…Plus plant recommendations, inspiration photos, and more!

Any well landscaped home includes some show stoppingly beautiful hanging flower baskets. Come summer, inspiration is all around. Shopping centers, neighborhoods, amusement parks, and restaurants all seem to have perfect hanging planters, overflowing with blooms that seem as if they are just about to spill out and spread down the street. You may think you need to resort to buying pre-planted flower baskets, or ask a professional to help you out to achieve this look. But that’s not the case, in fact it’s easier than you may think to create your own gorgeous diy hanging planters at home!

Hanging Baskets - 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Yep, you really can have those lush, full, awe -inspiring hanging flower baskets in your own garden with these tips and tricks! Keep reading for all the secrets to perfect hanging flower baskets, some great inspiration, and our favorite plants and flower for diy hanging planters.

Secrets to creating gorgeous DIY hanging flower baskets

The first thing that you have to remember is that if you want those professional looking, lush hanging baskets, all of these secrets are equally important and work together. If one part of the “system” fails, chances are good that none of the other secrets are gonna save you. But no worries, none of these are tough, fellow gardeners!  

Secret #1 – Choose right hanging pot, basket or container for your desired look

There are quite a few different ways to hang your planters, including options if you don’t want to put nails in your front porch. Your chosen container will change the overall look of your hanging planter, so you may want to come back to this if you decide your favorite flowers might work better in a different format.

Classic hanging planters

If you want simple cascading planters, choose regular hanging pots. There are plenty of options available at home improvement stores in the garden center, or on Amazon if you are looking for more variety. 

colorful hanging baskets on light posts in town
photo source: KathrynHatashitaLee / Getty Images

Flower globes

If you want those amazing living flower globes that hang from the streets in those awe inspiring European hamlets, then you need a specific type of planter. Look for a container that is either wire with a fiber liner, or that has holes throughout its body specifically for this purpose. This allows you to place plants all through the sides and bottom of the container. This photo from ‘Fine Gardening‘ shows how to cut holes in the liner and place plants for a globe look.

Hanging Basket Stand

Perhaps you don’t want to drill into the side of your house or porch. Totally understandable! Consider using stands that stick in the ground to hang your flower baskets along a walkway or alongside your porch. There are lots of options online, like these from Amazon. Just make sure they are in dense soil and standing sturdily before leaving them with your baskets hanging. 

DIY Macrame hanging planter

Add a little extra craftiness to your diy planter project by making your own diy macrame hanging planter for your flower baskets! These are a great way to add a little boho flair to front porch. Here is a great tutorial and example by Craftivity Designs”

Hanging Flower Basket Secret #2 – The best soil for hanging baskets

Using a high quality potting mix is vital to successful hanging baskets. It is very important to use a lightweight potting wix that will help manage the water retention of the planter. The best way to achieve this is by mixing your own soil, which is actually super easy! Any good recipe should include vermiculite and perlite as these are essential to keeping soil light, aerated, and moist. Equal parts vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss or coco coir is a good, basic recipe. 

mixing perlite into soil in large plastic bowl

Old World Garden Farms recommends this recipe that they swear by.

  • 4 Parts – Pulverized Soil/Top Soil
  • 4 Parts – Compost
  • 1 Part – Worm Castings
  • 1 Part – Perlite
  • 1/2 Part – Spent Coffee Ground

Secret #3 – Feed and water hanging flower pots well

Hanging baskets run out of  nutrients much faster than regular containers for a couple reasons. For one, water flows freely through them, pulling nutrients out in the process. And hanging baskets require frequent watering, too. Aside from that, the plants are also taking up the nutrients, of course. Since hanging baskets are usually planted densely, there’s a lot more roots sucking up a limited amount of fertilizer.

Add a slow release granular fertilizer to the potting mix when you plant, then use a liquid fertilizer at half strength once a week, such as Miracle Grow for Flowers. Use both, your plants will thank you with lush growth and many blooms! The town of Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C. is famous for their hanging flower pots, below. They water their baskets every night and include liquid fertilizer at every feeding.

Photo source: ‘Vancouver Island Now

Hanging flower baskets require a lot more water than planters, especially the ones with fiber liners, as they are constantly losing moisture from all sides. Do not let your planters dry out. Once you do, the root systems will be damaged, and while you may be able revive them, they will never reach their full potential. Here’s a helpful video guide to walk you through the correct way to water hanging baskets.

