Illinois, Iowa and Pennsylvania fall in USDA hardiness zone 5, where temperatures occasionally fall between minus-28.9 degrees Celsius and minus-23.3 degrees Celsius. When adding plants to a zone 5 hanging basket or container, select varieties naturally adaptable to the lowest temperature so they produce healthy and long-lasting blooms.
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Coreopsis, or tickseed, is a wide genus that includes different annuals and perennials suitable to a variety of garden settings. Belonging to the daisy/aster family, the single or double blooms feature pink, red, white and yellow petals surrounding a maroon or dark brown centre. Many shorter varieties of Coreopsis grandiflora are suitable for hanging baskets in full to medium sun and well-drained, slightly dry soil. The low-maintenance flower thrives in USDA hardiness zone 4 through 9 and blooms from June to September in a variety of shades. Deadheading spent blooms prolongs flowering and encourages thicker growth.
A standard in cottage gardens, the common snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) performs well in hanging baskets in zone 5 provided it receives full sunlight and well-drained soil. Belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family, the annual provides winter colour and vertical height to a hanging basket when planted in isolation or grouped with shorter upright or trailing plants. Plants grow between 5 inches to 4 feet tall, depending on the variety selected, with blooms in all shades except true blue.
Early-blooming asters decorate a hanging basket with star-shaped flower heads that appear in a variety of colours, including pink, blue and purple. The 1- to 1 1/2-inch-wide North American daisy-like flowers feature narrow petals surrounding a disclike centre. The hardy blooms appear from late summer to late fall to add a decorative touch to the container. Select the variety blue star Japanese for white blooms or blue woods for purple-blue flowers. Asters prefer a sunny spot and well-draining, slightly dry soil.
A showy, popular annual that thrives in all USDA hardiness zones, begonia (Begonia x argenteogutta) features single or double blooms in a variety of shades including white, pink and purple. The low-growing plant livens up a hanging basket during the summer. Popular varieties for indoor and outdoor baskets include fireball cascading, peach Melba and fragrant cascading. Avoid irrigating the shade-tolerant plants at night as it increases the risk of fungal disease.
Also known as milk flower, snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are popular, frost-tolerant, hardy perennial bulbs that decorate a hanging basket with dangling 1-inch-long white blooms attached to the top of a 3- to 4-inch-long narrow stem. Snowdrops thrive in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7 in full sun to partial shade.
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