Best Plants for Hanging Baskets

Choosing a plant that looks great in a hanging basket can spruce up any area of your home or garden. But how do you know which plants actually look good when hanging? If you follow a couple of simple tips when choosing a hanging plant species, you may find a beautiful Garden of Eden blossoming right outside your own backdoor.

Avoid Dead Plants in Your Hanging Baskets

Don't fail because you chose the wrong plant!
Don't fail because you chose the wrong plant! | Source

What to Look for When Buying a Plant for a Hanging Basket

What Makes a Good Hanging Plant

You should Keep a few important concepts in mind when picking your plants for a hanging basket . These things have to do with just 'how' each plant is designed to grow. When looking at a hanging basket or hanging container plant, we generally are seeing them from slightly below or at eye level. With this element in mind, think about how a long stemmed plant would look from this angle. Not very good, or so we can imagine. This long stemmed plant would provide a profile consisting of a bunch of woody stems, making the beautiful foliage at the top of those stems difficult to enjoy. For this reason, choosing plants that vine, trail, cascade, or provide mass coverage are going to offer the best hanging basket profiles for visual enjoyment.

Leafless Sticks Are Not a Good Look for a Hanging Basket

No one wants to look at a bunch of sticks in a hanging basket.
No one wants to look at a bunch of sticks in a hanging basket. | Source

What Kind of Plants Make the Best Hanging Basket Container Plants

  • Plants that vine (like ivy)
  • Plants that grow descending trails ( like fuchsias)
  • Plants that cascade (like begonias)
  • Plants that offer mass coverage (like clover)

Below you will find a table with many of the best container plants for hanging. These come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Each offers its own unique profile and design to help you create a spectacular hanging garden of your own.

Be Creative by Using More Than One Plant in Your Hanging Baskets

Using a variety of ivy species can make a very creative arrangement for any hanging basket!
Using a variety of ivy species can make a very creative arrangement for any hanging basket! | Source

Plants That Vine

Vining Plants Make Great Hanging Baskets

One of the most important features for any hanging basket planter, is drama. Vines will bring plenty of this when used in conjunction with mass covering, colorful flowers and blossoms, and long descending and cascading species of plants. None better defines this "vine" quality in a plant type than does ivy. Ivy has a very hardy nature and can grow just about anywhere, even becoming the dominant species in any garden. Plant this lovely creation frugally when incorporating it into a hanging basket, but definitely use it! A variety of leaf shapes, colors and size make for some of the most interesting hanging arrangements found anywhere.

Dormant Grapevines are Not a Good Choice for a Hanging Basket

This huge grapevine would NOT work well in  a hanging basket. But a smaller cousin species would look great!
This huge grapevine would NOT work well in a hanging basket. But a smaller cousin species would look great! | Source

Beautiful Tree Moss and Begonias Work Great in Hanging Baskets

Some naturally growing mosses can add dramatic flair to hanging baskets!
Some naturally growing mosses can add dramatic flair to hanging baskets! | Source
Many flowers, like these begonias add color as well as depth to any hanging basket.
Many flowers, like these begonias add color as well as depth to any hanging basket. | Source

Plants that grow descending trails

Plants With Long Descending Trails Have dramatic Appeal When Hanging

Vining—descending trail—plants offer a pleasing finger-like movement as they crawl their way out and over the rim of any hanging basket. Many varieties and colors can create stimulating areas wherever you grow these dynamos. Fuchsias remain a favorite plant for the descending Trail appeal. A small species of grapevine can prove an interesting descending plant, but does require proper attention to keep it healthy while managing the growth.

Plants That Cascade

Cascading Branches Are Delightful to Look at

Fuchsias, as well as offering descending trail like mentioned above, make for fantastic cascading profiles. They can live for many years with a little care. The flowers bloom in multiples, so you get a number of beautiful flowers to enjoy all at once—that will also linger for a while. Even wild mosses can bring a romantic flow to your hanging baskets, but finding the one that grows best for you may take some research. Mix in a Spider plant and watch the dynamic cascades rain down, making for an aesthetically moving masterpiece!