Once you get used to how heavy your planters are when fully watered, you can just lift up on the bottom and tell if they are getting light, then they are getting dry. They like to be evenly moist. Consider taking them down weekly to do a full and deep soaking, allow to drain, then rehang. In the most intense heat of the summer, some flower baskets may need water as often as twice a day.

Secret #4 – Best plants for hanging baskets

Just like when planting in your garden, you have to choose the right plants for the right spot. Not only do you need to pay attention to whether your basket will hang in sun or shade, also note if it will be subject to drying winds, heavy rains, or excessive heat.

Then, consider the shape and overall design you want for your baskets. Choose trailing plants for the sides and bottom of the container, and more upright varieties for the middle of the container. Think about your color scheme here, too. Do you want 3-5 different varieties with different textures, colors and bloom shapes for more close up interest? OR, do you want a single color and type to make a mass statement? Here’s a good example of a single color flower basket using Supertunia “Raspberry Blast” courtesy of ‘Wojos’.

Consider the location of your planter when deciding on color schemes. Bolder colors will draw the eye in from farther away, perfect if your house is set back from the street a bit. Meanwhile, more subdued color choices allow the basket to add to the gardenscape and overall aesthetic of your house instead of becoming a focal point. Scroll down after this last tip for a list of our favorites plants for hanging baskets.

Secret #5 – Pack ‘Em In!

Our last little trick from the pros is pretty important… You have to pack the plants into these containers to get the full and lush look you want. Hanging baskets have a short amount of time to get to their full intended size, so you may need more plants than you would think. 

Start them as early in spring as you can, weather permitting, for the best result by mid summer. Photo above from ‘Proven Winners‘ includes their Superbells calibrachoa and two types of verbena.

Here’s a helpful tip when it comes to tightly planting your hanging baskets- once your flowers get fully grown, the root competition will slow down their growth. If your planters look like they are starting to struggle, try thinning the plants a bit. They should spring back to life!

Best plants for show stopping hanging flower baskets

As promised, here are our favorite plants to include in hanging basket designs. Whether shaded or sunny, colorful or minimalist, there are plants here to create a beautiful basket for any front porch. I’ve just featured some of our favorites here, but we’ll put together a full list complete with photos soon!

Flowering plants for hanging baskets

Most hanging baskets are loaded with flowers. Here are some beautiful ones to consider in your own design.


Alyssum is perfect to add a delicate, soft texture and some contrast to your hanging baskets. Their sweet little white flowers look like snowflakes falling from your hanging planter and go with just about any color scheme you choose. 

Photo source: Proven Winners


A classic for a reason, petunias are prolific bloomers. These are perfect if you like the look of a single flower variety filling a whole flower basket, whether in one color or a range of colors. Check out Proven Winners “Supertunias,” seen below, for some beautiful color options.

Supertunia hanging planter

Ivy Geranium

Ivy geraniums (seen below) add big pops of color and sprawling structure to hanging baskets. Other varieties work great, too.

Photo source: simon_wicz / Getty Images

More flowers to consider for hanging baskets include:

  • Calibrachoa -also known as “million bells” these flowers resemble mini petunias
  • Diascia- plant diascia, also called “twinspur” for delicate, prolific little flowers
  • Lantana- Little bundles brightly colored mini flowers
  • Nemesia- these low growing flowers will fill in your hanging baskets and then cascade down the sides
  • Osteospermum – you may also know these as african daisies, and they resemble calendula
  • Scaevola- With its delicate purple flowers, Scaevola, or Fan Flower, will attract lots of butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds to your home

Trailing Flowers

Pick flowers from this list to add a beautiful cascading element to your hanging planters.


if you live in a cooler climate, you just have to take advantage of it by adding fuchsia to your hanging baskets, because it won’t do so well for those of us in the heat. Their hot pink hanging flowers with purple centers are like nothing else out there.

Photo source: Jessicahyde / Getty Images

Black eyed susan vine 

quick growing and cheerfully bright, this climbing flower adds some sunshine hues to any flower basket. It also comes in white and attracts butterflies all summer and even into fall.

Photo source: Mutharaa / Mutharaa Images


More common in the vegetable garden alongside tomatoes than in hanging baskets, nasturtium is actually very well suited to this use and adds an edible component to your design. Check out a guide on using nasturtium in hanging basket by Urban Garden Girl here then pick out some beautiful varieties over at Eden Brothers.

