Indoor Hanging Baskets

Indoor hanging baskets are attractive all year round, and there are styles specifically designed to keep your carpets and floors clean! Hanging baskets range from cheap’n’cheerful plastic pots to indoor-hanging-basket-modern-designbeautiful ceramic or stained glass models.

Hanging baskets are sold in nurseries, garden centres, DIY centres, craft shops and high street chain stores. Outdoor hanging baskets can be also used indoors, but be very careful not to overwater. They are better used with hard-surfaced floors, such as linoleum or tiles, than with carpet.

Old-fashioned baskets

Close-mesh wire baskets are galvanized or plastic coated, and 23— 38cm (9-15 inches)wide. Wrought-iron baskets and cheaper, plastic-coated steel ones are also available. Slatted, square wooden baskets are sold by orchid specialists. All these baskets are attractive, but may drip unless lined with polythene.

Hanging pots and planters

Plastic hanging flower pots, fitted with clip-on drip trays, are safer. They range from 8-30cm (3-12 inches) across, and come in other colours as well as brown.

Hanging potsPlastic, snap-on hangers and hooks are available but are not strong enough to support heavy plants. There are also wide, shallow plastic hanging pots with holes round the side as well as on top, for tucking in extra plants. Some have reservoirs in the bottom, so you don’t have to water every day.

Reproduction Victorian hanging planters are available in clear and stained glass; and terracotta hanging pots, with a hole in the top for hanging, come in many shapes and sizes, but remember the weight! Glazed ceramic pots with holes in the rim for attaching chains are also available.

Wall baskets

These are usually half-rounded versions of hanging baskets, in the same range of materials and sizes. You can also get decorative wrought-iron or plastic-coated wall plaques into which one or more flower pots fit. Remember, though, a wall-hung container can drip down the wall as well as on the floor, so it is important to make sure that the basket is waterproof.

Liners

With perforated baskets, use a liner to keep the potting mixture from falling through the wire or slats. The traditional liner is sphagnum moss, which is attractive, but hard to find and expensive.

Synthetic whalehide liners are a cheap alternative. These flat black circles form a bowl shape when fitted into a basket. Some types have a special capillary mat or pad in the bottom, to hold water. Foam liners are similar. There are also brown, preformed bowl liners made of peat and compressed wood pulp, that look like potting mixture. All these liners are porous, so water carefully.

The cheapest liner is black polythene, though it is not very attractive. You should punch holes into it, to allow excess water to escape.

Potting and potting compost

The potting compost should suit the plants’ needs and be practical for a hanging basket. A peat-based potting mixture is lightweight, but requires more frequent watering than a loam-based one, which is much heavier.

Completely waterproof containers should have a layer of drainage material in the bottom, and a few pieces of charcoal in the compost, to keep it ‘sweet’.

Supports

Make sure your hanging basket is securely fixed to a strong beam. Ordinary screw hooks are not strong enough to hold the weight of a filled basket, so use heavy duty, plastic-sleeved workshop hooks or swivel hooks with locking nuts and plates. Wrought-iron and plastic-coated steel wall brackets can also be either fixed position or swivel type. Cane and raffia ones will only support the lightest of hanging baskets. Fix wall brackets with screws and wall plugs.

Suitable plants for hanging baskets

Checklist

DO

  • Hang the basket high enough to ensure that it, and the plant, are not in anybody’s way. (Remember tall people, too!)
  • Make sure wall brackets are long enough to keep the hanging basket from touching the wall.
  • Spread plastic sheeting under a perforated hanging basket before watering if you are worried about drips or splashes.

DON’T

  • Hang a basket where it is impossible to get to for watering and general care. Consider a self-locking pulley system, if necessary.
  • Hang a basket without first testing the overhead hook or wall bracket. Hooks fixed to the ceiling should be screwed into joists, not just the plaster.
  • Hanging baskets filled with plants can brighten up any room in the house. There are many styles of indoor hanging baskets, and it’s easy to choose the right one for you.

