Succulent hanging basket

Hanging basket

Follow our simple guidelines and plant up your own stunning hanging basket with heat beating plants.

Baskets are often suspended under the eaves of a roof where they don’t benefit from rainfall. They remain dry during extended periods of rain, often becoming extremely stressed and ultimately dying off. This often happens to mixed baskets planted with flowering annuals. To counteract this problem, use sun and drought tolerant succulents to create attractive, mixed, hanging baskets.

Select a suitable basket in terms of size and proportion relative to the position and selection of plants chosen. The larger the volume of soil in the basket the longer the expected lifespan of the plants will be. Choose a variety of different plants that are compatible in terms of water and light intensity requirements. Place the coir liner in the basket frame, ensuring that it is the correct size and fits snuggly. Put plastic, puntured with holes, in the lower half of the basket liner to slow down the drainage of water.

Mix together 1 part of river sand with 3 parts of potting soil to improve drainage for the succulents. Place the soil into the basket, covering the plastic. Remove the plants carefully from their nursery pots. Remove any excess soil from the root ball.

Position the plants in the basket. Make sure that they are at the correct depth. Fill in with soil between the plants and firm down with a stout stick.

Water the basket immediately to settle the plants into their new home.

Suspend your hanging basket and enjoy the impact it makes on the patio.

Caring for your hanging basket

The initial planting is often the simplest and most fulfilling element of growing plants. Always remember that the ultimate success of most plants depends on how well they are looked after, post-planting.

Check weekly if the basket requires watering. Also look out for pests and diseases. Treat them immediately if any are identified.

Apply a water soluble plant food or fertiliser, that is high in potassium, every month.

Remove or dead-head spent flower stalks as and when necessary.

Prune back any plants that grow too vigorously and tend to dominate the basket. This maintains balance and harmony within the group of plants.

The entire basket will need to be tipped out and replanted from time to time. This will depend on the types of plants and growing conditions.

The most prominent plant in this combination is Euphorbia Hypericifolia ‘Diamond Fizz’, the latest addition to the Diamond series that includes the ever popular Euphorbia Hypericifolia ‘Diamond Frost’. ‘Diamond Fizz’ has many more tightly packed bracts surrounding the flowers (cyathia) and blooms are produced continuously from spring to autumn. The colourful leaves of Crassula Multicava, with a rich pink or purple reverse, contrast strikingly with all the other succulents in the basket.

During late winter and early spring sprays of tiny, pale pink flowers will add extra interest to the plant. Graptopetalum Paraguayense lends a formal, geometric shape to the group of plants whilst the lavender-pink leaves blend harmoniously with all the other colours chosen. Star-shaped, pale yellow flowers adorn the plant in late spring.

The lush, lustrous emerald green foliage of a plant believed to be Sedum Confusum forms the central focal point. This is an upright growing Sedum with a shrubby habit producing bright yellow flowers in spring. The edges of the basket are planted with a Delosperma species and Ruschia Lineolata, two different members of the vygie or Mesembryanthemum family. Their lax, or cascading, growth habit and colourful little flowers in spring lend additional colour to an already attractive group of plants.

Important Hint

Suspend hanging baskets at eye level, approximately 1,2 to 1,6 metres above the ground. This ensures that the plants are visible and are easy to tend and maintain. There is no point in displaying baskets way up in the sky where they are lost from sight and difficult to look after. Use strong wire or steel chains to lower baskets to the correct level – it is well worth the extra effort.

The Gardener