‘I’m a gardening expert – these are the 7 best plants to put in baskets’

Garden boss Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress has shared his favourite plants and flowers for hanging baskets this summer. They’re usually seen flanking front doors, but hanging baskets are also a great way to brighten up sheds, garages, fences and patios.

There are plenty of pre-planted options available on the market, but there’s something quite rewarding about carefully selecting an array of plants yourself and seeing your efforts come to fruition when they start to grow and bloom.

If this is your first hanging basket rodeo, it can be difficult to get the right balance of colour, texture and scent, and there are a few things to consider.

First, you need to decide where your hanging basket is going to go, and then determine how much sunlight the location receives. It’s important to choose plants that thrive in that specific light condition, whether it’s full sun, partial shade, or full shade.

Hanging baskets can also dry out quickly, so try to select plants with similar watering requirements.

Consider using drought-tolerant plants if the basket is in a hot, sunny spot or if regular watering is a concern.

You should also think about the colour scheme and overall aesthetic you want to achieve, and then combine flowers and foliage with complementary or contrasting colours to make sure your baskets are balanced and visually appealing.

Lastly, try to consider the mature size of the plants to ensure they fit well within the basket and don’t overcrowd each other.

Also, select plants with similar growth rates to maintain a balanced appearance over time. If half of the plants grow in a matter of days whereas the others take weeks, your baskets will end up looking sparse most of the time!

Chris Bonnett’s favourite plants for hanging baskets:

1. Fuchsia

Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun

Watering: Regular watering, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged

These pendulous flowers come in a variety of vibrant colours. The trailing varieties boast huge blooms that are best enjoyed from below.

2. Petunia

Sunlight: Full sun

Watering: Regular watering, but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings

These bright, trumpet-shaped flowers also come in lots of colours, and are excellent for providing continuous blooms throughout the summer.

3. Geranium

Sunlight: Full sun

Watering: Moderate watering, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

Geraniums are durable, long-blooming plants with vibrant flowers ideal for sunny spots.

4. Lobelia

Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun

Watering: Regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist

Lobelia’s small, delicate flowers come in shades of blue, white, and pink, and are great for adding a soft, trailing effect.

5. Ivy

Sunlight: Full shade to partial shade

Watering: Low to moderate watering, depending on the variety

Ivy is a versatile, evergreen foliage that can be used to add texture and greenery to pretty much all hanging baskets year-round.

6. Begonia

Sunlight: Full shade to partial shade

Watering: Regular watering, but avoid waterlogging

Whether you prefer the big blooms of double-flowered varieties, or the elegant single-ones, Begonias provide masses of colourful flowers that cascade wonderfully from any hanging basket.

7. Trailing Verbena

Sunlight: Full sun

Watering: Regular watering, ensuring good drainage

Trailing Verbena look sensational in hanging baskets, as their clusters of tiny flower balls give vibrant colour to your summer displays.

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