Planting an Indoor Hanging Basket

Hanging baskets bring plants up to eye level or above and can often show them off much more effectively than when viewed on a table or the floor. When planting the basket bear in mind the height and angle from which it will be seen.

Single plant baskets

The hanging basket may only be suitable for one plant but in many cases a trailing plant can simply be placed in its pot into the hanging basket. This allows you to move the plant easily when you need to remove dead leaves, or flowers, and so on. Choose a bushy trailing plant that practically forms a ball shape. This could be a flowering plant like an Italian Bellflower or a green plant such as a Spider or Piggyback Plant. Choose a good specimen plant that is suited to the spot you have chosen for your basket.

indoor-hanging-basket

Massed plantings

Larger containers of mixed plants can create a stunning focus. For this plants need to be chosen that have the same requirements as far as light, heat, watering and potting mixture are concerned. The easiest way of ensuring this is to choose a number of plants of one species, perhaps mixing different leaf colours of one type, such as ferns or cacti.

Plants can either be taken out of their pots and planted directly into the compost or, if the container is deep enough, the plants and pots can both be sunk into peat. Most hanging containers are too shallow to use this method but one small flowering plant in its pot could be sunk into the front of a basket of green plants so that it can be easily removed and replaced after flowering.

Creating the arrangement

arranging-a-hanging-basket

Many indoor baskets are viewed mainly from one angle, unlike many outdoor baskets, and therefore plants need to be arranged with this in mind. Slightly taller plants are needed for the back with one or two central bushy plants and trailing varieties for the sides and front. The most effective arrangements mix leaf colour, shape and texture too.

Experimenting with arrangements can prove very rewarding, so don’t be afraid to try different plants.

Watering indoor baskets

Place a sheet of plastic on the carpet filling the basket. And, if necessary, on the furniture when watering hanging plants to ensure the surroundings stay dry. Use a specially designed Watering bottle with a long nozzle.

Baskets for different areas

A bathroom basket

Ferns are ideal for a bathroom basket. Place an upright Asparagus Fern at the back, a Birds Nest Fern in the centre and surround side and front edges with Maidenhair, Brake, Button and Bihism Ferns.

A kitchen basket

Hang a herb basket in the kitchen window. Place a small Garlic plant at the back with a Rosemary slightly to the front and to one side. Add Chives, Parsley and Thyme for front and sides. Herb baskets in the kitchen are very handy – just nip off a leaf and add to dishes.

Spring basket

Mix variegated small-leaf Ivies with Primulas in golden tones.

Summer flowering basket

Fill with white Italian Bellflower and pink Ivy-Leaved Pelargonium.

Planting your basket

  • Line the basket first with porous clay pellets and add some pebbles to one side to forma higher planting area /Or the back of the basket.
  • Almost fill the basket with peat-based L compost, mixing in a handful of charcoal to keep the mixture sweet. Leave about 2cm at the top.
  • Temporarily position your plants, still V in their pots, with taller at the back, and one or two central plants and trailers round front and sides.
  • When you are satisfied with the arrangement remove plants from their pots and place in the compost, tilting those at front and sides to outside.
  • The secret of a successful indoor basket is not only to allow space for compatible plants to grow, but also to use enough to create a massed effect.

Making a hanging basket watertight

A wicker or rush basket in a rope holder is a decorative way of displaying indoor plants. However, the basket will first need to be made waterproof for the sake of the surrounding furnishings and to protect the container itself from rot. A slatted wood or wire mesh basket can also be lined but as the outside of the container cannot be hidden by plants poked through side holes, some plants will need to be carefully selected and positioned so they hide the sides. A wicker basket is usually attractive enough to be partially on view and the waterproof liner will be hidden by the basket sides.

  • You will need thick black or green polythene or two layers of bin liner bag. Alternatively, you can also try using two layers of kitchen foil.
  • On top of the waterproof lining sits a synthetic shaped liner to protect the waterproof material from damage. Fit the liners by following the steps shown on the right.
  • Try various different containers to make your own hanging baskets. Old china pots, brass or ceramic flower pots or old kitchen pans can all be used if they are lined with polythene. Ensure that the chains are securely fixed before hanging.
  • Measure the basket and cut a slightly larger square from the waterproof liner. Place into the basket and cut, allowing 3cm overlap.
  • Place the foam liner on top and cut this 1 cm smaller than the basket all round. Fold the waterproof overlap in and tuck behind the liner.

Some plants to use in hanging baskets

  • Arched plants
  • Spider Plant, with its attached plant-lets, forms a perfect shape for showing oh in a hanging basket.
  • Ferns, of which there are many. Asparagus Fern, Emerald Fern, Roston Fern all form a decorative arched shape. Piggyback Plant, when it grows large, will show off its small plantlets growing on top of the older leaves.
  • Syngonium is really a climber but it will also trail attractively if placed in a hanging basket.
  • Unusual trailing plants
  • Purple Passion Vine will show oil its rich colouring when rut- by a sunny window.
  • Staghorn Fern will create a leature hung in a corner with some light shade. Bridal Veil has mass of tiny white flowers that appear at intervals throughout the year.
  • Japanese Stonecrop is a succulent which has clusters of pink flowers during October.

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