Decorative hanging basket of flowers in a garden.
Decorative hanging basket of flowers in a garden.

GARDENING: Perfect time to prepare Spring hanging baskets

WITH spring almost upon us, this weekend might be the perfect time to start preparing your outdoor entertainment area.

For most of us we are spending more time at home, so why not create your own personal wow factor by adding some colourful perennial hanging baskets?

Last week Cristie from The Range asked this very question: Can I recommend some colourful plants that could be grown in hanging baskets on a newly constructed deck that has hanging points for both full sun and part shade locations.

Below are some plants varieties that could be perfect for Cristie’s new deck.

Acalypha reptans 'Stephie'.
Acalypha reptans 'Stephie'.

Acalypha reptans ‘Stephie’ is an evergreen spreading plant with unusual bushy red tail-like flowers and mild green leaves with saw-toothed edges for part-shade areas.

This is probably one of the most versatile hanging basket plants available to local gardeners.

Bougainvillea Bambino Hybrid
Bougainvillea Bambino Hybrid

Bougainvillea Bambino Hybrids are prolific flowering, miniature-growing shrubs with virtually no thorns.

This series of hybrids has many applications from enhancing courtyards, patios, balconies and hanging baskets to informal hedges.

Bambino Hybrids range in colour from oranges, pinks, reds, white and yellows and shades of lavender.

Geranium
Geranium

Geraniums or Pelargoniums would be one of the most under-rated water-wise plants that we can grow in hanging baskets.

Most Geranium species grow very quickly and produce masses of dazzling flowers all through the year.

Flower colours range from pure whites and subtle pinks to brilliant reds and purplish-blacks.

It is important to remember that all geraniums will not tolerate a lot of water.

Geraniums do their best in full sun but can grow and flower in partial shade if it is possible to have least half a day of sun each day.

Heterocentron elegans
Heterocentron elegans

Heterocentron elegans or commonly known as the Spanish Shawl is an evergreen matt-forming perennial that has a lime green new growth.

Masses of deep purple Lasiandra-like flowers occur through the warmer months of the year. This colourful ground cover is native to Central America makes a great hanging plant but is frost tender.

Hoya carnosa
Hoya carnosa

Hoya carnosa or Wax Flower is a tropical trailing plant, with its waxy foliage and flowers giving it the common name of the wax-flower.

Hoya carnosa produces clusters of star-shaped, intricately detailed, flowers from white to pink with five-point centres.

Hoyas grow best in a sheltered, airy position that they are protected from frost and direct hot sunlight.

An important note - when growing Hoyas, you should never pick a Hoya bloom, as they flower year after year from the same flower spur, and remember to take care not to damage the flower spur.

Lotus Golden Flash
Lotus Golden Flash

Lotus Golden Flash is a spreading, evergreen perennial with needle-like blue-green foliage. Bright beak-shaped golden flowers appear late spring to early autumn.

Golden Flash is suitable for rockeries, pots and hanging baskets where it can trail and show off its flowers.

Our Western gardeners will find the Lotus as our of the most adaptable hanging basket plants available.

Pandorea jasminoides
Pandorea jasminoides

Pandorea jasminoides or Bower of Beauty is a vigorous evergreen twining climber with shiny dark green leaves.

The Pandorea will require a larger hanging basket to produce the best year round display. Throughout the warmer months clusters of bell shaped pink flowers with maroon to mauve centres are produced.

It is ideal for most soils in full to filtered sun.

Scaevola aemula
Scaevola aemula

Scaevola aemula or Fan Flower is a dense evergreen groundcover with almost succulent medium green coarsely toothed leaves.

Masses of purple-blue fan-shaped blooms appear from spring through summer with violet blue petal lobes and yellow throats.

It’s perfect for growing as bedding in rockeries, containers or in hanging baskets.

Streptocarpus saxorum
Streptocarpus saxorum

Streptocarpus saxorum or Nodding Violet is a showy, evergreen perennial that is perfect for hanging baskets.

During the warmer months of the year masses of lilac-mauve tubular flowers with white throats smother the plant.

Streptocarpus has small, rounded, slightly succulent, dark-green leaves that are arranged on its trailing stems.

Streptocarpus are easily grown plants which are remarkably free from pests and diseases.

Viola hederacea
Viola hederacea

Viola hederacea or Native Violet is a vigorous growing groundcover spreading to one metre in diameter, with very attractive mauve and white, violet shaped flowers.

This is an excellent groundcover for a moist shaded position.

There is also a white flowering form available to local gardeners.

GROWING HANGING BASKETS

  • Most Perennial Groundcovers can be grown in pots and hanging baskets.
  • Always use a top quality potting mix.
  • As you will need excellent aeration and drainage also add some slow release fertiliser and water storage granules.
  • Hanging Baskets dry out rapidly, especially in warm weather, so water regularly, daily in hot weather.
  • Most plants in hanging pots will benefit from regular applications of liquid fertiliser. (fortnightly)