So a quick gardening history lesson. Remember learning about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? They were one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Legend says these exquisite, tiered gardens of trees, shrubs, and vines resembled a sloping mountain landscape. Many believe that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are the inspiration behind the modern day hanging basket.
The story goes that King Nebuchadnezzar built the gardens to cheer up his homesick wife. We agree that hanging baskets are a great way to add some cheer and beauty to your home whether you’re in Babylon or B.C. At Clearview, we have everything you need to easily build your own hanging basket or leave with one of our spectacular premade baskets.
Here’s the answers to the most common questions we get about hanging baskets:
1. How do I DIY one of those charming hanging baskets that I see everywhere?
The hanging basket is one of our most popular items. It takes less than an hour to create the basket with just a few tools and materials.
Start by gathering these items:
- favourite basket
- garden trowel
- potting soil
- young plants to use as basket stuffers
Follow these steps to make your own hanging basket:
- Add the potting soil with your garden trowel.
- Plant the basket. For outdoor baskets, we suggest using petunias, zonal geraniums, ivy geraniums, or verbena.
And if you’re less DIY and more DIC (Do It Clearview), you can come by when we reopen on March 6th for one of our premade pansy baskets. A full array of beautiful baskets of annuals will be available in April when the weather is warmer.
2. What other flowers can I plant in my outdoor hanging basket?
Place your planted baskets on your porch, deck, balcony, or wherever gets the most light. These plants love a lot of sun and require at least five or more hours of direct sunlight each day. We suggest trying these for your outdoor baskets:
- Calibracoa: This plant blooms mini-petunia shaped flowers in a wide spectrum of colors. These bright flowers will help to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Bacopa: The dainty flowers cascade out of your basket and can reach up to four feet. No deadheading is needed since the old flowers drop on their own.
- Scavola: The fan-shaped flowers tend to be tolerant of heat and resistant to pests. They come in blue, pink, white, and purple colours with yellow and white centers.
3. What flowers should I plant in my hanging baskets that are indoors?
Hanging plants indoors is a great way to save on floor space, improve the air quality, and brighten your home. You want to choose plants that will not only thrive in a hanging basket but will also look pretty among your decor. We recommend these beauties:
- Spider Plant: The spindly plant is pet safe and quite easy to care for. It produces “offshoots” from the main plant that look lovely hanging from the basket.
- Boston Fern: Feathery fronds are effective for purifying the air. Make sure it gets enough humidity either with a humidifier or spraying it with water.
- String of Pearls: This succulent is low maintenance and requires little watering. Its trailing stems can grow up to 2 to 3 feet long for a stunning look.
4. Do I water my hanging baskets the same way I do my other plants?
Your plants in hanging baskets will most likely need to be more watered more frequently than your in-ground plants. This is because hanging plants are exposed to the air on all sides and the soil can dry out quickly. How often you water depends on the season, where your plants are hanging, and how many plants are in your container. Keep these tips in mind for effective watering:
- Use the “finger test” to see if your plant needs water. Stick a finger in the soil to feel if it is dry or look at the drainage holes to see if they are dry.
- Pour water on your hanging basket until the water starts to run out of the bottom of the container. Use a hose with a wand attachment to easily reach baskets that are up high.
- If your hanging plant is under a covered porch, remember that it won’t get rain water and will need an extra sprinkle.
5. What does all that watering mean for fertilizing?
Nutrients in your hanging plant’s soil will be quickly depleted because you are watering more frequently. Replenish lost nutrients and help your plants flourish by using fertilizer. Follow these suggestions for successful fertilizing:
- Use either liquid or dry release fertilizer, but not both, and follow the directions on the package. Ask us at the store if you’re unsure if you’re doing it correctly.
- Fertilize when the soil is moist and not when the plants are wilting.
- After a heavy rainfall, fertilize any hanging plants that are not in a covered area because the excess rain can drain the fertilizer.
6. How should I prune the plants in my hanging baskets?
Deadheading the plants in your hanging baskets can dramatically improve both their appearance and their performance. Cut away straggly vines, pinch dead steams, and trim unhealthy leaves. Here’s a quick way to deadhead a hanging basket:
- Take your hanging basket by the hook and hold it close to the ground.
- Give it a good shake. The dead flowers will fall off and should not damage your plant.
- This technique works best on annuals such as petunias and calibrachoas.
We may not be an ancient wonder, but Clearview is a wonderful place to visit for all your hanging basket needs. We’re a family run business that is supportive of our local community. We offer a Hanging Basket Fundraiser that is a great way to earn money for your organization and share beautiful Clearview baskets with your friends and family.
Your organization will earn $7.00 for every basket sold. We’ll prepare a unique webpage where you can direct your group to purchase the baskets. See our application form and learn more here.