What To Plant In A Hanging Basket Or Tub

What To Plant In A Hanging Basket or Tub

Hanging baskets are the ideal answer to bringing in a colourful welcome to your abode and can be placed in even the smallest of outdoor spaces, on balconies, porchways or even in the greenhouse. It’s really simple to make your own hanging basket and fill it with flowers, strawberries, herbs or tomatoes to enjoy this summer. Make sure you use a suitable liner such as coir or if it’s a small basket, use moss, and then fill with peat free compost. Follow our handy planting guide this summer and bring the joy of colour and edimentals through the year.

What are the best flowers to put in a hanging basket?

For the middle of your basket, we recommend a ‘centre piece’ such as an upright Geranium which come in various shades of pink, reds and whites. Alternatively, you could choose a ‘Nonstop’ Begonia which is an upright variety and this would make a great focal point for a basket or tub.

Surrounding the central plant, we recommend a maximum of six other plants as they will all fill out to create a full basket in just a manner of weeks.

Use a trailing Geranium so it will trail all the way over the edge or Petunias are always a firm favourite – they will also trail over and all you need to do is deadhead the flowers to prolong it to make a real showstopper. If Petunias aren’t your preference, you might consider a lovely ‘Illumination’ Begonia, again it will cascade over the basket and you will get masses of lovely flowers. These like a bit of shade but they’re very easy to look after and there’s lots of colours to choose from, yellows, pinks, whites etc. Another favourite is Verbena which comes in lots of different colours and are a drought tolerant plant if we have a particularly hot season. Once one flower is finished all you need to do is trace it back to the adjoining stem, snip it off and it will keep going all summer.

Fillers you could choose from would be Brachyscombe – a lovely cascading daisy which come in a white or a pale blue/lilac colour or Bacopa, which also comes in white or pale lilac. Another absolute must is Calibrachoa (used to be known as Million Bells) as it has a very pretty flower and will fill your basket with an abundance of cascading blooms. Bidens are a vigorous upright flower and are especially good at attracting pollinators to the plants.

What else can I grow in a hanging basket?

Hanging baskets don’t have to just be pretty, they can be functional too and help to save your food shop bill by growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables.

If you have a hanging basket near the kitchen, fill it with a variety of herbs such as a central Rosemary plant as this will grow tall, surrounded by Sage, Marjoram and creeping Thyme to trail over the edges. You could even add in some salad leaves, which, with regular cutting, will reproduce all summer long! Baskets and tubs are the ideal vessel for Mint to keeps it contained as it is a particularly invasive plant when put in the ground.

Mint, Chives, Borage or Sage can be used as companion plants when paired with some Strawberries and they will also help to deter the slugs. We would recommend a maximum of three strawberry plants in one basket.

Combine Tumbling Tomatoes and Basil in a hanging basket as this companion planting will help deter pests from seeking out the tasty tomatoes and provide you with a delicious Mediterranean salad in seconds!

The real success to a fantastic hanging basket is to take good care of it as time passes. Feed it with a tomato fertiliser (that is high in potash and good for producing flowers) every 10-14 days and it will keep those plants blooming. Watering is the most important part; it is essential that the basket or tub doesn’t dry out. Evenings are the best time to water, giving the plants plenty of time to drink up before the sun arrives again and if we have especially hot weather, watering twice a day is the only solution. Remember, wind will also dry your basket out so try to keep them sheltered as much as possible.

There really are no ‘rules’ to planting a hanging basket, the traditional flower route brings stunning displays or perhaps it’s time to try something new and freshen it up with a new approach. Either way, Happy planting!