Hanging Baskets Outdoors: Interesting Places To Hang Plants
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Hanging baskets outdoors can be a great alternative if you have limited space or if you don’t have a porch or patio. Here are a few suggestions for alternate places to hang plants in the garden.
Choosing Places to Hang Plants
If you’re wondering where to hang plants, there’s nothing wrong with hanging a basket from a tree branch. Steel S-hooks, which come in a range of sizes, make easy work of hanging baskets in the garden. Be sure the branch is sturdy, because baskets filled with damp soil and plants are very heavy and can easily break a weak branch.
Railing planters or decorative brackets, suitable for outdoor hanging plants on fences or balconies, are available in a vast range of prices, styles, and materials ranging from plastic to wood or galvanized metals.
No place for outdoor hanging plants? Shepherd’s hooks don’t take up much space, they’re easy to install, and the height is usually adjustable. Some have enough hooks for up to four plants. Shepherd’s hooks are also handy for birdfeeders or solar lights.
Tips on Hanging Baskets in The Garden
Consider places to hang plants carefully. Site plants low enough to water easily, but high enough that you aren’t likely to bump your head.
Monitor sunlight for your outdoor hanging plants. For instance, baskets from trees generally need to be shade tolerant. Plant suggestions for shady spots include:
- Chenille plant
There are many suitable plants if you’re looking for outdoor hanging plants for a sunny spot. A few examples include:
- Moss Roses
Fill containers with a lightweight commercial potting mix and be sure pots have a good drainage hole in the bottom so water can drain freely.
Water hanging plants in the garden frequently, as the soil in hanging baskets dries out quickly. You may need to water outdoor hanging plants twice a day during the peak of summer.
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Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.
Are you under the assumption gardening won’t work for you because you have limited space?
Don’t even allow yourself to go there. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and your way may be having a hanging basket garden on a balcony or in an outdoor space.
If you can come up with an appropriate place to hang a basket, then you can have a garden!
Keep in mind, you may not be able to grow as large a quantity or variety as a traditional gardener, but growing anything beats growing nothing.
Here are the crops to grow in your hanging basket garden and a few tips to get you started:
Hanging a Hook from Drywall
Hanging plant hooks from drywall is a different process than installing ceiling hooks into joists. Instead of a hook screw, you'll be using a toggle bolt with a hook. Plastic toggles are good for hanging on walls, but do not use on ceilings.
Use a stud finder to locate a hollow spot in the ceiling or wall and mark it with a pencil toggle bolts cannot be screwed into wall studs. Drill a hole the size of the base of the toggle (usually around half an inch). Pinch the wings of your toggle together and insert them through the hole. When the wings reach the hollow area, they'll open inside of the hole. Tighten the bolt to ensure that the wings are secure against the inner surface of the wall or ceiling. Suspend your plant from this hanging plant hook and delight in your green decor.
What You Shouldn’t Grow in Hanging Baskets
As many items as you see you can grow in a hanging basket garden, there are still a few you shouldn’t grow. Here’s what you shouldn’t consider growing in this style of garden and why:
1. Heavy Crops
You notice above, cherry tomatoes were the option given instead of basic tomatoes. The reason for this is some varieties of tomatoes are smaller while some are quite large.
If you were to try and grow a beefsteak tomato in a hanging basket, the produce would become heavy to the point it could break the basket.
When considering which crops to grow in this type of garden, don’t only look at the size of the plant but also the size of the crop it will produce.
2. Root Vegetables
Though root vegetables don’t have large tops to them, they do require a large grow space beneath them to produce a decent sized product.
Therefore, unless you have a massively deep hanging basket, root vegetables aren’t going to be your pick.
However, I did mention a few smaller varieties of root vegetables above which could work for a hanging basket. The small varieties don’t require as much grow space or depth of soil to produce a full-size product.
3. Tall Crops
You won’t want to grow tall crops in a hanging basket. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it was worth a mention.
There are some patio varieties of larger crops (like corn), but they still won’t work in a hanging basket. If the plant will reach the roof the basket is hanging from, it’s not a good candidate.
The good news is, if you have space to hang a basket outdoors, you may have the space to take your taller crops and plant them in a container garden. This would give you more room to grow and more of an opportunity to produce your own food.
You now have the information necessary to start your own hanging basket garden. No more excuses about not having space, you’re now equipped to care for the garden and knowledgeable of which crops should be successful when grown in a hanging basket. As well as, which may not be the best choice for this style of garden.
Even if you have a more extensive garden, a hanging basket garden is a great way to give you even more space and more room to produce different foods around your property.
By having a hanging basket garden close to your kitchen, you can have a lovely salad garden with cherry tomatoes and lettuce. Since lettuce has different colored leaves, they are often used for decoration and would look and work great in your hanging baskets.
Now that you are empowered with more knowledge, we trust you will be a little more self-sufficient and enjoy the hobby of gardening while indulging in a healthier diet straight from your garden.
Trailing Begonias (Begonia spp., hybrids)
Like fuschias, begonias can be an ideal choice for shady spots. Trailing versions are available in both corm and tuberous forms as well as seed-grown versions sold as bedding plants. Tuberous varieties include hanging basket hybrids (begonia x tuberhybrida) that have tender, drooping stems with large, wing-shaped flowers and huge flowers with neon-glowing flowers in deep shades of red, yellow, and purple. They are quite stunning on a deck or patio. Some seed-grown bedding varieties also work well in baskets, including those with semi-double flowers, such as 'Million Kisses'.
While corm/tuberous begonias require near full shade in very hot climates such as the southwest U.S., in cooler climates they ideally need an hour or two of sun daily. Seeded bedding-plant forms of begonia require more sun than the corm/tuberous varieties.
Begonia baskets can be overwintered indoors if you can keep the humidity levels above 50 percent. Some gardeners also have luck digging and saving the tubers over winter for planting the following spring. Store them in a cool but dry area for the winter.
- USDA Growing Zones: 10–11 usually grown as annuals
- Color Varieties: Pink, red, yellow, salmon, rose, orange, white
- Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
- Soil Needs: Light, porous, moderately rich