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5 Great Plants for Hanging Planters

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Not all plants look great in hanging planters, because most of the time planters that are hanging are placed at eye level or above. Many upright plants,  especially those with flowers at the top don't look great from this angle - you end up looking at a lot of stem, instead of flowers. In a hanging basket, chances are you will want plants that look good from the side, which tend to be more mounding and draping plants. Fortunately there are lots of plants to choose from that look great in hanging planters.

 

1. Bacopa or Sutera

container gardening picture of bacopa in a hanging basket
Photo © Kerry Michaels

Bacopa is a charming plant that will cheerfully drape over the sides of your hanging basket. It comes in many colors - several blues, white and pink. Bacopa, also known as Sutera cordata, will thrive in sun to part shade and will bloom all summer if it is fertilized regularly and kept moist.

One thing to know about bacopa is that it won't wilt even when it's thirsty, and if it dries out will drop its flowers and buds, so you'll want to keep this plant moist and not let it dry out between waterings. If your bacopa gets too dry, don't despair, with proper care, it should come back in a couple of weeks.

My favorite bacopa is Cabana® Trailing Blue.

2. Fuchsia

container gardening picture of hanging basket with fuchsia and begonia
Photograph © Kerry Michaels

I am a recent convert to fuchsias. There are so many different kinds and colors of fuchsias that the only problem is choosing which one to grow in your hanging basket. Fuchsias range in size from tiny to towering and from trailing to upright. While you might want one of the uprights for the center of your hanging basket, many of the traditional trailing fuchsias will look great either on their own or paired with other plants. Fuchsias tend to come in dazzling colors so can be a challenge to pair with other plants.

Fuchsias can be a bit princessy, preferring temperatures between 55-80 °F. They also thrive on humidity. These traits can make fuchsias almost impossible to grow in hot and dry climates. They like to be moist but not soggy and are suseptible to root rot so be sure to use a fast draining potting soil. Though there are some that will tolerate full sun, most fuchsias are happy in full shade to part shade.

Despite being a bit fussy, fuchsias are well worth the trouble.

For more info on fuchsias.

3. Verbena

container gardening picture of verbena in hanging planer
Photo © Kerry Michaels

Verbenas are tough and easy to grow. They are heat and drought tolerant and will flower prolifically all summer if you feed them regularly, give them full sun and make sure they have good drainage. Verbenas do tend to get a little leggy as the season progresses, so don't hesitate to give them a light pruning every once in awhile. While many varieties say they don't need deadheading, but verbenas look a lot better if you take off the spent blooms. Many verbenas will bloom well into fall, and some are hardy to 15 °F

There are lots of different colors to choose from and verbenas pair well with many plants including calibrachoa, creeping Jenny, sweet potato vine, bacopa, nemesia or diascia.

4. Calibrachoa or Million Bells

Photograph © Kerry Michaels

Calibrachoa or million bells is a hanging planter standard, and for good reason. It is exceptionally easy to grow and will bloom prolifically throughout the season if given enough water and fertilizer on a regular basis. They love full sun and moist soil, but not wet - they are a little prone to root rot, so water them when the soil begins to dry out on the top.

During the growing season million bells can get a little leggy and spread out. If your plant starts look a little frazzled, simply cut it back and it should grow back quickly and even fuller than before.

Calibrachoas come in a fabulous array of colors, from very cool oranges and reds, to yellows, purples and pinks. They pair well with almost anything and will spill over the edges of your baskets, as well as fill in between other plants.

 

5. Euphorbia

Hanging Planter with Diamond Frost Euphorbia
Photograph © Proven Winners

'Diamond Frost' euphorbia is an incredibly useful plant. Adding it, can make a mediocre hanging planter look finished and fabulous. The clouds of tiny white flowers last all season and though this plant looks like it might be a little finicky it is extremely easy to grow. Heat and drought tolerant, Diamond Frost Euphorbia is drought and heat tolerant, doesn't need too much fertilizer and is happy in full sun to partial shade.

Euphorbia plays very well with others - and will go with almost any plant, filling in and spilling over the edges of your hanging planters.

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