The Q&A Archives: hanging plants

Question: What would be good plants for hanging on an outside balcony

Answer: Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas): This lovely cascading annual is grown for its foliage and while related to sweet potatoes grown as vegetables, the potatoes from this ornamental plant are small and bitter. The bright foliage of the sweet potato vine is anything but bitter however. Stunning green, dark black or variegated green and pink leaves (different cultivars are available) adorn the 2? trailing stems.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum Majus): Unlike the sweet potato vine, nasturtiums are grown not only for their gently cascading foliage, but for the bright and cheerful flowers which also happen to be edible! Nasturtium blooms have long been used as colorful garnish for salads and deserts, and the seeds as a peppery seasoning. Nasturtiums often have a cascading growth habit with trailing stems that are lovely in the garden for containers, mixed borders, or hanging baskets

Edging Lobelia (Lobelia erinus): This annual variety of lobelia is well suited for adding color and form to any garden spot and is not to be confused with the perennial form of lobelia, the Cardinal Flower. The trailing forms of lobelia grow to a maximum of 2-3? long and produce cheerful blue flowers most of the spring and early summer. Other cultivars may have white, scarlet or yellow flowers but all are attractive to butterflies.

Wave Petunia: The ever expanding group of petunias known as 'Wave Petunias' are excellent cascading or spreading form annuals that perform well not only in raised beds, containers and hanging baskets, but also in mixed flower beds where they are able to quickly fill in gaps between larger perennials. These petunias have large 3? flowers that are brightly colored in pink, purple and red hues of every shade, and grow on trailing, weeping stems about 3? long.

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima): A hugely popular flowering annual, common in rock gardens and containers, is known as sweet alyssum because of its sweet fragrance. A low-growing plant, sweet alyssum is highly fragrant and attracts honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the sprawling clumps of flowers that almost completely cover the foliage early spring through fall.

I'm sure you will find other trailing plants in your garden center. Enjoy!

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