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Hanging Basket Success


Neville Passmore


11 July 2017

Hanging Basket Covered In Succulent Varieties

Outdoor living is one of the great joys of living in Perth. Hanging baskets offer an alternative platform in which miniature gardens can be grown to enhance outdoor living areas, bringing colour or just cooling greenery. Alternatively hanging baskets can make a near the kitchen herb garden.

The major issue of growing any form of garden in WA is effective watering. Hanging baskets are at the extreme edge of this requirement because they are suspended and can be readily dried out by sun and wind.

- Choose plants carefully to suit the location - full sun, shade or indoors.
- Use a water retentive yet free draining potting mix such as Baileys Premium Potting Mix.
- Plastic baskets reduce evaporation loss through the side walls
- If using coconut fibre liners consider lining with plastic sheeting  you will need to cut drainage holes.
- Trickle irrigation using micro-tube can be used for direct watering to individual baskets.
- Apply Grosorb granules or liquid to prevent potting mix becoming water repellent.
- Control release fertilisers work best through low leaching rates.
- Remove clip on saucers through winter to prevent plants drowning
- Regularly trim off dead leaves and flowers.
- Watch for the next generation of sensors that connect to your smart phone to warn of drying out or fertilising requirements.

Anything goes.  While this is a song title from early last century it also suggests the wide range of possible plants and combinations that can be planted in your hanging basket.

Some gardeners take a very simple approach and may have a single plant that covers the surface,while others combine everything from twining vines, prostrate conifers and annual flowers to create a basket that offer colour and form across 12 months of the year. Bouquet baskets as these combinations are called can make a dramatic splash of colour when annual plants are used.
Hanging Plant Baskets From Tree Branches   
Don't be limited to planting the top of the basket as seedlings and plants from small pots can be inserted through slits in the coconut liner to grow through the walls and even out of the bottom of your basket. Push the root ball of the plant from the outside so the roots can grow in the potting mix while the stem and foliage are out in the light.

Plant suggestions to get you started:

Summer annuals for full sun Petunia, portulaca Livingston daisy, marigolds, red and blue salvia, nasturtium, phlox, verbena, geranium, vinca, cosmos, Sweet William alyssum, blue ageratum.

Winter/spring annuals for full sun Viola, pansy, lobelia, alyssum, nemesia, snapdragon, primula, polyanthus and dwarf cineraria.

Annuals for shade Begonia, impatiens and coleus.

Perennials for full sun Miniature marguerite daisies, dwarf agapanthus, Dusty Miller ivy leaf geranium, carnation, gaura and pink Evening Primrose.

Perennials for shade Asparagus fern, fuchsia, Plectranthus Mona Lavender and impatiens.

Small shrubs Azalea, bougainvillea, prostrate gardenia, ground cover roses such as Flower Carpet.