Eight best plants for hanging baskets

Trailing fuchsias flower throughout the summer and are good in semi-shade as well as in full sun.
Trailing fuchsias flower throughout the summer and are good in semi-shade as well as in full sun.

Amateur gardeners looking to spruce up their backyards have been offered advice on the best plants to grow in hanging baskets.

From fuchsias and verbena to petunias and even tomatoes, outdoors experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have revealed the flowers and fruits that are best suited to grow above the ground.

Flowers that grow outwards instead of upwards are generally best suited for baskets, particularly those that will spill over the edge of containers and hang down in drifts of colour.

Most bedding plant varieties work well, but petunias, begonias and sweet alyssum are most well suited.

A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Walking into your local garden centre, it can be quite overwhelming trying to decide what to plant where – particularly when it comes to hanging baskets which often take pride of place next to the front door.

“You don’t want to pick anything that grows too tall, so instead choose typical bedding plant varieties that grow outwards and fill out into large blooms.

“We’ve selected our favourite plants that are perfect for hanging baskets, including tomatoes which, if you pick bush varieties, look really impressive and a bit different to your typical baskets and containers.”

1. Begonias

If you’re planting a basket for a shaded spot, begonias are ideal, and you’ll find an amazing range amongst the seasonal bedding plants. Instantly recognisable with their large blooms that hang from thick stems, this is a popular basket and bedding plant.

2. Fuchsias

Trailing fuchsias flower throughout the summer and are good in semi-shade as well as in full sun. Although they mix well with other plants, trailing fuchsias lend themselves to solo planting. Fuchsias are very tough hanging basket plants that are also semi-hardy, so that they can be kept in a frost-free place over winter and grow again the following year.

3. Petunias

Plant a variety of single colour petunias in a hanging basket and watch how they hang down in huge drifts of colour. There are also some fantastic two-tone varieties that can really add the ‘wow’ factor to your garden.

4. Pelargoniums

There are many different types of pelargonium, but all make good subjects for hanging baskets. Simply give them a sunny spot and deadhead to keep the blooms coming.

5. Tomatoes

Hanging baskets can be more than a visual garden feature – you can plant edible plants in them too. Bush varieties of cherry tomatoes grow well in hanging baskets – just grow in a sunny spot and feed regularly. Once they start to grow, they offer a nice alternative to traditional flower baskets.

6. Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny has small, yellow flowers but it’s mostly grown for its golden foliage, which trails over the edge of baskets and sets off other, showier flowering plants. You can grow this plant in full sun or partial shade.

7. Verbena

These totally carefree, easy to grow plants can provide a stunning mix of shades in both pots and baskets. They tend to have a more compact growing habit, so will form masses of flowers that gently spill over the edge of their container.

8. Sweet Alyssum

These flowers have a strong honey scent that attracts butterflies and bees. The appealing trailing habit of sweet alyssum can turn shaggy as the season progresses, so don’t be afraid to reinvigorate it with a summer haircut.