Posted in do it yourself

How to Make a Hanging Flower Basket

magenta-14-basket-7-13-05If you want a fabulous hanging basket for a fraction of the cost, here’s what you need to do:

Gather your supplies:

1/3  bag of sphagnum moss (Don’t confuse sphagnum moss with sphagnum peat moss. They are not the same product. Sphagnum moss is the LIVING moss that grows on top of a sphagnum bog or in the forests. I buy it for about $17/bag at the garden store and one bag will line three large wire baskets.) 

1 sturdy wire hanging basket

potting soil (we use high porosity soil)

1/4 cup pelleted slow release fertilizer (we use Plant-Prod Nutricote 13, 13, 13 with trace elements)

1 tinfoil pie plate

70 bedding plants (the best bets are trailing petunias and/or  bacopa for sunny, hot locations and impatiens for shady, cool locations. TIP: stay away from lobelia — one missed watering and it’s gone.) 

Line the bottom of the basket and about the first 4 inches up the sides with wet moss. Press it into place by the handful like lining a pie pan with pastry. Nestle the tinfoil plate in the bottom, on top of the moss (to keep the water from running out the bottom).

Mix half the fertilizer (1/8 c) into the potting soil and fill the basket up to the level of the moss. Insert a row of bedding plants — poke the root ball through the opening in the wire and lay it horizontally on the moss so the root ball is laying on the soil and the stem and flowers are outside the basket. You will need about 6 – 8 plants per row. Leave a few inches between plants. Stack another 4-inch layer of moss around the edge of the basket and fill it with potting soil up to the new level.(it’s like building a multi-layer dessert, one layer at a time) Tamp down the soil after each addition. Add another layer of flowers, staggering them so that they are placed between the ones in the level below. Use this zigzag placement all the way to the top until the sides of the basket  are filled with flowers. Your last row is planted around the top edge and then the middle of the top is filled in as well. 

Remember these baskets are viewed from the bottom since they are usually hanging above eye level so be sure there are lots of flowers in the sides.

Another 1/8 cup slow release fertilizer can be sprinkled on the soil in the top when you are finished planting. Give the basket a thorough soaking and hang it indoors in a sunny spot. Turn it every few days so it gets sun on all sides. Make sure you build your hanging basket about 4  weeks before you plan to hang it outside. To prevent the plants from getting too leggy and flimsy, prune them back at least once or twice so they branch out and get bushier. Stop pruning 2 weeks before hanging outside so it has time to bloom. Hang it outside after the last danger of frost — where I live that is June 15! 

A hanging basket needs plenty of water every single day. Thoroughly soak it. We water our baskets with a computerized irrigation system  — a spaghetti tube is anchored in the middle of the basket with a tiny sprinkler head that has a spray radius of about 6 – 8 inches. During July and August the baskets are watered 3 x’s/day for 3 minutes. Never miss a day or you will lose flowers. Feed weekly with a soluble fertilizer like  Miracle Gro for blooms.

Baskets like this can cost about $150 ready-to-hang but you can make them for less than half that even if you have to buy all your bedding plants. We grow our own bedding plants from seed or cuttings so the cost is minimal. The baskets are a one-time expense because you can reuse them for many years if you buy a sturdy model with heavy chain. 

If you have any further questions about anything to do with hanging flower baskets, use the comment section. Have fun and enjoy the beauty of the blooms!

Author:

Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

9 thoughts on “How to Make a Hanging Flower Basket

  1. This sounds great but I can kill any plant in record time. When we arrived in our new Texas home, someone had left us two petunia plants. I have enjoyed them, soaked them every morning before the heat of the day, and plucked the dry flowers. But there are less and less flowers and today there are only 3!! What do I do, more water or less? Can they be revived? Help, I don’t want my plants to die!

    Like

    1. your petunia sounds like it needs less water and more fertilizer. when you deadhead — remove more than the petals — pinch off the whole hip where the flower was.

      Like

  2. Thanks for the great tips. Your flowers are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. I have the pouches. How much water do you recommend daily? Should you pinch off the buds that were missed or just the ones that have a dead bloom? Thanks for any advise. Teresa

    Like

    1. I don’t use the pouches (plastic hanging bags?) but if you do i would think they would hold water better than the moss-lined baskets i use. We water our baskets 3 times a day with an automatic system — we run a spaghetti line with a tiny sprinkler head and give 5 min’s each time. It depends on the location of the basket — full sun? high wind? If you use wave petunias you don’t have to pinch (deadhead) the spent blooms but I always do because it looks nicer without the detritus.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s