Popular Hanging Flowering Plants

Nasturtiums are reliable, old-fashioned favorites.

Nasturtiums are reliable, old-fashioned favorites.

Spring and summer finds nurseries and gardening centers in full color. The sheer number of flowering plants, both annual and perennial, may be overwhelming. Make flower shopping easier by creating a plan before leaving the house. Choose upright-growing plants for the center of the pot and trailing plants for the edges for a full look. If you’re planning a mixed container, choose plants with the same care and sunlight requirements. You can’t go wrong by choosing the most popular flowering plants – they are popular for their easy-care nature or because they add a pop of color to an otherwise drab area.

Shade Plants

Bleeding hearts is a popular hanging flower for several reasons, the most common being that it produces flowers in the shade. A member of the dicentra family, this vine is sometimes sold as “golden tears vine.” Its heart-shaped flowers are quite similar to those of its ornamental bedding cousin, except they are yellow, not pink, and smaller. To ensure that you are purchasing the vine and not the bedding plant, look for Dicentra scandens. Vinca minor, commonly known as perwinkle, is actually a groundcover, but it is frequently grown in a hanging container. It’s small blue flowers provide a lovely accent to other plants in the container. New varieties have variegated, yellow and green foliage, so even when the plant isn’t in bloom it provides interest.

Full Sun Plants

Because of its tendency to spread and take over the garden, the best place to plant sweet alyssum is in a hanging container. Here, where it’s contained, its snowy white, fluffy flowers will spill over the edges of the container in its quest to spread. Calibrachoa, also known as million bells, is an easy care plant and a prolific bloomer. Flowers resemble tiny petunias and bloom in pink, white, purple, yellow and orange. Calibrachoa has dainty foliage that complements other flowering plants in the same container. Simplicity, thy name is nasturtium. Throw some nasturtium seeds into a pot and they’ll grow and thrive. Use the nasturtium as the work horse of the hanging garden because it will be in bloom when other plants have packed it in for the season. Picking the flowers as they fade is the secret to prolonging the nasturtiums blooming period, so deadhead often.

Partial Shade Plants

Fuchsias, with their dangling, earring-like flowers are one of the most commonly grown hanging plants. Their care requirements dictate that they be the sole plant in the hanging basket: they require consistently moist soil and fertilizer every two weeks. Give the fuchsia morning sun and afternoon shade. With a nickname like “cascading geranium,” it’s almost a guaranteed that ivy-leaf geranium makes its way into the showiest hanging baskets. Ivy-leaf geranium does well in both full sun and partial shade but won’t flower in full shade. Choose from a variety of colors, from white to deep red.

Considerations

Container-grown flowering plants require more frequent watering than those grown in the ground. On hot summer days you may need to water once or even twice a day. While shopping for your plants, pick up a watering wand. This device extends your reach and allows you to water the plants without having to take the container down. Keep in mind, though, that all that watering removes nutrients from the soil, so give your hanging flowers a boost of fertilizer every two or three weeks.

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