Plant a Hanging Flower Basket in 5 Easy Steps
Add color to nearly any space by designing and planting hanging flower baskets brimming with gorgeous blooms and foliage.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
How to Create a Hanging Flower Basket
To display a lot of color in a small space, look up. Hanging baskets can expand your garden and add vertical interest to decks, patios and porches. Building your own hanging flower baskets is fun and offers more options, says Brooke Edmunds, a community horticulturist with Oregon State University.
Here’s how to make your own showstopping hanging flower baskets from start to finish!
Discover easy plants you can grow in containers.
1. Choose Your Hanging Basket Container
Hanging baskets and containers come in many sizes and styles. Select a basket material that’s lightweight, such as wire, plastic, wicker or peat.
“You can get creative and reuse something, too,” says Brooke. Metal watering cans, colanders and other containers can also work if they have drainage holes or if you add them yourself. Clean out your clutter with 28 recycled garden ideas.
When picking the container size, keep in mind what you plan on growing. A basket that’s too small for your plants requires more watering and pruning. For larger plants with deep root systems, a bigger basket offers more depth and soil surface. Baskets with open sides will allow you to plant along the sides.
2. Add a Hanging Basket Liner
Brooke suggests burlap to hold in soil. Plastic containers with drainage trays do the trick, too. “You can also use sphagnum moss, which comes in sheets, although it can sometimes get a bit messy,” says Brooke.
Soak your moss in water before packing it into the basket, she suggests. Another option is Supamoss, made of recycled cotton fibers attached to thin plastic with small holes to let water drain.
For larger baskets, you can overlap two rectangular liners, which slow the water seeping out of the basket while keeping soil from washing out.
3. Select Potting Soil
Never fill hanging baskets with soil from your garden, warns Brooke. “It’s heavy and you risk potentially bringing pests or a disease into your hanging basket,” she says. Be sure to use good quality, lightweight potting soil, she advises. Can you reuse potting soil in planters?
Leave an inch of space between the soil and the top of the container to allow room for watering. Check the label instructions on when to add slow-release fertilizer. Find the best potting soil for every type of plant.
4. Pick Flowers for Your Hanging Basket
Check how big your plants will get before choosing how many to put in your basket, says Brooke. If you use too many, they won’t thrive, and too few will look sparse. Also pay attention to how much light the basket will get.
She says, “I want to make sure the plants are going to survive and look great. Fuchsias are a good choice for shade and petunias or million bells can handle more sun, and they fill out baskets very well.”
5. Water Your Hanging Flower Basket
Give your completed basket an initial soaking, then water it regularly for gorgeous blooms all growing season. Keep in mind that small containers dry out more quickly than garden beds, especially in hot weather.
Next, experienced gardeners share their best container garden ideas.