Learn how easy it is to create a gorgeous hanging flower basket with our definitive, step-by-step guide.
All you need is to choose your favorite flowers, buy a basket, some wire, and quality potting soil, and you’re on your way to a beautiful outdoor design.
Choosing the Best Soil for Hanging Baskets
Where are You Hanging It?
If you’re hanging them in direct sunlight for several hours a day, then opt for a potting soil that has slow-release fertilizer and wetting agents.
What’s Available Locally?
You might be limited to options for good potting soil at your local stores. Shop around, ask landscapers, and if you can’t find what you need, shop online.
Look for Good Water Retention and Drainage
Definitely choose a potting soil mix that has ingredients to help retain excess water but also releases that same water when the soil has gone too dry. This helps control moisture and protects the plants.
- Wetting Agents: Things such as bark and mulch to keep the soil moist
- Fertilizers: Usually a slow-release ingredient that feeds the soil over time
- Clays: Can replicate a lot of the nutrients and minerals you need
- Polymers: Absorbs excess water and releases when soil is too dry
Choosing the Best Flowers for Hanging Baskets
There are many flowers that are perfect for outdoor hanging flower baskets.
Below are the top 5 to consider when creating your flower basket hanger.
Lobelia is a great option for hanging flower baskets. This dark blue floral is known for its bold hue. Since it’s an annual flower, it finds full bloom in the late spring and lulls midsummer. So don’t be surprised if your basket looks less full by August!
Begonias have flair and versatility. These flowers are known for their drooping look which works perfectly in outdoor hanging flower baskets. They come in a wide variety of colors from orange to pink.
Petunias are a quintessential choice for hanging baskets. These beautiful, fragrant florals love the sun and come in a splash of colors: purple, pink, yellow, and red.
Fuschias are ideal for climates that get cool, wet summers. These lovely blooms come in myriad shades from classic white to pretty purple. Requiring light misting, you’ll enjoy them all summer long.
Bacopa flowers are trailing, which is ideal for baskets. These beauties come in shades of purple, blue, and white. They love the sun, so place your basket on a porch for full bloom!
How to create a hanging flower basket
Materials Needed to Make a DIY Hanging Flower Basket:
To make your flower hanging basket, first make sure to gather the neccessary supplies. These are pretty simple items, and this DIY shouldn’t take too long!
- Flower starts (example shows blue cascade petunias and purple Wave petunias)
- Hanging basket with holes on the sides
- Potting mix (NOT soil)
Hanging flowers basket – step by step guide:
Step One: Prep Your Flowers
Have your flowers ready to go.
If you need flower ideas for hanging baskets, scroll up and reconsult our list!
Note: This example shows a combination of petunias – cascade blue (the darker purple blooms; the flower world tends to label purple as “blue”) and wave purple (the fuchsia blooms).
Step Two: Grab Your Basket
Have your plastic hanging basket ready to go as well.
Pro Tip: We recommend one with holes on the side as shown above.They range from 1- to 6-gallon sizes, with varying numbers of planting slots.
Step Three: Get the Potting Soil Ready
Lastly, have your potting mix ready to go.
Great soil medium is imperative in the success of a hanging basket, and you’ll want to choose potting mix rather than potting soil for a few reasons:
(1) potting soil is dirt, whereas potting mix is a soil-less growing media designed for containers.
(2) a high quality potting mix has larger particles than soil particles, which is key in containers because it makes the growing medium capable of holding both more air and water than actual soil.
This allows for the circulation of fresh air and water without drowning your container plants.
Step Four: Fill Bucket
Pour some potting mix into a bucket, wet it down, and stir it. It should be wet enough to be sticky, but not quite mud.
Step Five: Fill the Basket
Fill the bottom of your hanging basket up to the bottom of your first row of side slots.
Smooth the soil then pat it down gently. (Note: Although I use the word “soil” for simplicity in this tutorial, I am actually referring to potting mix.)