Photo source: Urban Garden Gal

More trailing flower varieties Include:

  • Trailing lobelia- though not so easy to find, these purple flowered little plants are easy to grow. Just make sure if you find lobelia it is of the climbing/trailing variety to achieve that cascading look.
  • Lotus Vine – a trailing flowering plant with pointed leaves and unique, spiky looking flowers that give the plant its nickname, “parrots beak”
  • Trailing Lantana- purple trailing lantana is similar to the lantana varieties mentioned above, only this plant trails much longer, creating a cascade of purple out of hanging containers.
  • Verbena- Garden verbena can grow either in a mounding or tailing habit. Using trailing varieties such as Superbena whiteout pictured below.
Photo source: Proven Winners

Greenery options to include in hanging baskets

Every hanging basket needs some greenery to contrast all those beautiful blooms. If you just can’t get enough color, pick a bright green vine like creeping jenny to keep things lively or select one with pink foliage like a polka dot plant for even more color. 

Sweet potato vine – 

(choose the marguerite variety for best results) – This vine boasts big, bright green leaves that create a statement as they cascade from hanging planters. Sweet potato vine is a great way to incorporate cascading greenery while keeping the flowers together up top.

Photo source: racheldonahue / Getty Images

English Ivy 

These variegated leaves add a bit more contrast and interest than other greenery options, especially if you haven’t already incorporated a white flower into your hanging basket.

More Greenery

  • Creeping Charlie – This one is a trailing ground cover perfect for filling in hanging baskets and cascading over the sides to create the whimsical hanging planter of your dreams.
  • Asparagus Fern – Easy to care for, with uniquely fluffy green leaves.
  • Coleus – Even without blooms this plant adds some serious color with its red and green leaves.
  • Polka dot plant – another colorful foliage option, the polka dot plant will add a bit of pink, red, and green to the mix.
  • Dracaena- often grown as a houseplant, dracaena can make for a great centerpiece to a hanging basket.
  • Creeping Jenny – use this ground cover plant to create  a cascade of bright green leaves from your planters
  • Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare, especially ‘Limelight’) – for fuzzy, green cascading leaves

Shade Flowers for Hanging Baskets

Partial shade is actually great for hanging baskets. Less heat from the sun means better water retention for your plants. And of course you want a nice, cool shaded porch in the summer! Here are some options for hanging baskets going in shaded porch or shade garden.


This “Hanging Basket Pastel Mix” of begonia tubers by Eden Brothers is absolutely stunning! These begonia varieties would be absolutely perfect for adding some soft color to hanging flower baskets without making too much of a statement. There are plenty of other beautiful begonia varieties on the site, too!

hanging basket full of pastel begonias


Here is another favorite for hanging flower baskets- impatiens. This flower comes in a wide range of colors. Pick vibrant hues like the ones seen below for big impact, or soften things up with a pastel pink variety. The choice is yours!

bright coral pink impatiens in hanging baskets
Photo source: RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

Looking for some cool tones in your planter? Lobelia is a great choice. I love the addition of the blue-hued variety contrasting with bright, warm tones. Check out this guide on all things Lobelia from Proven Winners for more info on this whimsical flower.

blue lobelia in hanging planter
Photo source: Proven Winners
  • Browallia – Blue purple or white flowers that can handle part sun to shade.
  • Mimulus – Also called monkeyflower, mimulus can add a bit of multiclored flair to your hanging basket design. They do best in full sun, but will also tolerate part shade as they are naturally a forest flower.
  • Bacopa – commonly called water hyssop, this plant blooms in delicate little white flowers.
  • Pansies- These cold tolerant flowers are an excellent choice for cool climate gardeners.
  • Lamium – though excellent as a ground cover, lamium does great in hanging baskets, too.


Hopefully now you have some plants in mind you may want to use. Here are some beautiful inspiration photos to help you bring the whole picture together. Remember you can always change the the container or plants you’ve chosen to work with if you see something here you like better!

All greenery hanging baskets

Believe it or not, you don’t have to have flowers for a beautiful hanging basket design! Lots of foliage plants boast beautiful colors beyond just green.

Hanging succulent orbs are bit different than the concepts we’ve been covering, but super cool nonetheless. Learn how to make a succulent sphere for a really unique hanging basket from YouTube channel ‘Garden Answer‘.

