The Q&A Archives: Perennial hanging plants

Question: What types of perennial flowers can be used in hanging baskets that grow good in the Northeast that would grow the kind of like a Petunia or a spider plant where it would grow over the edges and drape down? Thank you


It can be difficult to keep perennial plants alive in a hanging basket over the winter months so extra care will need to be taken to keep the roots from freezing solid when cold weather hits. Here are a few trailing or cascading perennials to consider;

Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) A familiar bedding and edging plant often grown in containers, the candytuft is a beautiful cascading perennial. The candytuft is evergreen, semi-evergreen in very cold areas, and is hardy in zones 3-9. Iberis sempervirens is the most commonly offered of the candytufts and will grow about 10 feet high by 2 feet wide with a pleasant trailing stem habit that makes it lovely in rock gardens, containers or raised beds. The candytuft also has beautiful fine foliage and white, fragrant flowers that cover the plant in early April. Some fading of foliage can occur but pruning the stems back will encourage new growth and sometimes reblooming as well.

Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) A beautiful and graceful hardy fuchsia, this plant grows to 3 feet tall with arching, graceful stems and pendulous flowers. The pale flowers are lavender-pink and hang from the drooping braches like fountains. Hardy fuchsias do well in zones 6-10 but need plenty of water in areas with hot, dry summers. They also benefit from mulch in the winter, and shade in the summer. The graceful arching stems and exotic fuchsia blooms make it worth the little extra effort.

Diascia (Diascia barberae Flying ColorsĀ® Antique Rose) One of the loveliest Diascia cultivars I've seen recently, this pendulous perennial forms a lovely mound about 10 feet tall. Beautiful for cascading over the edge of raised beds or containers, the twinspur also looks great lining a path or walkway. Plant Diascia's in sun or light shade and make sure they have well-drained soil to get the best blooms all season long. Hardy to zone 7.

Ground Morning Glory (Convolvulus mauritanicus) - A tender perennial, the ground morning glory is a beautiful cascading form of the morning glory and is hardy in zones 8-11. A non-invasive form, the ground morning glory has the same lovely blue flowers you expect from a morning glory but isn't a climbing vine. The perennial will grow to 6 tall but spill over other shrubs or the edge of walls in a lovely manner. Non-stop blooms all season. Needs well-drained soil.

Spring Heath (Erica carnea 'Porter's Red') Hardy to zone 4 with winter protection, this heath has a lovely pendulous form and is a long-lasting perennial. Sometimes also called Winter Heath, the flowers last for a long time and often last from fall through winter and well into mid-spring. The foliage is needle like and evergreen and the heath grows to about 10" by 20".

Creeping thyme, creeping rosemary and annuals such a petunias are also good choices. Enjoy!

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