The best plants and blooms for a beautiful hanging basket

Decorate your garden wall with only the best gorgeous blooms and plants.

Best hanging basket plants

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

If you're looking to make the most of your outdoor space, use a hanging basket and adorn it with colourful cascading flowers and trailing plants to create a beautiful and fragrant display. Perfect for beautifying the outside of your home, picking the right hanging basket plants can add different heights, dimensions, and make a spectacle of a once plain front porch, patio, or garden wall.

But what are the best hanging basket plants and how should you care for them? We've brought together a selection of our favourite plants and best buys to transform your garden and create modern and stylish floral arrangements.

Best hanging basket plants

For a burst of vibrant colour, you can’t beat a two-tone Fuchsia. This trailing mix includes the ‘Swingtime’, ‘Southgate’, ‘Dark Eyes’, ‘La Campanella’, and ‘Marinka’ varieties. Each produces huge, double blooms in both soft and bright pinks, purples, and crimsons from June to October.

Plant up your basket with a few bacopa plants and leave them to trail and wander for a stylishly understated display. Try Bacopa ‘Snowtopia’ for an almost endless cascade of blooms through from June to late autumn with its tumbling evergreen stems and smothering of snow-white flowers.

This climber looks fab in a hanging planter with an abundance of large pink-mauve flowers from July to autumn. Trail the stems to run around the basket, leaving a few to hang artfully downwards. This versatile plant can tolerate almost any position, just keep the compost well-watered throughout summer.

For a modern take, plant a mini shrub such as Euonymus Fortunei ‘Harlequin’ in the centre of your hanging basket and surround with ornamental grasses. This semi-evergreen has a beautiful mix of creamy white and green foliage with pink tinges in colder temperatures.

For blooms that come back next year, choose Impatiens or as you’ll probably know them, Busy Lizzies. Well suited to hanging baskets, this gorgeous selection of bright whites, pinks, and red flowers from May until the first frost. You’ll want to keep them in a frost-free place over winter.

Show off shapely trailing stems in a fab foliage basket. This Golden Creeping Jenny with summer-flowering cheerful, bright yellow cup-shaped flowers and golden-yellow leaves will beautifully enhance a colourful basket. It's extremely fast-growing and makes for an attractive plant all-year round.

If you're after a dazzling display, a Pelargonium, or Geranium, is a great choice with its large colourful flower heads. The 'Classic Scarlet Red’ produces intense, scarlet dome-shaped blooms that'll heat up your hanging basket, perfect for a Mediterranean feel. The flowering season is early summer through to autumn with the blooms surrounded by bushy, branching stems and attractive lush-green leaves.

Keep it simple and so very stylish by growing just one type of trailing plant in your hanging planter such as the beautiful and evergreen blue Lesser Periwinkle. With pretty, blue-violet flowers from April to September, it’ll evoke feelings of calm on your patio or front porch.

Rather than fill your hanging pot to the max, pair it with one graceful plant such as this Campanula ‘Blue Clips’. Not only will you create an elegant look, but the roots-to-compost ratio will mean it needs less watering. Result!

For fabulous, no-fuss flowers from May through to Oct-Nov, plant Petunias. Their velvety blooms will continue for months as long as you water regularly and keep snipping off the dead flowers. As with this mix, try mixing different shades of pink and purple together for a pretty-as-a-picture display.

Flowering June through to October, this bestselling Begonia produces large, cascading double blooms in a gorgeous blend of apricot and orange. They'll perform whatever the weather, in a range of light positions, and the abundant trailing habit of this variety makes them a great value plant for hanging baskets.

With flowers in an intense shade of magenta-purple, Lobelia is a wonderful choice for jazzing up your summer hanging baskets. Impressive in colour and their trailing habits, they'll flower from May through to the first frosts and look spectacular when planted with rich blues, purples, pinks and silver too.

Spice up your hanging basket with Sweet Peas. This 'Sugar n Spice’ variety has a gorgeous, unmissable fragrance with a spectacular colour range of pinks. The blooms are produced all along the short stems and from each leaf node, forming a ball of rich colour when planted in hanging baskets. Sow in October, March, and April for beautiful flowers in the summer months.

Pre-planted hanging baskets

If haven’t already got a hanging basket, why not buy a pre-planted hanging basket? This super-easy option means that you can simply hang your baskets when they arrive, just make sure you’ve got a bracket to hang them from!

Alternatively, for more decorative options you can plant yourself, check out our pick of the best hanging baskets with ideas on how to make yours look its best.

Supplied in a 25cm durable berry purple plastic hanging basket, ‘Fruit Salad’ is a warm, bright, and zingy blend of Million Bells, trailing Lobelia and trailing Verbena, chosen to co-ordinate and grow together perfectly with outstanding results in as little as six weeks.

Supplied in a 25cm durable green plastic hanging basket, ‘Sherbet Lemon' is a stunning mix of Bidens, Lobelia and Verbena giving you superb colour in your garden throughout summer. Producing endless waves of simply gorgeous flowers in shades of yellow, purple-blue, and white, you're guaranteed to get fabulous results.

Supplied in a 25cm durable green plastic hanging basket, ‘Eton Mess' is a handpicked harmony of varieties of Petunia, Calibrachoa and Verbena that blend together seamlessly. Just hang it up, water your basket, and let the blooms do their thing - expect beautiful pinks, two-tone reds, and luxurious magentas.

Hanging basket plant care advice and best buys

Buy a lofty lance

Equip your basket with a lance in place to take the chore out of watering hanging planters and you’ll do it far more often!

GARDENA Comfort Hanging Basket Spray Lance
Price: $71.14

Nourish roots

When planting, add a controlled-release fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food and a water-retention gel such as Westland Water Saving Gel to reduce the time you need to spend watering and feeding.

Reduce watering

Pop a few Reservoir Hydroballs and the included waterproof liner in the bottom of your hanging planter and they’ll slowly release water, meaning your flowers will be fine if you forget to water them for a few days.

Feed every week

It takes no more than five minutes with a specialist liquid feed such as Vitax Tub & Hanging Basket Feed and you’ll get more blooms for longer.

Pinch off faded flowers

Regularly remove flowers that are past their best and you’ll encourage plants to grow new blooms for a longer display.

Hanging basket plants FAQs

When should you plant hanging baskets?

You should plant summer hanging baskets from April onwards but make sure to keep them protected from frosts in your greenhouse until the end of May. If you don't have a greenhouse or means of keeping your planter protected, it's best to plant them in early summer when the risk of frost has passed. For winter hanging baskets, plant between September and October.

How many plants do you need in a hanging basket?

As a general rule of thumb, plant specialists Thompson & Morgan recommend using one plant per inch of basket diameter, so for a standard 30cm hanging basket, this would be about 12 plants. The only exception to this is with strong-growing plants such as Fuchsias and Geraniums, where it's best to use five plants per 30cm hanging basket.

How to plant a hanging basket?

Looking for a guide on how to plant your hanging basket to perfection? Check out this video from Garden Answers which has provided a handy guide to getting your basket started:

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