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Stick with more classic plants in the greenery category like ferns for a lush addition to your porch.

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Fragrant hanging planters

Consider focusing your hanging baskets on one specific purpose- creating a beautiful fragrance for the front entrance of your home. This creates the most pleasant first impression for guests.

Jasmine would be my top choice here, I just think this has got to be the best smelling flower there is. Gardenias provide a similar scent but with larger flowers.

Pick your favorite colors

Don’t overthink things, just pick your favorite colors and a few flowers that vary in growth habits (trailing vs mounding etc) and go for it!

Get inspired by the season

Photo courtesy of ‘Proven Winners‘. These hanging flowers are blue lobelia, red ivy geranium and annuals. This design would be the perfect way to add a patriotic touch to your front porch for the 4th of July!

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Monochrome and single-variety hanging baskets

Sticking to a single variety or color is a great way to create a big, bold impact. For the biggest impact, keep it really uniform with just one color like this.

Alternatively, use a range of shades of one color for a subtly monochrome color scheme. Here’s an example using purple again for comparison.

Where to Buy Supplies to Make Hanging Flower Baskets

Your choices for hanging planters and other supplies for making your flower baskets might be limited where you live. We found a few picks that might help you plant exactly the kind of hanging basket that you are dreaming about!

If you want to be able to not worry about watering your hanging baskets every single day, then try the “Pollyanna Self-Watering Resin Hanging Planter“. Not only does it come in three modern colors and two sizes, it has a water reservoir that keeps the soil in the planter moist. I love its faux cement finish to go with other favorite cement and concrete garden decor projects like our cement garden globes.

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Looking for something a little more unique? The “Convivial VI Hanging Planter” from West Elm features a lovely geometric design in a crisp porcelain ivory glaze complete with coconut coir liner. Perfect for all kinds of plants.

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Last, we love, love, love the look of this “Handmade Globe Copper and Steel Hanging Planter”   Yes, it’s a little pricey and it isn’t like a traditional hanging basket, but can you imagine the charm if you filled this with trailing flowers?… or anything for that matter!

Hanging Flower Baskets : 5 Secrets the Pros Use

Take your DIY hanging baskets to new heights

So now you have the secrets to planting those ah-mazing hanging flower baskets. I just know you’re going to create some amazing, gorgeous DIY hanging baskets at home!  I’d love to see the results, feel free to reply to any TGG email (subscribe here) to show me what you’ve created any time! Or send it our way on Instagram or Facebook

If you want more DIY garden projects, check out our post on How to Plant Fantastic Flower Beds or DIY Hummingbird Feeders, Nectar and Swings. Looking for more ways to dress up your porches and patios? Check out our post on diy planters and DIY patio cover projects.

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  1. Peter DIYPD September 10, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Great tips thank you so much! I love so much the flower hanging baskets. By the way the photos are amazing!

  2. Aaron August 30, 2020 at 11:48 am

    That pink hanging basket is NOT Supertunia Raspberry Blast… It’s a pink Calibrachoa!

    1. Kathy Bates January 24, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks for catching that!

  3. Dmtechnolab July 27, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    Good article- I never thought to put holes in the bottom or sides of my coco liners. That makes sense as to how those fill out so nicely.

  4. Dmtechnolab July 27, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Very Nice informative article. And that beautiful hanging baskets full of hydrangea.

  5. Natalie Ellis June 23, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for these great tips! Using high quality soil is so important–many folks think dirt is dirt, but it really does matter. Also some gorgeous photos and inspiration. :)

  6. Rebeca Flores October 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Flowers occupy an important place in our lives. A gift of nature, symbol of love and beauty.

    That’s why spending time in a flower garden or park helps to relax the mind and promote well-being.

    Great Article


  7. Nina Ashton July 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Can you address spacing of planters between posts? I have 11 1/2 feet between my posts. How many hanging plants? Two?

  8. Maria October 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I got ideas at Disney and Epcot.

  9. Liz June 22, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Good article- I never thought to put holes in the bottom or sides of my coco liners. That makes sense as to how those fill out so nicely.

  10. Lisa June 16, 2017 at 5:18 am

    It was at Disney World where I awaken my gardening gene! Have always used them as my Standard!

  11. Diena Cameron March 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Beautiful hanging baskets, thank you. Some great ideas for spring.


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