Baskets

Updated July 19, 2017

When selecting plants for a hanging basket, don't neglect to take the plant's foliage into consideration. In many cases, the foliage will remain long after the flowers have faded. Many plants have attractive foliage ideal for a hanging basket. Make sure you plant a variety that thrives in your area and only combine plants with similar growing requirements.


The leaves of coleus are as bright and vibrant as any flower, growing in variegated combinations of green, red, burgundy, pink and purple. Coleus will grow to 3 feet, trailing over the sides of your hanging basket. Except in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 and 11, coleus is usually grown as an annual. Coleus requires partial sun and well-drained, moist soil. Although coleus does flower, the flowers are dull compared to coleus' foliage. According to the University of Florida, pinching off the flower spikes will encourage your coleus to produce more leaves.

Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

Although ornamental sweet potato vine produces thick, fleshy roots like the edible sweet potato, according to Floridata, it doesn't taste as good. Ornamental sweet potato vine leaves are large and can be a pale yellowish-green, dark purple-almost black, or a variegated green and white with pink edging. These vines can be used as a ground cover but do wonderfully spilling out of a hanging basket. Although Ornamental sweet potato vine produces flowers, the vines are grown for their foliage. Ornamental sweet potato vine will grow from full sun to partial shade and is a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11 and grown as an annual elsewhere.

English Ivy

Known to be invasive planted on the ground, English ivy makes a perfect accent plant when planted in a hanging basket. Varieties of English ivy, such as Glacier, have variegated dark green, creamy ivory and greyish-green leaves. English Ivy prefers partial sun and moist, well-drained soil. This plant is an evergreen perennial that will add colour to your garden year around. English Ivy grows from USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10. This plant can be moved indoors in the winter or even grown as a houseplant.

Trailing Begonia

Begonias come in many shapes, sizes and colours. The trailing begonia grows similar in habit to a vine, trailing down over the side of a container. The heart-shaped leaves can be solid green, variegated in shades of green or even pink and cream. Begonias prefer partial shade and well-drained soil. As trailing begonias have a shallow root system, according to the American Begonia Society, over watering can result in damage to the plant. Trailing begonia is an annual except in USDA hardiness zone 11.

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About the Author

Shawna Kennedy has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. She's published numerous articles online and two of her edited manuscripts have been contracted and published by Random House.