Plants That Offer Mass Coverage

Mass Coverage Adds Depth to Hanging Baskets

Clover, begonias, and many other brightly colored plants make great background and coverage foliage for any hanging planter. Clover can add a carpeted look that creates the palette for a dreamy layered appeal. Adding in a few begonias for the pretty flower contrast can bring a fascinating view to any passer by.

What do you have?

Do you have hanging plants around your home?

See results without voting

North American Gardening Zones

You will notice that the table below offers plant "zone" requirements. This basically lets you know where a particular plant will find the most successful growth, or which plants will grow best where you live.

How Many Plant Zones are There in North America

The USDA has broken N. America into eleven plant hardiness zones, ranging from zone 1;the coldest zone, to zone 11; where tropical warmth keeps the land rich in foliage. Which leaves the rest of the zones to fall between these two extremes.

Find Your Plant Hardiness Zone Quickly

If you want to find the zone where you live, the USDA has created a very helpful resource for your convenience. You simply enter the zip code of the location you will be planting in, then you will find a colorful map that pin points your plant hardiness zone, and shows the temperature range for that zone.

Visit the ZONE FINDER provided by the USDA Agricultural Research Service now!

.

How Do I Apply Plant Zones to Where I Live

When a particular zone is indicated, i.e., "zone 5", this means that the plant can find success in that specific zone (withstanding winters there) and can also (for the most part) handle the warmer zones below it. If a zone is noted for a plant as "zone 12-24," it means the plant will only grow in these specific zones ranging from zone 12 through zone 24 (with few exceptions), with the plant only being equipped to handle the temperature range found within these zones.

In Napa, California, where I would be planting, we are considered to be Plant Hardiness Zone 9b. This means that we have a temperature ranging from 25°F to 30°F in the extreme cold months for our area. The zones are divided into 10°F zones.

Napa, California is considered to be Plant Hardiness Zone 9b, which ranges 25°F to 30°F

A markernapa, californai -
Big Ranch Road
[get directions]

Several Napa grape vineyards are off of Big Ranch Road. Napa is known for its rich grape production found in its growing zone. Gotta love Zone 9b!

Plants for All Sizes of Hanging Baskets

PLANT NAME
CLIMATE ZONES
KIND OF PLANT
SUN OR SHADE
WHY GROW IN BASKETS
Abelia floribunda
8, 9, 12-24
shrub
sun
Descending branches have reddish purple blooms.
Abutilon megapotamicum
15-24
shrub
partial shade
quite vine-like growing, lantern-shaped bellflowers
Asparagus sprengeri
15-24
perennial
sun
Light green foliage on beautifully arched branches. Red berries.
Begonia tuberhybrida 'Pendula'
1-9, 14-24
bulb
Shade
Brightens shady places, vivid blooms that cascade in beautiful sprays
Browalltia specciosa
All zones
annual
partial shade
Trailing vines withstand a lot of heat to bloom all summer.
Companula fragilis
All zones
perennial
partial shade
One of the best for hanging baskets, blue flowers.
Campanula isophylla
All zones
perennial
partial shade
Wonderful blue, white blooms. Trails vigorously to 2 feet.
Cotoneaster dammeri
All zones
shrub
sun, partial shade
Trailing matt with cute red berries is winter.
Fuchsia, trailing types
2-9, 14-17, 20-24
Shrub
partial shade
Select pendulous, branching types.
Hedera (ivy)
All zones
vine
sun, shade
Grows beautiful all green (or green and white) foliage mass.
Lantana montevidensis
8, 9, 12-14
shrub
sun
Long bloom season, good for hot locations.
Lobelia erinus, trailing type
All zones
annual
partial shade
Plant several lobelias alone or with campanula.
Lotus berthelotii
9, 13-24
perennial
sun, partial shade
Look great is earth colored baskets, gray foliage on trailing branches.
Lysimachia nummularia
1-9, 14-24
perennial
shade
Use to cover the ground around shrubs in large containers.
Pelargonium peltatum
8, 9, 12-24
perennial
sun
Try hanging these in three or five baskets hung at different heights.
Petunia, cascade series
All zones
annual
sun
Large-flowered; branches arch upward trailing up to 2 feet.
Rosmarinus officinalis 'prostratus' (rosemary)
4-24
shrub
sun
Use to cascade over rim of basket with a large plant in it.
Sedum morganianum
13-24
succulent
partial shade
Overlapping leaves give pendulous stems a "donkey tail" look.
Sedum sieboldii
All zones
succulent
partial shade
Roun blue gray leaves, train\ling stems up to 9 inches.
Sollya fusiformis
8, 9, 14-24
shrub
partial shade
Use for its beautifully bright blue blooms.
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium)
All zones
annual
sun
Trail or trim with support.
Information derived from Sunset Garden Book

