A hanging basket can brighten up your front porch, patio or any other location in your garden for that matter.  It allows you to mix some of your favorite plants together and with each growing season bringing new varieties of plants it is easy to find a combination that will fit any growing environment.  

These are our 9 favorite plants for hanging baskets:

Bidens

Bidens are small, sun-loving flowers that look lovely cascading over the side of a hanging basket or container. This annual flower comes in a variety of colors including yellow, pink, white, red, and orange and newer varieties even include patterns. Bidens are prolific bloomers and a dose of fertilizer each month will keep them blooming all season long. Plant them in well-drained soil and once they have been established they are drought tolerant. The plant is hardy for zones 8-11.

Calibrachoa

These flowers look like small petunias and are also called Million Bells. Calibrachoa are low-maintenance and are so pretty tumbling out of a hanging basket.  This plant comes in just about every color and there are also are bi-colored varieties too. You are sure to be able to find any color combination that can include this flower. Plant them in well-drained soil with organic matter. The plant is drought tolerant but needs regular watering during particularly dry periods. Hardy in zones 9-11 it is an annual everywhere else.

Coleus

Hanging baskets don’t always have to always be about the flowers.  Coleus are annuals whose foliage comes in many different shapes and colors. The last few years have introduced many new varieties of this plant that look fantastic mixed together or combined with flowers. These plants are easy to grow and long lasting. Many coleus plants can tolerate the morning sun but the colors will be richer in a shaded area.  Make sure to water this plant or the leaves will wilt. Coleus can also be a houseplant, just be sure to give it enough light and food.

Dichondra

We fell in love with this plant a few years ago when we saw it spilling over a hanging basket at a trade show. This plant comes in beautiful green/blue or gray/silver foliage. If you are not familiar with this plant it also makes a great groundcover. It’s easy to grow in well-drained soil in full sun. Dichondra will tolerate some light shade. It is also heat and drought tolerant. It is hardy for zones 9-11.

Ivy Geranium

These pretty flowers come in shades of lavender, pink, red, white and magenta and can grow from 1 to 3 feet long. There are varieties that have been created specifically for their cascading ability and these plants tend to be more compact. There are also other varieties developed to be more heat tolerant and self-cleaning, meaning you do not have to deadhead them. These flowers are hardy from zones 9-11.

Nasturtium

These annual flowers are easy to grow and the leaves and flowers are edible.  The leaves are bright green and are a pretty contrast against the bold, vibrant flowers. The flowers are fragrant and fun to grow with kids because they grow so quickly.  These plants will grow in most soils and do not need to be fertilized. They will need to be trimmed back occasionally during the growing season.

Ornamental Oregano Kirigami

This plant is a non-culinary oregano that has large purple-green bracts with small rose-colored flowers.  This ornamental plant is fragrant attracts pollinators. The plant is heat and drought tolerant.  It prefers hot sunny conditions where the climate is dry and the soil needs to be well drained. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer.  This plant is hardy for zones 5b – 8b.

Portulaca                                                                                                                                                                                            

Another name for this annual plant is Moss Rose.  Portulaca is a succulent flowering plant with fleshy succulent leaves and red stems.  The colorful flowers come in orange, pink, purple, red, yellow and white.  If you live in a warm climate this could be the plant for you as it prefers hot, dry conditions. This plant needs well-drained soil and will tolerate drought conditions.

Verbena

Verbena are brightly colored plants that are also fragrant. They come in blue, pink, purple, red, orange, and white with yellow or white centers.  The flowers bloom from spring to fall and they look great in hanging baskets with a mix of other flowers including Petunias and Calibrachoa. They attract pollinators while adding lots of colors to your garden. Verbenas need to be planted in a sunny location with well-drained soil. During the growing season water these plants weekly, unless there is sufficient rainfall.

Need help in creating your hanging basket, check out this video.

Let us know if you have any plants to add to our list!

Photos courtesy of Jill Mazur.

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