Guide to some hanging basket plants

Rosary Vine Ceropegia woodii

Slender trails of marbled heart-shaped leaves cascade to 3 feet or more. Small tubers on the stem will grow to new plants when planted.

Caring For Your Rosary Vine

Temperature Average to cool climate, minimum at night 50-55°.

Light      Bright, indirect sunshine; good in an east window where sun is not too hot.

Soil may dry out between waterings.

Apply at half the recommended strength every 2-4 weeks.

Add an equal volume of peatmoss or shredded sphagnum to a general house plant mix. Must be well drained.

GRAPE IVY Cissus rhombifolia

Rambling stems with 3-part compound leaves. Pinch tips to encourage branching. Relatively slow growing.

Caring For Your Cissus

Temperature Average to warm climate; tolerates minimum at night of 50-55°.

Light      Diffused sunshine or partial shade. Watering    Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Fertilize                Every 2-3 months.

Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

KANGAROO IVY Cissus antarctica

Big saw-toothed leaves on flexible stems. This one tolerates dry air, and soil can be allowed to dry between waterings.

COR DATUM Philodendron oxycardium

Versatile and tolerant trailing or climbing Philodendron. Trim to encourage branching and fresh new growth.

FLORIDA Philodendron x ‘Florida

Five-lobed leaves on flexible stems. Pinch tips for full, bushy growth.

Hanging Philodendrons

Caring For Your Philodendron

Temperature Average to warm climate; tolerates minimum at night as low as 50-55°.

Light Watering Fertilize Soil

Bright diffused light, avoid strong sun; tolerates shade.

Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Every 3-4 months.

Any general house plant mix or add peatmoss for a more humusy combination.

Trailing Ficus  

Maple-like leaves grace this little shrubby plant. Thick flexible stems curve under the foliage weight. This one has more deeply divided leaves than the hybrid x Fatshedera (not illustrated).

Caring For Your Fatsia

Temperature Cool climate, minimum at night 45-55°; tolerates as cool as 40° for short periods.

Light      Partial shade or diffused sunshine; shade outdoors. Watering    Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Fertilize                Every 4-6 months.

Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

CREEPING FIG Ficus pumila

Creeping, trailing stems root where they touch soil. A free-branching variety, likes fresh air but not drafts.

VARIEGATED ROOTING FIG

Ficus radicans ‘Variegata’

Gray-green leaves with creamy variegations on flexible trailing stems. This one prefers a warmer, more humid atmosphere. 12

Caring For Your Trailing Fig

Temperature Average to warm climate, minimum at night 62-65°; tolerates as cool as 50° for short periods.

Diffused sunlight or partial shade; avoid drafts. Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet. Every 2 months. Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

NEEDLEPOINT IVY Hedera helix Needlepoint’

Slender pointed leaves in formal ranks, on upturned branching stems.

Caring For Your English Ivy

Temperature Average to cool climate, minimum at night 45-50°.

Light      Full sun or bright indirect light; also tolerates shade.

Watering    Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Fertilize                Every 3-4 months.

Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

ENGLISH IVY Hedera helix

Versatile trailer for indoors and out. Some varieties survive even the northern winter.

SWEETHEART IVY Hedera helix Scutifolia’

An unusual leaf shape for ivy. Trim shoots to encourage bushy development.

Trailing Pothos   MARBLE QUEEN

Scindapsus aureus ‘Marble Queen’

Sparkling white marbled effect on smooth foliage. Trailing stems grow indefinitely; trim to contain size and to encourage branching.

DEVIL’S IVY

Scindapsus aureus

Golden variegated vine with waxy leaves; stem roots where it touches soil or in water. Pinch tips to encourage bushiness.

Caring For Your Pothos (Scindapsus)

Temperature     Average to warm climate; minimum at night 62-65°; tolerates lower temperatures (55°) for short periods.

