There is so much variety in gardening as a hobby that you can come up with new projects and ideas every day. There are a few tried-and-true garden projects that are popular because they are simple and rewarding. Designing hanging baskets is one of those projects. Admittedly, I didn’t get into the ornamental hanging basket game until later in my gardening life. I have grown plenty of edibles like strawberries, herbs, and tomatoes in hanging baskets. But to design hanging baskets for ornamental plants was never on my basket list.
Until I visited the California Spring Trials and saw some of the most spectacular displays hanging from hooks all around the gardens. You can read more about that trip here. I have never been much for annuals either, but after that trip, I get it. Growing annuals is a celebration for the eyes: bursts of color and waves of blooms cascading over the edges. Sign. Me. Up!
To design hanging baskets this year with ornamental plants, I used my experience with container design and growing vegetables vertically to create this guide to make the whole process easy and successful to recreate at home by using the clock-face planting technique.
Clock-Face Planting For Simple Hanging Basket Design
This simple planting strategy takes the guesswork out of hanging basket design and ensures that you’ll have a beautiful basket every time.
- Plants appropriate for a hanging basket
- Soil mix for containers
- Coconut fiber basket liner
- Hanging basket planter
First, choose your plants. For this design technique, you will want three different styles of plant: thrillers, spillers, and fillers. For one hanging basket, choose:
- 1 thriller plant – the thriller is an eye-catching plant with stunning color, blooms, or foliage that will be central to the design.
- 4 spiller plants – spillers are plants that grow over the side of the container and trail down, spilling over the edge.
- 8-12 filler plants – the fillers are plants that will easily fill in any gaps between the other plants in the container.
To put your hanging planter together, begin by lining the whole basket with decorative moss. Nestle the fiber basket liner in next, so that it is covered up by the moss on the outside. The fiber liner will retain water and keep the plants moist, which is what you want in hanging baskets as they otherwise dry out quickly.
Add your soil to the center of the basket. Plant your thriller in the middle of the basket.
Now, add the spiller plants around the outside of the basket. Imagine the basket is a clock face and plant the spillers at the 3:00, 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 positions.
Plant two or three filler plants in the gaps in between the other plants.
If there are still any gaps, fill these in with soil and water the whole basket thoroughly.
Hang your basket and enjoy.