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