When Using a Chicken Helper in the Garden...

...be Sure to could your worms!
...be Sure to could your worms! | Source

Which Plants Grow Where I Live

What is the Easiest Way to Know if a Plant Will Grow Where I live

Most of today's plant and garden department staff have a pretty good idea as to which plants will thrive where you live. These are generally the plants you find in the shops and nurseries you buy from year round. Also, when shopping for your hanging plants, be sure to read the helpful informational tags that are found on the plant. You will find planting, feeding, watering, and light requirements that directly relate to the chosen plant.

Now that you have some information on hanging baskets full of fun plants, I hope you find the next trip to your local nursery an exciting and beautifully floral experience! Now go plant some hanging baskets!

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Comments for "Best Plants for Hanging Baskets" 33 comments

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

Thanks for writing this hub. You have given me a lot of ideas what to plant in my hanging baskets.


ketage profile image

ketage 3 years ago from Croatia

So happy to find this hub, I was just discussing with the family about starting a hanging garden last night, and bumped into your hub this morning, thanks for the very informative hub.


pinto2011 profile image

pinto2011 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Hanging plants always attracts one's attention and are great way of decorative expression.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Most of my plants are grown in either hanging baskets or pots because my soil is just sand! One does have to water more frequently when plants are in a basket or pot.

Voted UP, etc. and shared.


elizabethjv 3 years ago

I just so happen to have a picture! :) maybe you can help me find it or something like it...?


elizabethjv 3 years ago

Can you give me names and pictures of plants that cascade/hang/descend that kind of look clumpy or dreadlocky? My mother in law has a fake lower arrangement and in it is a dangly plant that I think is gorgeous but I don't know the name of it. Can you help?


rbm profile image

rbm 4 years ago

I like your table of plants for hanging baskets, very handy! Thanks!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

avantitexan~ Strawberries sound like a wonderful way to fill a hanging basket. Beautiful contrasting colors to look at, and even more beauty found in eating them. Thank you for sharing your remarks here.

Cheers~


avantitexan 4 years ago

Very nice and easy to read with good information. We have some strawberries in one and some petunias in another. We kind of have to play around with the shade a bit so the strawberries don't get too dry, but it's a great way to decorate and grow some yummy fruits (or veggies). Thanks for sharing what your have learned.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ChristyWrites~Some plants are much better for hanging baskets than others, it just takes a little insight to find which to grow. I am grateful you find the hub helpful! Thank you for sharing you thoughts.

Cheers~


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I did not realize that certain plants are better for hanging baskets; I am not much of a green thumb. My mom puts together beautiful hanging baskets, I am jealous! Thanks for sharing such great information.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Danette Watt~ I appreciate that you shared your comments here ma'am! Hoping that thumb of yours turns a bright color of green! Glad you like the chart!

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

cardelean~ Thank you very much for your comments. I love plants in any shape or form! So this one was a real joy to put together. Congrats on your BIG WIN! Hard work always pays off! Well done.

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Doc! How funny you are! I hope the information helps you find better luck with your plants. Thank you for stopping by! Very nice to see you here.

