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How to Plant a Hanging Basket

By: Stephanie Polsley Bruner
Growing plants in a hanging basket isn’t difficult. But follow these simple tips to make sure you get the best out of your basket.

Tips for planting a hanging basket

Planting a hanging basket isn’t so different from planting a regular container. But because they are often shallower than standing pots, and are placed in different locations, they have slightly different needs. Here are a few tips to help you plant them up.

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Cutaway of a planted hanging basket

Line the hanging basket

Two popular lining options for hanging baskets are coconut-fiber liners or long-fiber sphagnum moss.

Coconut-fiber liner

Coconut-fiber liners are preshaped and come in different sizes. They’re quick and easy, and can be reused for several years.

Sphagnum moss liner

Sphagnum moss gives a softer, more rustic look. You can buy it loose in bags or as preformed liners. If you use loose moss, you’ll have to dampen it and pack it into place. Preformed liners just need to be moistened to plump up. The photo above shows the natural look of sphagnum moss.

Plastic liner

Hanging baskets dry out quickly. To slow this down, punch holes in a piece of plastic, like the white garbage can liner in the photo. Use it to line the basket before you add potting mix. The plastic will prevent the basket’s liner from leaching water from the potting mix too quickly. Another idea is to tuck a plastic hanging basket inside a moss-lined one, and use mulch to hide the edge of the plastic pot.

Hanging Basket Accesories:
Hanging Flower Baskets with Natural Coconut Liner
Orbit Watering Wand
Round Coco Fiber Hanging Basket Liners
Shepherds Hooks 48-Inch

Plant your hanging basket with the right soil mix

Once your liner is in place, fill the basket with potting mix. If it doesn't have slow-release fertilizer on the ingredients list, it's a good idea to add your own and mix it together thoroughly. This will keep your plants healthy and blooming all season. You can also use a few scoops of compost. It helps absorb and hold moisture and adds nutrients but does make baskets a little heavier, so if weight is a concern, just stick with the slow-release fertilizer.

Keep hanging baskets well-watered

You’ll need to water your baskets often, especially during hot weather so don’t fill the baskets to the top with soil. Leave an inch or two of space to allow water to soak in, instead of running off the surface.

Add a layer of mulch

Finally, finish off your hanging basket with a layer of mulch, to help retain moisture and prevent precious water from splashing out and all over you. Your container will stay moist and look tidy.

Published: May 15, 2018
Updated: May 12, 2022
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