How to Choose Outdoor Hanging Plants

Outdoor hanging baskets are a great way to add color and vibrancy to a garden, while conserving space. Baskets can be hung from trees, porches, eaves and poles in a yard. You can buy hanging plants at garden centers and home improvement stores. However, choosing hanging basket plants is a delicate procedure. In order to live through the season, they must be chosen for the climate and growing season. This article will tell you how to choose outdoor hanging plants.

Steps

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    Research your hardiness zone. Some government agencies or gardening clubs produce this information. The USDA National Arboretum has compiled a detailed list of zones in the United States based on local climates. You can find the information online or in garden stores. The zones start at the number 1 identifying cold places like Fairbanks, Alaska to the number 11 for tropical climates like Honolulu, Hawaii. Choose plants that are indicated as options for your zone.
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    Decide where you want to place the hanging planter. Plants are often planted together based on the amount of sunlight they require during the day. Based on the location of the outdoor hanging basket, you can choose your hanging plants based on the amount of sun they will receive.
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    Consider how much room there is for lateral growth in the place you have selected. Many hanging baskets draw their beauty because they grow and hang over the side of the planter, often nearly covering the basket. Ensure you have enough space to support this growth before choosing vine-like plants.
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    Read the tags on all hanging baskets carefully. Even if you find a pre-planted outdoor hanging basket that would beautifully compliment your garden or house, if it does not receive the amount of sunlight it requires, it will not grow well. The tag will also instruct you on the use of fertilizer and the frequency of watering.
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    Group similar needs together, when choosing your plants and planting them yourself. Place plants that need full sunlight together or group shade plants together. Do not mix these varieties. Be sure that the varieties are not mixed in pre-planted hanging baskets.
    • For example, some plants that require full sun and can be planted together in a hanging basket include verbena, hanging geraniums, lantana, trailing petunias and vinca vine.
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    • Shade friendly plants include impatiens, hanging begonias, ferns and fuchsia.
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    Decide if you want an open or solid basket. Open baskets are usually made with a mesh and lined with soil. Because the water drips through the planter and evaporates, they must be watered every 1 to 2 days. A solid basket is filled with soil and needs to be watered much less often. Consider if you have time to devote to watering your hanging plants every day. If not, plant or replant them in a solid basket.
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    Consider ferns in your baskets. Shade ferns can often be brought inside after the growing season, or simply moved in and out to avoid frost. Do you want hanging plants that will continue to grow after the summer season?

Tips

  • If you lift your hanging basket and it is light, it probably needs water. If it is heavy, the soil is well-watered and does not require more.
  • Always seek the help of gardening experts in local gardening stores. They happily give advice on how to choose hanging plants wisely.
  • Water baskets early in the day to prevent mildew.

Article Info

Categories: Indoor and Patio Plants