Step Six: Add Flower Starts
Working on just the bottom row of side slots, add in your flower starts. It’s easiest to work with the flower, feeding it into the pot from the outside in (if the soil base of the start is small enough; otherwise, you’ll need to carefully feed the flower plant through the slot from the inside).
Work the flower/soil in until the base of the flower is even with the side of the hanging basket. Carefully spread the roots.
Step Seven: Contune Adding Starts
Feed-in the flower start on the slot directly across from the one you just did. If you are creating a combination basket, pay attention to which flower you’re putting where. This example shows two purple wave petunias planted directly across from each other.
Two blue cascade petunias were added into the remaining two slots on the bottom row. These two flowers are also directly across from each other. This will create a lovely combination effect in the blooming basket, so the colors won’t be split directly down the middle.
Step Eight: Add More Potting Mix
Gently add more potting mix into the hanging basket, on top of the roots, up to the bottom of the second row of side slots.
Your pot will look something like this, with first-row roots fully covered and soil gently and evenly patted down.
Step Nine: Make Your Second Row
Repeat the planting method of your flower starts on this second row. Again, if you’re creating a combination basket, alternate the type/color of flowers as you plant them in the slots.
You’ll notice a gap between the base of the flower start and the top of the planting slot. That’s okay, because the moistened soil layers will cover those up and fill them in without too much trouble.
Step Ten: Add More Soil
When the second layer is planted and complete, carefully add more potting mix to an inch or two below the top rim of your hanging basket.
Gently pat down the soil. Remember that when you water this basket, the potting mix will compress a bit, so you want to have enough in your basket from the beginning that this won’t be a problem and expose your flower start roots and/or starve them of their needed nutrients.
Step Eleven: Make Holes
Make holes big enough for planting flower starts in this top layer.
Step Twelve: Add More Starts
Plant the starts, taking care to keep roots covered. Add a little more potting mix around each flower start as needed.
In this example’s 2-gallon pot, we planted four flower starts in the top, two each of blue cascades and purple waves, both types directly across from each other.
Step Thirteen: Add the Wire
Feed the wire hangers into the pre-punched holes on your hanging basket.
Taking care to keep the wire lengths even, bend them back against themselves and secure by twisting the wire ends around the wires themselves several times.
Note: Be sure to add container-focused fertilizer to your plants two to three times a week, following the dilution ratios on your fertilizer.
Also, these flowers benefit from having the fertilizer applied to the leaves occasionally, so one of the weekly fertilizations include a sprinkling over all the foliage.
On other days in between fertilization, simply water the basket.
This photo shows the growth in the flower starts about two weeks after potting.
This photo shows another purple flower in hanging basket, planted at the same time as the tutorial.
You can see the beautiful shape and silhouette of the wave brand of petunia for hanging baskets in this photo, taken just three or four weeks after potting.
The green pot has almost disappeared behind the beautiful flowering. Note: Learn how to create a grape arbor, seen in the background, in this step-by-step tutorial.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What's the best flowers for hanging baskets?
Some of the best flowers for hanging baskets are: Fuchsias, petunias, lobelia, and geraniums. Though the choice is yours! You can always check out hanging flower baskets at lowes to get a preview of the types of flowers you love the most.
What flowers last longest in a hanging basket?
The flowers that will bloom all summer long are: petunias, portulacas, million bells, and sunpatiens.
How many plants do you put in a hanging basket?
A key rule of thumb to consider when planting a hanging basket is to use one plant per inch of basket diameter.
How do you make a hanging basket look fuller?
To make your basket look fuller, aim to use trailing plants. These will spill over the edge, hiding the basket, and giving a full aesthetic.
When should you start hanging baskets?
After your last frost.
What month do you plant hanging baskets?
Start the inside 10-12 weeks prior to your last frost. Then hang them outside.
Hanging Flower Basket: Conclusion
As you can see, this DIY tutorial to create a flower basket hanger is simple, fun, and totally customizable. While you can of course always go out and buy artificial hanging flower baskets, this option gives you something to be proud about and show off as it grows! We hope you found this helpful, and have a blast making your very own hanging flower basket.