A hanging basket filled with flowers adds instant colour to decks, porches and patios. Purple is often associated with spirituality, and in feng shui, baskets of purple flowers are suggested to promote physical and spiritual healing. Look for plants that are already beginning to bloom to make sure you get the colour you want.
Fuchsias look dramatic dangling over the edge of a basket. Flowers come in both single and double types, and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar. Use weeping varieties for the best effect in hanging baskets, and hang them where they will get a few hours of sun every day. In the heat of summer, watch for declining flowers and droopy foliage which indicates that they need a little more shade. Fuchsias are difficult to keep indoors because they need high humidity.
Lobelia performs best in spring and fall baskets because the plants decline in the heat of summer. Lobelia only grow 4 to 9 inches tall, and is sometimes used as an edging around taller plants in large baskets. Both upright and trailing types are available, and the trailing types look best in hanging baskets. They need at least four hours of sun every day, and less in the heat of summer. The flowers attract butterflies.
Morning glories produce long cascades of flowers from late spring until frost. They are undemanding plants, but they need full sun. The 2 1/2-inch flowers close in the evening and open again in the morning. Feeding them with fertiliser will result in lush green foliage and very few flowers. Pick off spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Morning glories attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Achimenes has several common names including Cupid's bow, magic flower, orchid pansy, mother's tears, widow's tears and hot water plant. Achimenes is a relative of the African violet, and it performs well as an indoor plant with bright but indirect light. It blooms profusely from late spring until fall, and the 1- to 3-inch diameter flowers are similar in shape to petunias. Use a potting soil designed for African violets and kept it moist but not waterlogged. The fuzzy foliage develops spots when it gets wet, so water from the bottom if possible.
Heliotrope is a good plant for indoor hanging baskets because it does well in filtered light. It needs afternoon shade when taken outdoors. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall in baskets. The showy clusters of tiny violet flowers have a sweet fragrance, and bloom from summer until fall.
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