06 May 2009

How to Plant Hanging Baskets: A Tutorial

My favorite greenhouse

It happens every year. Mother's Day comes around and the urge to start planting and growing stuff becomes irresistible. For the past few years, The Hubster and the kiddos have given me flowers for my hanging baskets as a Mother's Day present. Then I get to spend a couple of hours playing in the dirt. I love it.

Last year, I wrote about how I plant my baskets because a few of my readers (I think I had 7 at the time) commented that they had no idea how to do it. So here's a quick run-down on what I do to create the most luscious hanging baskets you've ever seen.

The first thing I'm going to say is please, please, please, get your plants out of those plastic hanging baskets that they sell at the store. They're not big enough to allow the plant to grow for the whole season. Not to mention that the hook parts aren't long enough so they make the basket hang too high. It just looks silly. Rant over.

Here's what you need:

  1. Metal hanging baskets with those coconut fiber liners - I've had my baskets for at least 7 years and I just replace the liners every couple of years.

  2. Potting soil

  3. Flowers - Evaluate whether the area where they'll be hanging has full sun, part sun or shade and get plants that work in that setting. Sometimes I buy the premade baskets and sometimes I get individual plants...it just depends on the cost.

First, you want to put a layer of the potting soil in the bottom of the basket with the liner. You just eyeball this. You want enough soil so that the top of the root ball of your flower is just a little below the edge of your liner.

Edit: The only downside of the coconut liners is that they allow the soil to dry out quickly so you have to water frequently. Hayley from The Handmade Housewife just gave me a fantastic tip! She puts the saucer part of a plastic pot in the bottom of the coconut liner before she puts in the dirt. It helps retain moisture so you don't have to water as often. Brilliant!

Then you take your flowers out of their container and put them the new baskets.

And fill in with more potting soil. You don't want to cover the soil of the existing plant.

That's it! Give 'em a good watering and hang 'em up!

Through the magic of time-lapse photography, here is the same basket just a few weeks later after using Miracle Grow plant food a few times.

Sigh. Seeing those baskets makes me miss the porch at our old house. Sigh.


Need some more inspiration for your green thumb?
Recycle metal cans into hanging baskets: craft stylish
May Day baskets: RootsandWings
Celebrate May Day: Inspiring Ideas
Cupcake baskets YUM!: Skip to my Lou
Recycled May Day baskets: Skip to my Lou
Beautiful window boxes: Our Little Acre
Planting window boxes: Chez La Vie

23 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

Vanilla Lavender said...

love this post Kimba! Very helpful! Thanks!

Kara said...

Hi, Kimba. I have a big porch and put up 5 hanging baskets every year. I also use the wire baskets with the linings and use Miracle Gro weekly and they do great! But I get a flat of small flowers and then plant them along with some green filler plants - they look a little straggly at first, but with the fertilizer they fill in really quickly - and they last into October, until the freeze comes! It's a little cheaper this way, but you do have to wait a little while for them to grow out.
BTW - I love your blog - it's a daily read for me!

Frugal Jen said...

That looks so much better than the plastic container! Thank you for sharing.

Handmade Housewife... said...

Very lovely! A trick I use is to put a light weight pot saucer in the bottom of the basket and then layer the dirt on top. This way you can retain moisture longer and not have to water as much.


RootsAndWingsCo said...

Well HOLY SMOKES Kimba! We love you. I have been reading your blog off and on for a while now. It was sometime before you posted a video about an advent calendar you do I think. I adore you and your blog. So much fun to see you mention us here. You have totally made our day!!


Songbirdtiff said...

You made this look so simple and the effect is really beautiful. I wish I had a porch like that!

Mamaoftwins said...

Love this post and Im LOVING that porch.To die for. Im very green thumb challanged so this step by step instructions is wonderful. I live in the desert where everything is BROWN UGH I really hate it so I was thinking of putting flowers in pots but the bizzilion rabbits & squirrels end up eatting them but hanging would be perfect! The picture of your pot hanging with the green grass in the background is heavenly. Thats where I want to live someday. Somewhere GREEN! LOL

Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love said...

THANK YOU! I want plants for mother's day but hate those plastic containers. So inspired!

Meredith said...

Oh how I crave hanging baskets but alas, I have lived in the Phoenix area desert long enough (9 years!) and there is just no chance that they would ever survive, let alone thrive. I can admire yours though...

Still Learning said...

I love those baskets!! I haven't had hanging baskets in a couple of years but just maybe I will ask for some for Mother's Day. That looks like something fun I can do with the kiddos. Very pretty.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

What a great gift idea, I love this! I'll be linking.

Ila said...

I love it. I've only been following your blog for about a week or two and am so inspired..I was literally just at Lowe's buying some green plants for the house - now, I definately need to go back. The hanging pots that are available are so exepensive and they don't look that great! Thanks for hte tips and the ideas!!

April E. :) said...

These are awesome...especially when the alternative are the expensive, pre-made baskets at the store!! Thanks!!

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Thanks my friend. I need to get baskets going. I just don't have a spot to hang them, so I need to get creative. :)

Nikki said...

Perfect timing on this post! Thanks.

Kim Evans Pigue said...

Thanks for the great information! I love how much better the flowers look out of the plastic container. My Mother also says that before putting the flowers in the new pot, take your hand and loosen up the roots and dirt so that it will thrive in the new pot!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Excellent - they look lovely! Maybe I can do it and finally keep some plants alive - LOL!

Michelle said...

I just found your blog and I love it! Just curious, where in the world do you find metal hanging baskets and the lining? Somewhere like Home Depot or something? They are fantastically beautiful!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Awesome Post!!! I'm doing flowers this weekend and I have never made my own baskets. I just pay the big (obscene) dollars for the fancy pre-made ones.

Kimba said...

Hi Michelle,

You can find those metal baskets and liners all sorts of places. I think I bought mine at Lowes but it was 7 years ago so I'm not positive.

I've seen them at WalMart, Home Depot, Joann and Big Lots.

Have fun!

Jessica K. said...

Awesome, thanks! I just saw a beautiful one done in a garden center for $30! And then I saw an ad in our weekly Aldi flyer for lined hanging baskets for $3.99! http://aldi.us/us/html/offers/offers_05_03_2009_ENU_HTML.htm
Now I can do my own...can't wait til the weekend.

Rachel said...

I love my coconut lined hanging baskets and the plastic liner is a brilliant tip!

I have some Tex Mex Geraniums in mine and they are a gorgeous addition to our house.

Those plastic hanging things are horrid. Not only are they cheap looking, they're badly constructed and YUCK for the plants!

Brittany said...

Thanks so much for this post... you may have saved my ferns life!

I contributed my replanting to you on my blog... feel free to check it out!