HubHugs~


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

Love the chart - very useful info nicely laid out in one spot. Thanks for the great info from someone who doesn't have much of a green thumb!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Very thorough hub! The table is filled with useful information and you have provide great tips. I love hanging baskets and have several around my yard during the summer months. Thanks for another great hub!


Doc Sonic profile image

Doc Sonic 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Unfortunately I have a few plants that look like your first picture, so I really need this information. Nice hub!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Teresa~ I hope you find it fun and the results beautiful! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

alissa~ Thank you for sharing your comments! How funny, "certified plant killer" makes me giggle.

HubHugs~


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Interesting hub. I think I will try my hand at hanging baskets this season.


alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

Such a useful and informative hub K9! My mom has always called me a certified plant killer because none of my plants ever survive for long. I just didn't inherit my mom's green thumb :) Fantastic job with this one - voted up!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Daisy~ We lived in S. Cal for many years, parts of it are likened too a tropical haven! I just adore fuchsias! I recall when we were just kids in S. Cal those beautiful draping plants my mom had planted falling out of the backyard hanging baskets. The pinkish-purple flower buds were simply too much to resist. We would squeeze the tiny buds until they would "pop" open. As kids, this was a blast; as an adult, I can imagine my mom wanting to shoo us away with a broom! To this day, those lovely Fuchsia plants bring back the fondest memories of my mom.

Thank you so much for stopping by for a read! Thrilled to see you here.

HubHugs~


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

India,

Thanks for publishing this very useful, informative article. I'm very impressed with the wealth of information it contains.

I live in Southern California, in zone 10b. Even though my zone isn't listed, the trailing type of Fuchsia grows well in hanging baskets on my front porch on the north side of the house.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ardenfr! lol...a watering wand is a great idea! **still laughing** Thanks for the comments, and the smile. I hope you find just the right trailing cacti..(**still laughing**) you are looking for!

Big HubHugs~


ardenfr profile image

ardenfr 4 years ago from Lubbock, Tx

K9keystrokes, you might look into one of those watering wands that you can attach to your water hose, in case your tall friends aren't around. But, if your water is like ours you might be better off waiting for your helpers. Anyway, a great article and it has me thinking about going to the nursery this week. Maybe I can find some trailing cacti....


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Ruchira~ I am only 5' 2" tall, so watering high hanging plants has its issues for me. I tend to enlist the help of my tall friends! ;) Thank you for commenting today!

HubHugs~


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Good information India. I always worry about my hanging baskets 'cause watering them is a problem.

Thanks!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Movie Master~ I am a big fan fuchsias myself, and I love the drama of nicely arranged hanging basket! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Cheers~


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

A wonderful article - I like to see begonias and fushias especially in hanging baskets.

Very interesting and useful, thank you and voted up.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ardenfr~ Really good points! I always check the tag that comes with a plant (when I purchase one) to see if any special needs apply. But, as you point out, sometimes this just isn't enough. Texas is a tough zone, and the water table in some areas does drop significantly in the dry months. I love the idea of "mimicking" a plants original environment, brilliant! Thank you for sharing your very insightful thoughts here today! Very grateful.

Cheers~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

wolfshadow~ Thanks for leaving your comments. Rose moss is a really cool idea as anything that can withstand the elements and also needs little care, makes a great subject for hanging planters. I appreciate that you stopped by!

Cheers~


ardenfr profile image

ardenfr 4 years ago from Lubbock, Tx

Very good article. I would like to comment on the hardiness zones though. I live in northwest Texas and have found that although some plants may be rated for my winters they struggle in the summer because of our lack of moisture and the hot winds. So, when placing a plant you might try to research its original environment and try to mimic it at your location.


wolfshadow profile image

wolfshadow 4 years ago

Some good information here. I like to put rose moss in hanging baskets on my front porch. It looks great and even better, next to impossible to kill if I forget to water and such. Anyway, thanks for the great hub.

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