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How to choose the best hanging basket

Closeup of floral hanging basket Bumper Basket Collection (36) from Suttons

Your hanging display starts with the right hanging basket. Get the hardware right and you’re onto a winner. Whether you want to brighten up your front entrance, disguise a plain shed or add interest to a contemporary courtyard, hanging baskets are the perfect way to introduce colour and make use of vertical space. Here’s what to look for in a hanging basket along with top tips on which bedding plants to choose for an eye-catching display.

Which hanging basket is right for you?

Flowers in a wall basket from Suttons
Wall baskets are a compact way to create a beautiful display
Image: Wall baskets from Suttons

Hanging baskets come in different shapes, sizes and materials. Here are some of the most popular types:

  • Lined hanging baskets – one of the most popular and traditional options, these simple metal cages need to be lined with coir, moss or plastic. They come in different styles and colours, including highly decorative versions. Lined baskets dry out slightly quicker than plastic, so be sure to add water storing granules to your mix.
  • Black hanging baskets – these large, plain, plastic baskets have wide tops which make them simple to plant and they retain water well. Supplied with four support chains rather than the usual three, they’re a strong option for heavier displays.
  • Bloom around baskets – these plastic baskets retain water well and have special ‘gates’ in the sides to allow you to plant all the way around, as well as in the top.
  • Wall baskets – attaching directly to a house or a shed wall, rather than being suspended from a bracket, these are a good choice for a windy or exposed area as they’re very strong and don’t move about.
  • Greenville hanging baskets – contemporary, sleek and stylish, these hanging baskets are designed to be seen, and look just as good indoors and out. With a built-in drip tray, they keep your floors dry and your soil moist. Available in white and anthracite.
  • Corsica easy hang planters – these colourful, moulded pots are designed specifically to hook over balcony railings without brackets or permanent fixtures, perfect for quick and easy displays. Ideal for crops like strawberries, just move them into a prominent position during fruiting.

If you choose a suspended hanging basket, remember to get a strong wall bracket to hang it securely.

Watch our ‘how to plant up a hanging basket’ video below for more advice!

The best types of summer bedding for your hanging basket

Starry Eyed Mix from Suttons
Choose a fun mix of plant colours and forms for your basket
Image: Starry Eyes Mix from Suttons

Create a spectacular display in your chosen hanging basket with one of our pre-selected collections of colour-themed bedding plants. Curated by professional garden designers, simply choose between boldly contrasting or beautifully complementary coloured schemes to give your front entrance real kerb appeal. Alternatively, if you prefer to design your own, here are some of the things to consider:

  • Trailing foliage. Add some drama with a trailing plant like nepeta variegata whose scalloped, cream and sage coloured leaves cascade over the side of your basket. Or what about a fun trailing herb like Aztec sweet herb ‘Colada’ (Lippia dulcis) which has sweet, calorie-free leaves?
  • Trailing flowers. A waterfall of flowers makes a luxurious statement. Try Thunbergia plants (black eyed Susan) for exotic coloured petals with striking black eyes. Or try Nasturtium ‘Orange Troika’ whose bright orange blooms brighten up your basket from June to September.
  • Tumbling flowers. Grow a froth of joyful colour with a tumbling flower variety like Sanvitalia. Looking just like mini yellow sunflowers, they cascade happily over the edge of your basket. Another good choice, Lobelia ‘Ultra Cascade Mix’ produces a cloud of different colours that form a loose halo around your other plants.
  • Multi-coloured blooms. If you want something unusual for your basket, the blooms of petunia ‘Peach Sundae’ change daily, moving from yellow to orange and into peach.
  • Height. Create some interest in the top of your basket by planting Clematis ‘Little Lemons’. This unusual, super dwarf variety has upright stems that reach 45cm tall. The bright yellow flowers appear between May and September.
  • Fragrance. Bring an added dimension to your baskets with a tantalising fragrance as you brush past. Sweet pea ‘Sweetie Mix’ is a beautifully scented, super compact variety that would work well.
  • Edible. Make your baskets earn their keep by filling them with ornamental edibles like blackberry ‘Black Cascade’ or tomato ‘Tumbling Tom Red’.

For more advice, see our step-by-step guide on how to plant up your hanging basket. And don’t let them sit idle through the colder months. Use our winter hanging basket guide to create an all year round display. If you’re in a hurry, check out our range of pre-planted hanging baskets that are ready to hang on delivery. Go for ‘Fruit Salad’ for peach, blue and white blooms, or ‘Tutti Frutti’ for a spectacular mix.

Lead image: Bumper Basket Collection (36) from Suttons

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