The Q&A Archives: Plants for Hanging baskets

Question: I am in zone 8-9 sandy, OR. I am looking for a perennial plant or a reseeding plant that is fast growing for hanging baskets:)

Answer: You can use any trailing perennial for your hanging basket. Here are a few suggestions:

Bacopa: These small-leafed plants have masses of small white or lavender flowers, blooms throughout spring. summer and fall. They prefer half-day shade.

Bidens: Sun hardy, golden flowering Bidens make a mat of color during warm weather seasons. 6? tall and 24-30? wide

Ivy geraniums: Try the Balcom series of single, free blooming ivy geraniums for 8 months of non-stop bloom. Deer usually leave these alone, however, word has it that Ivy geraniums are "dessert food" to rabbits.

Santa Barbara Daisy: This easy to grow plant offers multitudes of small daisy flowers, white with a hint of pink. Hardy, can even grow in the crack of a wall or stone. Deer and rabbits usually leave these alone.

Verbena: There are both annual and perennial Verbenas, so choose carefully. All prefer full sun as they get mildew in shade gardens. Bright colors of red, purple, pink and lavender. Proven Winners include Tapian and Temari types. Excellent long season bloomers.

Ivy Geranium: Choose geraniums in a color that either compliments or contrasts the other colors in your basket. The Ivy Geranium trails nicely, producing bright green shiny, ivy-shaped leaves. For my basket, I'll choose a combination of red and pink ones. Ivy geraniums are very vigorous and bloom all summer. They will attract many a butterfly, as butterflies prefer landing on single-petal blossoms.

Fuchsia: There are so many dazzling varieties of fuchsias one could get confused. Since I want to attract both ?jewels of the sky? and ?flying flowers? I'll plant a brightly colored fuchsia, such as the Black Prince. Fuchsias have no fragrance, but hummers are greatly attracted to them because of their brilliant colors. The "magellanica" produces many long, drooping stems that become heavily loaded with red and violet flowers lasting from July through frost. Fuchsias are glorious in hanging baskets and have always been a favorite. They require an abundance of water throughout their growing season, especially in warmer climates.

Trailing Lobelia: The lobelia is such a versatile little plant! I love it most anywhere in my garden. Since I also want something blue and white in my basket, I love the ?Blue Cascade? and ?White Lady.? Both come in the trailing variety just made for hanging baskets. There are also other colors such as carmine red, purple with white eyes, and Cambridge blue. Lobelia is quite hardy, and thrives in our summer heat. It blooms into late fall and requires little care. Its blossoms are very showy indeed and are used widely for container planting. To see just how lovely lobelia looks in hanging baskets, take a little side trip to Meadowview for a while and feast your eyes on some gorgeous hanging baskets filled with lobelia.

Pink Sand Verbena: This variety of verbena grows upright, and has massed heads of small round-topped flowers. They bloom in clusters about 2 inches across, having tiny 1/2 inch blossoms. Verbena comes in a rainbow of bright colors, and will attract both hummers and butterflies. It is also a very showy plant that adds vivid color to hanging baskets. Verbena are actually perennials to the West Coast, but are used widely as annuals in colder climates.

Lotus: I will add just a few lotus (L.bertholetii, parrot?s beak, coral gem) as a final touch. The lotus is a trailing plant, having lush grayish-green fluffy leaves. Its branches grow and spread nicely, and the color contrast with the other greens is very eye-catching. It has tiny flowers shaped rather like a bird?s beak. I?ve used lotus for many years with success in my baskets--it?s totally carefree!

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