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Hanging Baskets

Choosing plants for hanging baskets

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Hanging Baskets

Hanging Basket with Fuchsia and Begonia

Photograph © Kerry Michaels

I'm often surprised by the plants people choose for their hanging baskets. Many of these plants would work so much better if you were looking down on them instead of up, which is usually the vantage point you have when looking at a hanging basket.

I recently saw a professional video done on how to plant a hanging basket and couldn't believe my eyes. They stuck a bunch up mums in a hanging planter and called it a day. Now I don't have anything against mums, but they are just about the last plant I would put on their own in hanging baskets.

Mums are tall, upright plants. Their beauty is all in their flowers, which face up. The leaves and stems are, well, not to put too fine a point on it, ugly. If you put a mum in a hanging basket, chances are that the leaves will be at eye level or even above. So you would be looking at stems, leaves and the undersides of flowers, and would miss the prettiest part of the plant altogether.

There are a couple of ways to avoid this. First, figure out where you are going to hang your basket. If it's really high up, you might want to consider just using just plants that will fall over the sides, sometimes called spillers, because that is what you are going to be looking at. Some of my favorite spillers are:

Now, here's another alternative, if you have your heart set on mums, you can do what I sometimes do and put my hanging baskets on the ground.

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