Light      Diffused sunlight or partial shade.

Watering             Soil may dry out between waterings.

Fertilize                Every 3 months.

Soil         Add peatmoss or shredded sphagnum to an equal volume of general house plant mix.

VARIEGATED WAX IVY Senecio macroglossus variegatus

Spreading, trailing vine with succulent green and cream foliage. Branches prolifically; trim to shape.

Caring For Your German Ivy (Senecio)

Temperature Average climate, minimum at night 50-60°.

Light      Diffused sunlight or partial shade.

Watering    Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Fertilize                Apply at half the recommended strength every 1-2 months.

Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

GERMAN IVY Senecio mikanioides

Fast growing vine with fresh green leaves. Trim to encourage bushiness and to contain size.

BAND PLANT Vinca major variegata

Trails of waxy cream-edged leaves on wiry stems; trim to encourage bushiness. Fine for outdoor use, and to combine with other plants in hanging baskets. Big blue flowers in spring.

Caring For Your Band Plant

Temperature Average climate, minimum at night 50-55°.

Light

Plenty of light, full sun especially in winter; protect from the heat of summer sun through glass.

Watering

Fertilize Soil

Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Every 1-2 months.

Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

LIPSTICK VINE

Aeschynanthus lobbianus

Trailing stems hang down 1-3 feet, tipped in spring with glistening red blossoms. After flowering, prune shoots back to 6 inches to en-courage strong new growth.

Hanging Basket Vines

Caring For Your Basket Vine

Temperature Average to warm climate, minimum at night 62-65°.

Light

Watering Fertilize

Plenty of light though shade from full sun in summer and outdoors.

Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet.

Every month while making vigorous new growth after flowering.

Every other month in fall and winter.

Any good house plant mix, or add peatmoss for a more humusy combination.

ZEBRA BASKET VINE Aeschynanthus marmoratus

Big, dark leaves on trailing stems. Vein network is highlighted in yellow, and leaf undersides are dark red. Spring flowers are green with brown flecks.

Goldfish Vines

SMALL LEAVED GOLDFISH VINE Columnea microphylla

Tiny rounded leaves are dwarfed when the orange-red blossoms open.

GOLDFISH PLANT

Columnea linearis

Silky rose pink flowers appear in leaf axils at any time of year.

Caring For Your Columnea

Temperature Average to warm

Light

Watering

Fertilize Soil climate, minimum at night 62-65°. Plenty of light though shade from full sun in summer and outdoors. Keep soil uniformly moist but not wet. Every month. Any good house plant mix, or add peatmoss for a more humusy combination.

CHOCOLATE SOLDIER

Columnea x ‘Chocolate Soldier’

Large-leaved hybrid with gleaming fo-liage on upright and trailing stems.

MAARSEN’S COLUMNEA Columneax ‘Maarsen’s Flame’ Creamy markings give this trailing epiphyte added appeal.

Sturdy Wax Plan

LURA-LEI Hoya compacta ‘Mauna Loa'(Pat. 3054) Creamy leaves edged in green make a natural lei on in summer.

KRIMSON PRINCESS

Hoy a carnosa rubra (Pat. 3105)

Smooth waxy leaves are varie-gated deep pink when young, mature to cream and green. Flowers maroon.

WAX PLANT

Hoy a minata

Cascades of rounded velvety leaves characterize this variety. Soft white star-shaped blossom clusters add fragrance to the established plant.

HINDU ROPE Hoy a com pacta regalis (Pat. 3306)

Colorful ropes of crinkled foliage, with deep pink in the younger leaves. Clusters of blos¬som are maroon.

Caring For Your Hoya

Temperature Average to warm climate, minimum at night 60-65°; tolerates as cool as 45° for short periods.

Light      Bright indirect light or partial shade; avoid full midday sun.

Watering    Soil may dry out between waterings.

Fertilize                Every 2-3 months.

Soil         Any general house plant mix or soil that permits good drainage.

 

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