How to Create a Hanging Basket

by Fern on April 14, 2009

in Uncategorized

I recently put together a hanging basket for a client, and I was actually smart enough to take pictures as I went, so that I can show you all what I did. These particular baskets hang from iron arbors that are centered in front of the client’s dining room windows. They’re a great example of creating a view where none existed previously

These are the finished baskets, installed at the client’s home. They’re identical, and feature alstromeria, oxalis, bacopa, calibrachoa and lysmachia.

How to Create a Hanging Basket

Before we begin, I thought I’d pass along something I learned while working on these baskets. If you’re working with a basket that does not have a flat bottom, it’s easier to work on it if it’s already hanging, rather than trying to constantly balance it while putting the plants in place.

  1. Gather all your supplies together in one place. You need a hanging basket with a coconut coir lining, plants, potting soil, a small hand shovel and a pair of scissors. You might also need twist ties if the lining is flopping over.

  2. From a design perspective, there are two types of hanging baskets. The first kind is when all the plants blend together and make a “ball” of different flowers. The second kind is what I created here, where there is a centerpiece plant that all the other plants are placed around. You start by placing some dirt in the bottom of the baskt and then setting the centerpiece plant in place, so that the soil line is an inch below the lining.

  3. Next, I cut an ‘X’ shaped hole in the coconut lining, on either side of the centerpiece plant, about halfway in between the top and bottom on the basket.

  4. If you are placing multiple plants in the side of the basket, start with the plant that will be on the bottom and work your way up to the top. Add enough dirt to the bottom of the basket so that there is dirt just under the opening of the hole you just cut. Grab the plant that will be going in that hole and place it on it’s side in the basket. Take the longest vines and gently tease them through the hole. Move the plant a little closer and tease more vines through. Repeat this process (slowly and patiently!) until you have all of the leaves through the hole and the plant’s roots directly facing the lining, and pressed completely against the side of the basket.

  5.  Next, place the rest of the plants in the basket, working from the centerpiece plant outwards. You may find that some of the plants have rootballs that are too big. An easy way to reduce their rootballs without harming the plants is to gently wash away the dirt with a hose. Continue to gently (can’t use that word enough!) wash the dirt up until you have a rootball that is the size you need.

  6. Fill in around the plants with potting soil, so that all the plants are firmly in place and the soil line is about an inch below the lip of the coconut liner.

  7. Voila! You’re done!

In a month or two, the bacopa and calibrachoa will spill over the edges, covering the basket. The alstromeria and oxalis will also grow in more and fill out the top of the pot nicely.

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