Making a Hanging Basket

What you’ll need

  • Wire basket
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Hanger and bracket

step 1: Gather Plants and Materials

At a garden center, buy a 14-inch wire frame, a good strong hanger and bracket for it, a bag of sphagnum moss to line it with, Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix, and Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Slow Release Plant Food.

Select a 6-pack of trailing annuals—such as lobelia, petunia or verbena—for the sides of the basket and one of bushy annuals—such as impatiens, geranium or begonias—for the top. Select sun or shade flowers to match the location you’ve chosen.

step 2: Prepare the Basket

Soak the sphagnum in water to wet it thoroughly, then wring out a handful. Starting at the bottom, stuff wads of moss through the mesh of the wire basket. The moss lining should be about 2 inches thick. When you are about 1/3 of the way up the side of the basket, fill the basket that far with Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. Set the basket in a large pot to keep it stable as you work.

step 3: Add Plants to the Sides

Water the 6-pack of annuals you selected for the sides. Flatten the root ball of one plant and push it through the mesh on top of the moss. The roots will lay on the potting mix and the top of the plant extend outside the moss. Put 2 more plants through the mesh at equal intervals around the pot.

Now pack more moss around the plants to line the basket ⅔ full. Add potting mix to that level. Push the other 3 plants through the mesh, alternating them with the bottom row. Pack moss through the rest of the mesh to the top. Mold some wet moss around the top wire to pad it.

If you wish, trim the moss with scissors to make it neater. Fill the basket with soil to within an inch of the top and stir in three tablespoons of Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Slow Release Plant Food. Osmocote will feed the flowers all summer.

step 4: Add Top Plants and Hang

Plant one annual in the center of the pot and the others near the edges. Attach the hangers to the rim of the basket and hang it where it will get the right light for the plants you’ve chosen. Sun plants need at least 6 hours of sun a day. Shade plants need bright light or morning sun, but won’t tolerate afternoon sun. Water the basket well, let it drip, then water it again.

Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix contains polymers that absorb and hold more water then ordinary potting mix, but hanging baskets dry out more quickly than pots, so watch the watering carefully during dry weather. Depending on the flowers you selected, you might have to trim the trailers occasionally to keep them tidy. In a few weeks, your basket will be a bright ball of flowers!